For an exercise in examining social networks and communities, I shied away from using visualization software and opted instead go analog with dye-filled cups. I love digital media, but practicing the craft means I often work at my computer until I see blurry. Manipulating the cups (relationships) provided a much needed return to 3D physical visualization. This physicality was again revealed in an interesting statistic I found while analyzing my Facebook and Linked In connections: 97% of my social networks began with a face-to face interaction. This timelapse was my first take on the exploration of shifting relationships and the variables of physicality, proximity, relevance, and size. The attempt truly makes me want to geek out on data visualization.
By the way, if you do want to analyze your networks and make some techno-maps using digital tools, I’ve been hearing good things about the open source data visualization software Gelphi.
Take a macro look at your communities and social networks, digitally or analog, and share with me if you find any interesting themes.