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January 14, 2003

relationship mapping

In the midst of a hectic and bleary day, I participated in a conference call for members of the steering committee. I proposed an idea that seemed to get a lot of support. Sociologists sometimes survey individuals or organizations, asking them with whom they interact most. They create a database showing all the individuals and their mutual relations. They then use "relationship-mapping" software to spit out maps that cluster all the most closely related individuals together and use lines to show how they are linked. If we did this to all the groups involved in the field of deliberative democracy, then we could see which ones work together, which ones are completely separate, and which organizations serve as bridges between clusters of groups. This is the kind of analysis that political organizers have always used; software can help to do it more easily and thoroughly.

January 14, 2003 5:16 PM | category: deliberation | Comments


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