In a post about networking and alliances in warfare, Global Guerrilla mentions the work of Valdis Krebs on social networking. It offers a fascinating analysis that applies to blogging, especially topic-centric blogging such as that of milblogs. It certainly tracks directly with my experience in the milblogs. The diagram he supplies--on the left--includes four types of nodes (definitions taken from the link above):
- Yellow nodes: leadership. These people are the core leadership of the organization. "They have denser connections to other leaders" and other main network nodes. They keep everything together as the group's connectors.
- Red nodes: active members. Active members are tightly connected to the leadership nodes (yellow). They, in combination with the yellows, are what people refer to as the "group."
- Blue nodes: people actively seeking membership. These people aren't formally connected to the core group. They are actively working on ways (relationships, credibility, etc.) to connect to the "group."
- Green nodes: lurkers and potential members. People in this category are not active members of the group. They may or may not undertake actions that are in line with group goals.
It's well worth reading the whole post (and comments) about this model's application to modern warfare.
[H/T to Ry for the link and John (in comments) for its application to blogging]