Using network maps to deepen relationships within Resonance Network

By Ari Sahagún check out Ari’s work at arilikeairy.org 

How do you understand a network — what it looks like, who is centered and marginalized, what issues are emerging?  This is the central question of network mapping and analysis. Through this processes we achieve two things: 1) a deeper level of understanding of a network, and 2) a path forward to create intentional relationships among network members.  This second part unlocks dynamics like network weaving and self-organizing. In this first blog post, I’ll give you a taste of how to engage with network maps in the second way, to help you find new people within Resonance Network.

First, a little nerdy piece about the data.  And if you have the tendency to tune this out, it is relevant to you in that it deals with your own privacy and choices around the security of the information you choose to share on the internet. The data behind the network visualizations comes from network members themselves, in a profile-like platform where people answer questions about their work, skills, desires to work together, and importantly, who else they know in the network.  By pairing these two types of data — profile and relationships — specialized software is able to make network maps. Side note: if you choose to fill out a profile, you can share as little or as much about yourself as you’d like, keeping in mind that it will be used to create opportunities for others to connect to you.  Last nerdy thing: these maps were made with kumu.io and you can check out their site for a ton of tutorials.

Second, let’s look at a network map that is very actionable.  Consider different geographic regions of Resonance Network.  If I look at a network map of Resonance, the South is the least connected, though still well connected. But comparing it to the the Pacific region, there are fewer connections. In other words, a lot of opportunities to connect!  A next step could be to start building or deepening relationships within your region that draw new people to the network. You can click on someone that’s not so connected, check out their profile, and see what might be interesting to connect with them around.

Click on this animated image to see a video with a 44 second voiceover explaining what’s happening.

Third, let’s dig into a profile of someone we want to get to know at a deeper level.  So, we can start by looking at all of the skills that are present within the network. For example, let’s say that you want to deepen your skills around communications or social media.  You’ll want to look for someone who has a purple circle around them. In the example video, I show a relationship that already exists and suggest that they could consider talking about communications within that relationship and doing some skillshares.

Click this image to see a video with voiceover to learn how to use the network map

So through these two quick examples, you can see how we can use network maps to find people who live in a specific region, or with whom we’d want to develop or share skills.  Within each map, you can click on the person and learn more about them, from the challenges they’re facing, to how to get in touch with them.

If you’re interested in learning more about network maps and/or how to strengthen the Resonance network with this information, join the mapping group that will start in mid-January. This group will revise some of the profile questions, encourage people to fill out their survey, learn how to interpret the maps, and share about the maps with the network.

Our next big push for mapping Resonance Network will be in February 2019, when we’ll ask you to create or update your profile, giving you access to all of this information.  If you’d like to be added, email Ari Sahagún, arisahagun@gmail.com  And also, if you’d like to nerd out on any of these topics, learn more, or get involved in the mapping group email me as well!

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