Analyzing the Social Web

1st Edition

Authors: Jennifer Golbeck
Print ISBN: 9780124055315
eBook ISBN: 9780124058569
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 12th March 2013
Page Count: 290
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Analyzing the Social Web provides a framework for the analysis of public data currently available and being generated by social networks and social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Access and analysis of this public data about people and their connections to one another allows for new applications of traditional social network analysis techniques that let us identify things like who are the most important or influential people in a network, how things will spread through the network, and the nature of peoples' relationships. Analyzing the Social Web introduces you to these techniques, shows you their application to many different types of social media, and discusses how social media can be used as a tool for interacting with the online public.

Key Features

  • Presents interactive social applications on the web, and the types of analysis that are currently conducted in the study of social media.
  • Covers the basics of network structures for beginners, including measuring methods for describing nodes, edges, and parts of the network.
  • Discusses the major categories of social media applications or phenomena and shows how the techniques presented can be applied to analyze and understand the underlying data.
  • Provides an introduction to information visualization, particularly network visualization techniques, and methods for using them to identify interesting features in a network, generate hypotheses for analysis, and recognize patterns of behavior.
  • Includes a supporting website with lecture slides, exercises, and downloadable social network data sets that can be used can be used to apply the techniques presented in the book.


Researchers, academics, practitioners, and students in HCI, user experience design, data Information analysts, information and data warehouse and systems engineers.

Table of Contents


List of Figures




Chapter 1. Introduction

Analyzing the social web

A brief history of the social web

Websites discussed

Tools used


Chapter 2. Nodes, Edges, and Network Measures

Basics of network structure

Representing networks

Basic network structures and properties


Chapter 3. Network Structure and Measures

Describing nodes and edges

Describing networks


Chapter 4. Network Visualization

Graph layout

Visualizing network features

Scale issues


Chapter 5. Tie Strength

The role of tie strength

Measuring tie strength

Tie strength and network structure

Tie strength and network propagation


Chapter 6. Trust

Defining trust

Nuances of trust

Measuring trust

Trust in social media

Inferring trust

Network-based inference

Similarity-based trust inference


Chapter 7. Understanding Structure Through User Attributes and Behavior

Analyzing attributes and behavior


Chapter 8. Building Networks

Modeling networks

Sampling methods

Egocentric network analysis


Chapter 9. Entity Resolution and Link Prediction

Link prediction

Entity resolution

Incorporating network data

Link prediction: Case study—Friend recommendation

Entity resolution: Case study—Finding duplicate accounts



Chapter 10. Propagation in Networks

Epidemic models

Threshold models

The firefighter problem

Stochastic models

Applications of epidemic models to social media




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© Morgan Kaufmann 2013
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Jennifer Golbeck

Jennifer Golbeck Ph.D Is an Associate Professor in the College of Information Studies and Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include social network and social media analysis, recommender systems, trust on the web, human computer interaction and and how to use social relationships to improve the way people interact with information. She was named as one of IEEE Intelligent System's "Top Ten to Watch", is a Research Fellow in the Web Science Research Initiative and is a sought after speaker on social media

Affiliations and Expertise

College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA


"This…aims to integrate a number of approaches to social network analysis that have been proposed in a variety of disciplines, such as mathematics, computer science, sociology, and biology, to develop a unified framework…this is a nice introductory textbook for social network analysis, with lots of examples and use cases and a clear explanation of the basic concepts and techniques used in this field.", November 27, 2013
"Techniques from the natural sciences, social sciences, computer science & mathematics are used to describe and visualize social relationships and quantify connectedness. The utility of such analysis is then explored through case studies, pointing out both the potential malicious use of publicly shared information and pro-social uses of network analysis to combat online dangers."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013
"…it is a carefully crafted explanation of the subject, made readable through the use of interesting and sometimes entertaining examples of applications to the social web…The book will be of interest to those seeking a largely non-mathematical introduction to network analysis, whether for application to the social web or not.", September 2013
"This is the first book that empowers students from across the disciplines to delve into the secrets of social networks. It is a pedagogic masterpiece in which Jen Golbeck demonstrates her research talent and dedication to teaching."--Jennifer J. Preece, Professor & Dean, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland