Henning Lueke – Linking Collaboration by Features

This network was developed in the context of a paper that studies and maps third-party crowdsourcing platforms according to their features and affordances, such as task design, evaluation system and integrated collaboration tools. These platforms act as incubators for crowdsourcing efforts. Network analysis tools enable the identification of clusters that are formed as a result of certain feature-ecologies. That is, while every platform is unique, there are evident combinations of features that are shared by particular groups of platforms. The grouping and mapping of platforms allows for a systematic categorization, which subsequently allows for an identification of edge-cases. These platforms seem to be hybrids of two groupings and introduces the question of whether the particular edge-case is identity-confused and tries to be everything at once, or whether it can be seen as a maverick that manages to combine the best from two worlds.
Each tie indicates that two platforms (nodes) share at least one feature. The more features they share the thicker the tie. The thickness of nodes is dependent on the betweeness-centrality of the platform. That is, the extent to which the platform acts as a ‘bridge’ between to groups. The network diagram highlights two clusters, connected by a small set of platforms. Between these clusters we can see two groupings of cases. The betweeness-centralities of the platforms in these groups are particularly high, indicating that they are bridging the two clusters. Because the weights are reflected in the layout algorithm the graph-visualization of the network the ‘location’ of the platforms also allows for an identification of hybrid cases. The combination of these two methods (location and betweeness centrality) clearly identifies the abovementioned four cases as bridge-cases, or in this context hybrid cases. In the visualization the shaded area marks these platforms. The detection of these cases now gives us the opportunity to further study their nature and the implications of their unusual architecture.

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