For quite a long time, I’ve come to respect the work of Valdis Krebs. As a pioneer in the concept of social network analysis and its application, and as a “network weaver” (something close to a community manager but less domain-related) but especially as someone able to convey what all that means.
A couple of days ago at Patrick Lambe’s Green Chameleon blog (Patrick, do your remember about that draft paper :-D) I saw a link to this: he’s mapped the “typical online community” and graphed it, but he’s also taken the time to explain some of the key phenomena of a community in terms of networks and their representation. While of course there’s a lot more to the story, the parts he tells are so very well told (and so plainly visible with his graphs) that I’m sure he’s built a very useful reference. I’m bound to use it, for one, and I hope many people come to the SNA toolset that way.
I don’t know if the work is recent or not, but it looks so. If you already knew it, please excuse the repetition :-).