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Thursday Complexity Post
March 27, 2014

Different Network Structures in Twitter Maps   


Twitter conversations create identifiable networks that have structural differences depending on the topic and the influence of dominant individuals. The structures are created as participants in the network choose the people they answer, retweet, and mention in their own messages, according to the Pew Research Internet Project. 


The Pew researchers found six identifiable network structures: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and inward and outward hub and spoke structures. The report summary contains explanations and examples of teach type.  


People who tweet about political topics, for instance, tend to form divided structures, in the form of two separate and polarized conversational networks. Participants in these differing networks don't interact with each other and they rely on very different sources of information. In many controversial conversations participants in the networks that Pew identified as liberal or conservative cited very different websites and distinctly different words and hashtags. People in the liberal groups generally cited URLs for mainstream news outlets, whereas conservatives tended to cite URLs for conservative news and commentary websites, the report says. The report says the finding underscores the partisan nature of political tweeting and group reliance on different people and organizations as well as different news sources. It also shows the two groups usually ignore each other despite intense interest in the same topics.


Unified networks are tight crowds of highly interconnected people often joined together by professional interests and hobbies. These structures often show how networked learning communities work and how social media can foster sharing and mutual support. People who form Twitter groups based on their interests in brands, products or celebrities, tend to form fragmented networks because they focus on their interest, but don't usually connect with each other.


Clustered conversations often look like bazaars with many centers of activity, the report says. For instance, people interested in the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 307 could follow the news presented in several languages by several news outlets. Any global story, the report says, can generate multiple and diverse audiences that illustrate diverse opinions and perspectives.


Broadcast networks tend to form a hub and inward spoke structure, in which participants repeat and comment on the output of well known media outlets. Participants are often connected to and in conversation with the hub, not each other. Support networks, such as businesses trying to resolve customer complaints, create a hub and outward spoke structure, where the hub business sends replies and information to many disconnected users.


Social media is the new public square, Pew researchers say, and the network maps formed by Twitter conversations are like aerial photographs that show size, composition, and network locations that are analogous to positions of strategic importance in physical landscapes. These locations can help identify key people who influence social media conversations. Read the Pew Research Internet Project report for more information, illustrations of the maps, and further sources on network data and visualizations.


Thanks to Buck Lawrimore for pointing out this story.



Liberating Structures Workshop   

May 29-30 - Washington, DC 



Smart leaders know that they would greatly increase productivity and innovation if only they could get everyone fully engaged. The challenge is how. Liberating Structures are novel, practical and effective methods to help you accomplish this goal with groups of any size. During this roll-up-your-sleeves immersion workshop, participants will learn and immediately practice 10-12 Liberating Structures while receiving tips on how to implement them in the workplace and traps to avoid. Event flyer (pdf). 1-day, $150. 1 1/2-day, $200. Attendance limited to 100. 



Leading Adaptive Change Healthcare Workshop
May 5-7 - Philadelphia, PA

Please join us on May 5-7 in Philadelphia for a new workshop, Leading Adaptive Change, and leave with approaches for engaging your organization to tackle stubborn challenges in patient safety. Too often, patient safety and quality improvement efforts fail because they focus on technical changes-such as introducing new tools and technologies-without addressing the values, beliefs and attitudes of the group involved in the work. This three-day program provides participants with concrete methods and tools for adaptive change.

From our friends at Cheasapeake Bay Organization Development Network:

CBODN's upcoming conference is scheduled for May 1-3 in the Washington, D.C., area. This year's theme is "Building Innovation in Organizations," and we are excited to be planning an expanded, three-day event filled with collaboration, networking, education and outreach! Early bird pricing ends Monday. Additional information about the conference is online at




Remember PlexusCalls!



Friday, March 28, 2014- 1-2 PM ET

Design Makes a Difference in Healthcare 
Guests: Peter Jones and Liz Rykert


In his latest book Design for Care, Dr. Peter Jones shows the work of many people involved in creating better healthcare experiences.We are all health seekers, and Dr. Jones believes all forms of care and caring in information, practice, environment, and service need to be considered. He presents healthcare design concerns from the experience and perspective of the patient, practitioner, and designer in the health field. He aims to establish the role of information, service, and system designers as critical team members in health professions, as necessary as other traditional roles in the healthcare system


Healthcare PlexusCalls

Wednesday, April 16, 2014- 1-2 PM ET

Clinical Pharmacists as Internal Change Agents 
Guest: Rohit Moghe 


 For many laymen, clinical pharmacists are "the wizards behind the screen," much of their work invisible to the public eye. In hospitals, clinical pharmacists collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals, while working directly with patients. They not only round on various medical teams, but also provide various consultative services. In outpatient settings such as clinics and infusion centers (chemotherapy, biologics), patients often interact with the clinical pharmacist, who may fill a role in chronic disease management similar to nurse practitioners and physician assistants, helping the patient manage his or her condition. With their medication expertise, they are crucial in promoting safe, rational, evidence-based use of medications, impact medication adherence, and provide insight into quality of care and outcomes through research.  

Audio from all PlexusCall series is available by searching the iTunes store for plexuscalls. Or, visit under Resources/Call Series. 


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