While completing my graduate studies at George Mason University, I researched how to quantify virtual communities of interest on the Web. The foundation of my research methodology was applying social network analysis tools against a corpus of over 100,000 emails and USENET messages
I used tools such as UCINET, Pajek, and Graphviz to try to identify cohesive subgroups and key community thought leaders. The process was very frustrating because most SNA tools don't scale well and are quite difficult to integrate with unstructured/semi-structured data sources.
With continued growth in the World Wide Web and the explosion of social networking activities such as MySpace, interest in the art and science of SNA is at an all time high
libSNA is my contribution to social scientists and software developers who seek to "grok the network."