Abstract

There is a growing need for methods and tools to illuminate the social contexts of interaction environments created by the World Wide Web, Usenet newsgroups, email lists, and other network interaction media. We present here a framework for creating visualizations of the social connections created in and through network interaction media. Using graph-drawing methods, visualizations can be created for a range of systems that link people to people and people to objects through networks. As an example, we present an application of our methods to the Usenet to illustrate how visualization can improve existing systems. We propose that users of network interaction media can benefit from visualizations that illuminate the interaction context generated by the rich interconnections between groups, conversations, and people in these media.