Network Connections
Network Connections is an analysis of social software that attempts to turn online introductions into offline interactions. By mapping the functionality of three case studies -- Friendster, Ryze and Meetup -- to the characteristics of successful group and community interactions, Network Connections tries to draw conclusions about which software design decisions best facilitate the cultivation of real life relationships from virtual soil. The 80-page thesis was submitted in hard copy, online and in the form of a user-editable wiki. My thesis defense was webcast as part of the 2003 ITP Thesis Show.

  • researched the history of social software development, the psychology of groups, the evolution of social network analysis and the characteristics of virtual communities.
  • generated project milestone analyses and production schedule for deliverables to advisor.
  • devised set of metrics with which to analyze case studies.
  • gathered data about case study functionality, observed/particpated in extant virtual communities and compiled extensive notes.
  • wrote two drafts of a fully documented, 80-page, academic paper.
  • built website to house thesis paper.
  • prepared and presented oral and visual defense of thesis.

    Website: HTML, Photoshop, ImageReady.
    Thesis paper: required extensive background knowledge of an array of social software applications, such as blogs, LiveJournals, wikis, massively multiplayer games, newsgroups, chat, MUDs & MOOs, instant messaging, etc.

    where & when
    Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York, NY.
    Spring 2003.

  • click thumbnails for screenshots
    * thesis defense webcast as part of the 2003 ITP Thesis Show.