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Newsletter 2010

September 2010 - We upgraded the VOSON Project website. A screenshot of the old site is below.


Figure: Old VOSON Project website - decommissioned in September 2010

February 2010 - The Alpha version of the VOSON Data Provider for NodeXL released. NodeXL is an Excel 2007 template for analysing social media network data. So we now provide two ways that you can use VOSON to analyse hyperlink networks: (1) via the VOSON System (which you log into using a web browser); (2) via NodeXL. The VOSON System is a specialist tool for hyperlink network construction and analysis. NodeXL allows access to various types of social media network data, e.g. Facebook, Twitter and hyperlink networks (via VOSON). This is a great example of how e-research technologies (web services, in particular) can enable access to distributed research resources (data and tools). So, a NodeXL user in the United States, for example, will be able to access VOSON network data services (which are hosted in Australia) all from within NodeXL (as long as they have a VOSON user account, and they are connected to the Internet). For more information on NodeXL, also see Marc Smith's Connected Action Consulting Group. Also look out for the NodeXL book to be released later this year.

June 2010 - The VOSON Data Provider for NodeXL was successfully used by around 60 students in a laboratory assignment for the IEMS 341 - Social Network Analysis undergraduate course in the Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences program at Northwestern University, which is taught by Professor Noshir Contractor.

September 2010 - A record number of students are enrolled in the two ANU masters courses that are related to the VOSON Project (and taught by Dr Robert Ackland). DEMO8086 Social Science of the Internet has 12 students and DEMO8087 Online Research Methods has 20 students: this is over twice the enrolments in 2009! These courses are offered as part of the Graduate Certificate in Social Research and Master of Social Research (Social Science of the Internet). The two courses are available in fully-online mode (as well as traditional in-class mode).

October 2010 - Dr Paul Henman (University of Queensland), Dr Robert Ackland and Professor Helen Margetts (Oxford University) have received an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant of $300,000 over three years for their project "The institutional structure of e-government: a cross-policy, cross-country comparison".  Governments have expended vast resources on building websites, yet how government is structured on the internet is unknown. This project will map Australia's online government for the first time and assess to how websites are supporting improved government service. The study will support government innovation in web design and service delivery.

December 2010 – Robert Ackland and Jiaying Zhao from Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute gave the following presentations on online social networks and hyperlink analysis using VOSON at the 2010 ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference: