In May of 2006 I was attending a week long workshop on network science. During the evenings I was attempting to create this blog. I was at the nadir of the WordPress learning curve and was receiving valuable guidance from the more computer savvy workshop participants. When I was asked the purpose this blog I explained that I planned to use it to “write my dissertation”. The response: “You’re kidding, right?” Well, actually, no. I couldn’t think of a better place than an easily navigable, visually oriented, content management system to help me get organized. It certainly beat the heck out of scattered notebooks and indistinguishable and redundant ‘word’ files.
While, I didn’t actually write the dissertation here, the structure of the blog helped me organize my reading list, my bibliography, and links to interesting and relevant websites. I was also able to put some of the cluttered thoughts, rattling around in my brain, into writing; where they would be safe from total evaporation.
As I began to work in the blog I found myself using this forum to comment on issues, marketing and otherwise, that weren’t specifically related to my research, but were representative of my market perspective.
It was, and still is, my hope that, by making all of this accessible, it might engender feedback and helpful comments that I might, otherwise, never have had the opportunity to solicit.
Pieces of the Puzzle
I often find myself traveling “the long way around” to my destination. While the two main components of my research study are brand communities and social network analysis, I came to SNA through my interest in global trade networks. I provide some background and some insights into the development of my frame of reference in the Prologue.