Network Segmentation

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This is my first post regarding readings in my COMM 506 course instructed by Kate Milberry. Tomorrow’s class will be covering Chapter 4 in Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings (2012) by Charles Kadushin.

The chapter is a continuation of Kadushin’s discussion of the basic concepts of social networks and in it he discusses network segmentation. In particular, Kadushin (2012) talks about how groups cluster and are partitioned into the “core and periphery” (p. 45). The core and periphery in simplified terms is what we remember from the playground in school where there was a group of cool kids (the in-crowd) that everyone wanted to be friends with and those outside in the periphery who were aquaintances or wallflowers, not part of the main group.

Taking it further, you can break it down to the point where relationships form depending upon similarities members share or based on what members can offer each other. Usually those in the core will relate to others in the core, but may or may not relate to those in the periphery. Those in the periphery might not relate to anyone in the core, but will likely relate with others in the periphery. If those in the periphery have connections to those in the core, it’s because they provide something of worth to those in the core.

These are quick generalizations that I have taken out of the chapter to help myself better understand it, but I do know that networks and matrixes can become much more complicated than I have alluded to. Yet those complications are what get me in trouble, especially when mathematics and graphs start to get involved. My hope is that discussion with my classmates will better shed light on the subject.

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Inspirational Guest Lecture

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Well, I had typed out a full blog post, clicked on the “Publish” button and it didn’t show up on my page, so I am going to do a shortened version to quickly cover the highlight of my COMM 506 class today.

Kate Milberry (@KateMilberry) invited Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega (@hummingbird604, author of www.hummingbird604.com and http://www.raulpacheco.org/) to guest lecture on the role social media can play in our lives.

As someone who has been weary of joining Twitter, thinking it full of mundane posts, Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s discussion really opened my eyes to the use of social media in smart ways. As long as you define your online presence in both a professional and personal aspect, you have the possibility of connecting with countless people. The online realm can open real-life doors by helping you to build social capital. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there and own it when you make mistakes.

I have now been tweeting for two days and I feel like those in my cohort that I am following and who are following me have created a community around our program and our courses. We look to each other for advice and we are each others’ cheerleaders as we work towards our final research projects in the MACT program. If I continue to make connections with people like them, I will be happy to add to my online social profile now and in the future.

Hello world!

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From the standpoint of being a creator, I’m new to the world of blogging. It is something I’ve been considering for some time. Though my own personal blog would have been about fashion or style, any push to start a page at all is a step in the right direction.

About me: I graduated from the University of Alberta in 2007 after majoring in Film and Media Studies with a minor in International Studies. Along the way I found myself interested in the field of advertising. When I arrived home from a month long European excursion in the summer of 2007 I ended up finding employment as an Advertising Account Coordinator at the Edmonton Journal and have worked there ever since. Last May, I started my studies in the Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT) program with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension and have found the classes to be insightful and practical. I also like to think it has helped me with my move into my new position at the Edmonton Journal. As of April 2012, I’m their Sales Planning and Research Coordinator in the advertising department. The learning curve is huge, but I’m looking forward to tackling whatever challenges are thrown my way and the same goes for this last year with MACT.

It is due to Kate Milberry’s COMM 506 class that I start this blog. I hope that my posts on readings throughout this 2012 Spring Institute will prove to be a useful outlet for me, in addition to providing a way to share thoughts with my classmates and others who may happen upon my site. And, perhaps, when the Institute ends, I will transform the blog into something that encompasses more of my interests as I do intend to continue with it in the future.

So, with that, welcome to my page. I look forward to your thoughts as I muddle my way through subsequent posts. Cheers!