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News Alert: Networks, Innovation, and Transparency!

Submitted by: EArkell on Jan 26th, 2011 at 3PM PST



  • A report, Network Evaluation: Cultivating Healthy Networks for Social Change, released by Centre for Social Innovation and Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, examines the theory and practice of network evaluation.  The think tank’s goal was to develop a series of tools and strategies for evaluation that were unique to networks, as opposed to being adequate for other types of evaluation efforts.  The publication includes  background information and a framework for network evaluation.
  • LinkedIn recently launched InMaps, a project that visually demonstrates all of the connections within a business network.  It helps users see connections, bridges, and influencers (all with different visual designations) so that they can see the depth of their network and can understand how to utilize it.
  • On her blog, Beth Kanter shares a photo that was tweeted by the National Wildlife Federation that shows a network mapped out with sticky notes.  Kanter discusses reasons why visualizing networks is essential: “mapping can be really valuable for understanding relationship networks by visualizing and seeing patterns and connections… Networks are more than random gatherings of people and organizations online.  Social networks have specific structures and patterns to them.”
  • The State of the Union Address has received a lot of attention on Twitter. Connected Action shares a NodeXL map of connections among people who have recently tweeted “state of the union.”  The blog also provides a summary of network statistics and a map demonstrating clusters of users who are supportive of the President and those that are critical.
  • According to JD Rucker of Fast Company, understanding the history of social networking and the “social revolution” is important so that we know where social networking will take us in the future.  Rucker shares a timeline, complete with visual aids and graphics, of the history of social networking.




  • While many nonprofits are scared to be completely transparent because they may become vulnerable to criticism or attack, there are some major benefits to becoming more transparent. Wiser Earth blog examines what these benefits are by first establishing what exactly “openness” is and then looking at nonprofit case studies.



  • Many people consider themselves “problem solvers” and “good learners,” but few consider themselves true innovators.  However, in a post on Blogging Innovation, Matthew E. May makes the argument that we are selling ourselves short.  He writes,  “the iterative loop underneath problem-solving, learning (creating new knowledge, not acquiring that of others) and innovation is one and the same.”  Therefore, he says, we need a new, better definition of an "innovator."  He proceeds to list seven qualities that innovators (even those innovators that do not consider themselves innovators) tend to have.



  • Cynthia Silva Parker of IISC shares some of the increasing trends she has seen in her work. Parker mentions collaboration, networks, diversity, equity, systems thinking, and love as themes that are becoming “imperatives” and not just “nice ideas.”





Network Evaluation: Cultivating Healthy Networks for Social Change

Lead Authors: Eli Malinsky and Chad Lubelsky

Source: Centre for Social Innovation and Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation


LinkedIn Launches Tool to Visualize Your Business Network

Author: Ben Parr

Date: January 24, 2011

Source: Mashable


How Networked Nonprofits Visualize Their Networks
Author: Beth Kanter
Date: January 25, 2011
Source: Beth’s Blog


2011 State of the Union: Mapping the connections among Twitter users who tweet about SOTU
Date: January 22, 2011
Source: Connected Action blog


The History of Social Networking
Author: JD Rucker

Date: January 24, 2011

Source: Fast Company blog


Opening up: nonprofit transparency

Author: Kerry Vineberg

Date: January 21, 2011

Source: Wiser Earth Blog


7 Core Qualities of an Innovator
Author: Mattew E. May

Date: January 25, 2011

Source: Blogging Innovation


Voices Calling

Author: Cynthia Silva Parker
Date: January 25, 2011

Source: IISC Blog