01 March, 2007

Milblogs and Patterns of Community

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.
I think I'm in the Red node, but I'm not sure. However, it reminds me of my realization yesterday that I have met in "real space" (and have various levels of continuing interaction with) six out of my eight fellow Milbloggie winners--the only two I don't really know are relatively new bloggers. Fascinating.

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]