visualizing social networks – past and now

danah boyd published information on vizster, a project she developed together with jeffrey heer which allows people to use a playful mode of ethnographic exploration based on the Friendster social networking service.

Another interesting appliance is provided by Paul Mutton utilizing visialization modes to show networking structures in Shakespeare‘s plays. It uses a tool designed to infer and display social networks on Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and by this just showing connections and evaluating them.

The most interesting point here might evolve throughout the process of the play – described as the Temporal Decay of Social Networks:


When processing an entire Shakespeare play, a sequence of several hundred drawings will be produced. To ensure that the each frame accurately depicts the current state of the social network, temporal decay is employed to artifically weaken existing relationships. This means that the edges in the diagram will start to fade away after a while.
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