Just when you think you understand a topic, you stumble across something that dives deeper. Someone in the community of practice YahooGroup mentioned this article.
Abstract: When a computer network connects people or organizations, it is a social network. Yet the study of such computer-supported social networks has not received as much attention as studies of human-computer interaction, online person-to-person interaction, and computer-supported communication within small groups. We argue the usefulness of a social network approach for the study of computer-mediated communication. We review some basic concepts of social network analysis, describe how to collect and analyze social network data, and demonstrate where social network data can be, and have been, used to study computer-mediated communication. Throughout, we show the utility of the social network approach for studying computer-mediated communication, be it in computer-supported cooperative work, in virtual community, or in more diffuse interactions over less bounded systems such as the Internet.
I mentioned SNA with respect to The Tipping Point earlier. This article also reminds me just how varied this area of study can be. It focuses on how SNA and CMC academic studies are related and how they can make use of each other's techniques. Wellman's website has a number of useful links to additional Network Analysis resources. Haythorntwaite has clearly focused on Computer Mediated Communication.
Networked world time: Caroline Haythornthwaite's name sounded familiar. She is one of the profs at UIUC's Library & Information Science program, where my wonderful wife received her MLS.