sumApp | Ridiculously Simple Social Network Maps

We make social network maps for a living . . .

. . . so we KNOW what a headache gathering self-reported relationship data can be!

We designed sumApp to make our job easier.

Now we’re sharing sumApp with you.

Tier II - 30 Day Free Trial - No Credit Card Required


Guessing who knows who, and how well|
Only getting those who showed up this time|
Fidgety status tracking|
Data wrangling nightmares|
Inconsistent manual data updating|

Your Network Will Love It!

It’s the easiest tool we’ve ever met, for getting self-reported connection data.


Simply responding to the survey gets people thinking more about their network relationships.

Network maps are the gateway drugs to network weaving


Odin Zackman


Network maps are powerful magic when doing collaborative, peer-to-peer work. sumApp is a key ingredient when mixing your map-creating-potion. It makes the labor of getting people to respond easy.


Janne K. Flisrand


I wanted every community group to be able to access network maps, and I knew Christine and Tim could make that a reality..

Michael Bischoff

Michael Bischoff

WordPress Developer

Tier II - 30 Day Free Trial - No Credit Card Required

sumApp Changes Everything

Old school social network mapping tools are. . . anti-emergent.

They’re like jumping off a cliff. It’s a big commitment & a big cost and once you jump, you can’t change your mind. You end up with a static snapshot of a moment in time – so you have to know how to get that moment perfect from the start. Which is a hard sell when most people still don’t ‘get’ the value

But that doesn’t need to be the only way.

If you have the resources & the shared vision to pull that off, it’s lovely.

Hiring someone with the experience to guide the process & create your maps (using sumApp & Kumu, of course) is the fastest & easiest-for-everyone way to get a robust well-designed map.

All that experience & foresight & planning are great, if you can access them.

They’re especially important if you plan to use the map for evaluation

But sometimes you just need to feel your way into a thing, break it down into baby-steps, meet people where they’re at & learn as you go – and why shouldn’t that apply to nework mapping?.


What if your population is a moving target?

What if you want to learn to do network mapping yourself?

What if you don't have deep enough pockets to hire others to do the whole thing?

What if you just need to start SOMEWHERE and let it emerge – like we often do with other new collective activities & tools?

What if your network needs to evolve it’s thinking about mapping together, broken down into small steps?

What if you want to spread out the work & the learning, and have a team where each member takes on a different part?

What if your community just won't participate, till there's a relevant map they can engage with?

What if you want to visualize the map being developed in real time, at a gathering?

We believe that less-funded, less-established networks shouldn’t miss out on the subtle paradigm shifts that mapping enables, just because they can’t get there by the established route.

They shouldn’t have to forgo nourishing the network imagination, or the ability to identify & connect community assets, redirect flows, and identify what’s missing.

Which is why we made sumApp.

Tier II - 30 Day Free Trial - No Credit Card Required

sumApp shifts all that and more.

We built sumApp intending to solve 2 problems –

  1. Making the end-user interface more intuitive, usesr-friendly, and meaningful – so that asking people to share their connections wasn’t such a big deal, and
  2. Getting the data output structured specifically for network mapping – because that’s where the biggest barrier existed.

We solved those problems, and in the process, in our work with clients, we discovered that with some simple tweaks of our technical assumptions we could shift the whole paradigm for network mapping.

We call it EVERGREEN. It’s a simple concept – just leave the survey open. But it shifts all kinds of dynamics in ways we didn’t entirely anticipate.

With evergreen data-gathering – your network mapping project can be iterative & emergent. Everyone can learn together as you go. The tension between the initiated and the uninitiated disappears. And since you just keep the same sumApp project open, updating your map a tiny ‘ask’ for everyone involved.

sumApp Makes You A Network Mapping Rock Star!

sumApp Rock Star
  • Response Rate

    Don't Fret Your Response Rate

    Sure, it’s great to get a high initial response. But in some communities, that’s just NOT going to happen – we get that.

    But since sumApp is evergreen, you can start with the willing, make your map cool & inviting, share it with the community – and we assure you (because we see it over and over) – once people have the end result to look at & mess with, they WANT to be on that map. And sumApp makes it simple.

    You can even help them get in there during the event & update the map before the day is done. . .(how COOL is THAT!)

  • Let Your Survey Evolve

    Network maps represent differently from bars & charts. The best questions for a network are different from other data-gathering purposes. It can take some iterations to figure out what’s really necessary for your members to know about one another, and for you to know about them.

    With sumApp you can always change, remove, add to your questions – and it’s not a huge ask to get people to update it. Because everything else they’ve told you remains in place. It’s not a whole new survey. So you’re not penalized for not knowing what you don’t know to ask up front.

  • collaboration-48

    Reduce the Update 'Ask'

    Our clients always worry about the ‘ask’ – how much effort you’re requesting from your members. But no-one seems to mind connecting to others they know on FaceBook or Twitter. And with sumApp, it’s that simple. Quick, visual, personally meaningful and once it’s done, it’s done.

    People are only asked to revisit sumApp if their status changes (like a job title), when new members are added (which only requires checking out who’s new & saying if they know them), or as relationships get stronger. It just FEELS different.

    Plus, the ask is different when it’s coming directly from YOU!

  • Add New Members As They Join

    Keeping sumApp evergreen means mapping doesn’t have to be an annual (or less frequent) event, and new members don’t have to feel left out in the meantime. Invite new members to do sumApp as they join you, and update the map monthly or weekly – it’s that easy!

  • Spreadsheet Monster

    Have No Fear Of Spreadsheet Gremlins

    You might change a heading or two, but you’ll never have to worry about text-to-columns, concatenating, piping, depivoting (wtf is that!?! right?), & understanding which info goes on which sheet.

    This data-structuring part is the ONE thing that requires the learning of hard-core geeks – and we’ve got that handled for you. So you can relax & have fun with the rest of it.

  • Kumu Logo

    Kumu Won't Intimidate You Either

    You simply start a new Kumu map, choose the SNA template, export your data from sumApp & import directly into Kumu – and you’ve got a honest-to-goodness social network map!

    You can get fancy with decorations, clusters, & custom filtering, but that’s just icing on the cake.

    We even provide instructions for all that fun icing in our sumApp slack team 🙂

  • Asking

    And You WON'T Be Alone

    Soon after you begin your sumApp trial, you’ll be invited to join our sumApp Slack Team, where we’ll answer all your questions & everyone can learn together.

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