The Power of Dynamic Spatial and Temporal Characterization in Social Networks

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies, 13-14 December 2010

Danielle Forsyth

“Social networks tend to form topically around shared subjects, affiliations, events and causes. They assemble and disperse and their boundaries in space and time depend on their topical viability. Physical and temporal distance are of lesser or greater importance in different communities.

“Social networks, like all networks, compete for resources. They require some form of presence, effort or participation. The investment that people make in social networks depends on the visibility and relative importance of the network topics to potential participants.

“Time and space provide us with a convenient and shared backdrop for understanding dynamic social networks but traditional spatial and temporal boundaries are often replaced by domain specific references to regions, events and schedules. Community specific notions of space and time and their relative importance are needed to understand changing network topology.”