Although my piece on Social Media NZ about my scepticism toward Quora was published today, written while in a mood of being “virtually socialized out” (one that has not totally passed, incidentally), I did get a buzz with TouchGraph, which is an app that my friend Laura used on her Facebook in 2009. I only saw the results of her graph this week.
TouchGraph graphs together your friends, and while it makes no call on the quality of your connection, it does show how you are connected to different groups, and gives an indication of the size of each clique.
It took a while with my 1,800 or so—expect a longer wait if you’re in the multi-thousand camp, but the animation is quite neat. Java is required. The result, which took every one of my connections, was quite a jumble:
But it should be a jumble. Every one of my 1,869 “friends” are on here. And if I were to highlight one of them—either in this graphical version or by name in a column to the left (not shown in the above graphic)—it shows my connection to that person, and how that person is connected to others in my friends’ list (i.e. our mutual friends). The colour coding gives an idea of the clique, so, in this one, all the colours are around me—I belong to all my cliques.
It starts getting very interesting when you begin selecting one person and placing them at the centre. This omits all the people in the graph that are not connected to them, and shows the groups of people you are connected to through that one person.
Let me pick Lucire’s US west coast editor, Elyse Glickman:
There’s predominantly one group—many work connections, unsurprisingly—in the purple; and a few other folks outside that group. Our networks, Lucire, Berkeley and Victoria University of Wellington, are shown on the periphery, presumably with an indication of size.
Connecting with my friend Johnnie Moore, I see:
A similar idea is apparent through my friend Stefan Engeseth, but with Swedish connections highlighted:
Allan Haley is one gentleman I have had dealings with since the 1980s. It was very interesting to see how we all connected in the type community:
while there seemed to be a sizeable number connected through Laural Barrett, Miss New Zealand 2007, and the pageant world that I’ve been involved in:
The app can be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=3267890192. Have fun—it might liven up those Facebook blues.