In the KS workshop we had an exercise to map a network (see the image of my work below). I chose to map a network in the e-Agriculture community that I am working with, based on an online forum/discussion group. It may go down in the history books as "easier said than done"!
One of the major challenges was deciding whether to map individuals, organizations, or some combination of both. In the end I have a combination, a combination that changed as I progressed through the assignment. Ultimately I chose to go with more organizational groups and fewer individuals mainly to make mapping different lines of communication a simpler process. But then this led to questions, and more questions by a colleague and facilitator.
1) What about the individuals & related communication flows we know exist, but cannot "see" and thus cannot map?
2) What are the pros, cons of mapping individuals versus mapping organizations/groups?
3) What happens to the lines in a map when an individual moves in/out of a particular position within an organization?
I think the answer to question 1 is that these can be elucidated by different means, so part of the exercise is determining if it is necessary/worthwhile to make the effort.
Points 2 and 3 are interlinked. But I'm having a hard time rationalizing the individual/organization relationship. I think (but need some help on this) that it's the individual that is responsible for the communication/KS so that the individual is key. And that individuals moving from position to position (inter- or intra-organizationally) move their communication lines with them, but by necessity evolve those lines based on their new environment. Thus the organization is the environment ... enabling or otherwise. Hmm....