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S. Paulo | Area Code 21212


In recent days I have been cheating my way shamelessly through the course in Social Network Analysis @ Coursera put together by Lada Adamic. 

And I continue my own modest mappings of items of interest. (Crawling such “newsstand” sites as Periodismo.com and Journalist’s Toolbox  is an effective way of obtaining grist for the mill, for example, and the databases I have created here were seeded by such sources  as Arts & Letters Daily and the membership roles of the World Association of Newspaper.)

Among other things, I was startled to find this blog listed among a complex of ideologically and stylistically disparate periodicals that have have lately been forming business associations — from Mexico’s Jornada and the Chilean and Argentine Clarins to Brazil’s O GloboIstoE and others.


Below, the Toolbox as a component in an analysis of ABONG (above), the Association of Brazilian NGOs — itself a link-heavy yellow pages to the philanthropical sector.


Some of these overlaps, I believe, are explained by common, but not disclosed or accentuated, adherence to the advice of a handful of world-class media consultancies, most especially Innovation-Media Consulting. How else could El Pais and Liberation present news faces with so many design similarities?

I have been doing some more thinking about how exploratory SNA might be applied to what we journalists call “beat-building” — the construction of readily assessible rosters, league charts and other updated information on sectors or topics that interest us, with statistics and structural analysis to help focus our attention where it is needed.


Consider the network fragment shown above. From repeated mulling over the actors in this scenario, I immediately recognize portions of the network of the Instituto Millenium, a large and influential Cato-style NGO — it has shared personnel with Cato in the past.

Screenshot from 2013-10-12 10:36:41

The IMIL is helped greatly by press coverage from its two-man “editorial board” — senior editors of Veja magazine and the daily Estado de S. Paulo, both of a conservative bent.


(Obviously, googleapis is just an artifact of the underlying network — a girder left bare by some post-modern architect. I tend to refer to these nodes as “social code” and look to filter them out, but am out of ideas on how to do it or even whether to do it, and when. )


Otherwise, you find yourself hypnotised by a graph consisting mainly of star networks.)

Captura de tela de 2013-11-30 13:02:28

And now, consider another angle. A new — to me — venture capital player called 21212 is mentioned often across several different views of the network in close connection with (1) government-funded venture capital incubators and their policy wornks, such as FINEP, (2) net libertarian innovation policy wonks working to influence policy in various institutions, and not forgetting (3) the mainstream press, which often works closely with class (2). You could call these the evangelicals.

And these antipodean apostles do not waver in the face of frank advertorialism.