After 200 of Enron's internal emails were placed in the public domain by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioned (FERC) back in 2003, innovative software company Trampoline Systems created the Enron Explorer based on their own SONAR platform. In the Enron case, SONAR was able to illustrate existing social networks and information by analyzing email content from the entire organization during the 1999-2003 time period. Though the 200 emails that became part of the investigation are not representative of every part of the company, the sample does give insight into internal communications at the highest levels at Enron before, during and after its collapse.

One of the most interesting parts of this demonstration is the use of tag clouds to highlight the most frequent person-to-person email communication and display the most frequent themes and topics in those email exchanges.e1.jpg The visualizer, which graphically ties connected networks, shows the direction of communications flow from the perspective of any employee.

For instance, during 1999-2003, Ken Lay communicated most often with Leonardo Pacheco, Kenneth Thibodeaux and media relations specialist Karen Denne. Denne is now a communications officer with The Broad Foundation and part of the public relations faculty at USC. Read all of her Enron emails here. The most popular theme in her inbox during this time was, obviously, "Press Release." During the end of her tenure at Enron, Denne was tasked with sending excruciatingly negative media mentions to her boss.

Other emails that are not to be missed include the "Can't do lunch because I have too many docs to shred" email from Anderson consultant Randy Kruger, Jr., and the "the world of commerce fails miserably" thought leadership that was electronically distributed by Jeffrey Fawcett and forwarded by others.

You can dig through Enron's inbox here.