KDD this year put a lot of focus on social networks research. In addition to the long-running WebKDD, there was SNA-KDD (produced "Snack DD". Or at least it should be.) The Matrix and Tensor Methods workshop also included a paper featuring graph mining, and of course matrix methods in general are important for SNA. There were also two relevant tutorials I plan look over, now that I have the proceedings: Neville and Provost's Predictive Modeling with Social Networks, and Liu and Agrawal's "Blogosphere: Research Issues, Applications, and Tools."
And so far I've only listed SNA-related things going on first day. The Social Networks research track session was completely full: all seats taken, people crammed into the aisles, and overflowing into the hall. It was unfortunate that there were several people who just couldn't get in, but it was a lot of fun for the speakers to have such a great audience. There was also a panel on social networks, featuring Backstrom, Faloutsos, Jensen, and Leskovec. The conference took a cue from the overflowing session and switched it to a bigger room. (Unfortunately, it was scheduled at the same time as some other regular sessions that didn't receive the audience they might have were they only paired with other sessions.) There was an industry track session also devoted to social networks, and other relevant papers were in the Text Mining and Graph Mining sessions.
It's pretty exciting that social networks research is getting so much more attention, even in the last year. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts, and what sort of Big Questions get answered.
Time to board. It looks like the plane back to Seattle is mostly full of a different kind of geek: PAX attendees.