Sunday, February 6, 2011

Visualizing Facebook Connections: My two worlds!!

Inspired by the work of Nicholas Christakis I persuaded myself to take an “introductory look” into a data visualization of my Facebook network.  Although very basic, the Facebook application TouchGraph  seemed appropriate.
After some experimentation with the basic adjustments, (i.e. move zoom slidebar to minimum, and spacing  to maximum, then tick both “Show all self edges” and “Tick edges” in the advanced pull-down menu), the application plotted my 528 friends and their inter-connections. Also have in mind that TouchGraph by default shows Top 50 or Top 100 friends. Use that box and write the total number of friends. 
Although not as impressive as Butler’s Visualizing Friendships Graph , I should admit that the outcome surprisingly reveals my ...two worlds!!!   

The up-right part depicts my connections in my homeland (the island of Rhodes), where 4 segments can be easily identified: The Chamber of Commerce of the Dodecanese, Rodos College, Hotel & Tourism Professionals, and of course people whom I know and consider as friends (hm... traditional and Facebook ones!!)

The bottom – left part consists of the Academia part: In the massive green area I found my ENTER Conference network.  Interestingly enough a sub-segment with this year ENTER’s friends has been identified.  Towards the bottom right side there is Bournemouth University: Academics and stuff (light green) but also my students:  See how clearly my students are divided to my January cohort (pink) and October cohort (sky blue).
Interesting enough somewhere in the middle you can see friends located at Athens.

Implications for marketing? Apart from the profound ones, imagine if instead of such segments (calculated in terms of friendship connections), companies (via their Facebook pages) can see segments with customers that share “Like” on common things or even their common interests and activities, therefore being able to customize offerings, services and promotional messages according to same preferences!!!   

1 comment:

  1. that is so interesting John, Im gonna look into it! I like to keep things, not necessarily people, compartmentalized. This will surely help me also with the business page as well and where my clients/fans are located mostly.

    Thanks so much, very insiteful and keep up the wonderful blog

    na se kala