If there was one persistent image that threaded through the presentations at the 7th International Conference on Complex Systems, it was the network. Whether the presenter was a biologist, physicist, mathematician, or some other specialist whose field I couldn't quite comprehend, he or she showed a graph of a network. Even Nicholas Christakis, the internist and social scientist, who presented the latest findings of the famous Framingham Heart Study, had network graphs illustrating where smokers in the study have ended up (on the periphery) and how obesity patterns observed different patterns (linked to norms rather than behaviors).
These are gorgeous images, these networks. Bill Ives, whose presentation on blogs at KM Cluster's Inside Social Networks two years ago was instrumental in my becoming a blogger, points to an astonishing collection of links to network images at Trust Art, including those at visualcomplexity. Serious major wow.
Bill's work on blogs deserves greater mention. I've had the chance to talk to Bill a number of times over the past two years. Each time I do, I learn something else about blogging. In our most recent conversation, he pointed out how important it is to use meaningful words when you link, meaning that it's better to call out Trust Art for its collection of links on "trust metrics" than it is to say that they're here. Why? Because the search engines can't do much with the word here but they will pick up on Trust Art or trust metrics.
Over time, Bill has developed a method for blogging with which he advises businesses. Following his approach, hits, that all-important measure, rise, making for happier bloggers. I admire Bill's work and have benefited greatly from his generous sharing of knowledge. His description of his Business Blog Coaching and Consulting Services is worth clicking through to.