One of the cheap thrills of social networking is the ability to map out a social graph of one's own friends and family. I recently came across this overview on Mashable of a couple of nice visualization apps and well, I couldn't resist.....
This first graph is via Nexus. The static image doesn't quite do the complete app justice, since it not just maps out the graph, but labels individuals and provides functions for traversing the network interactively to identify individual and group relationships.
For example, in the case of my social network as managed on Facebook, one of the largest group of individuals, bottom-half-right of the graph, are friends from the Obama campaign. Unsurprising this group is tightly interconnected with relationships between various individuals who all worked together on the campaign.
Related to this group, bottom-half-left, are friends from the Inaugural Committee. Naturally the two groups have many people in common.
The second largest group, upper-half, are friends and family starting with my wife, Katie. Again not too surprising, after nine years of living together, we share a number of friends and family in common. Nor is it as surprising that these relationships are not as tightly integrated as between those who worked on the campaign.
But what is interesting is something we discovered a while back, that besides me, there are a few other individuals that connected our loose group of friends and family with the tight grouping of former campaign staffers.
Friend Wheel provides the same social graph, but as a radial graph. Nexus can do the same thing, but Friend Wheel can also do the same thing for Twitter:
Of course with Twitter one doesn't have to approve a relationship for the connection to exist, which helps one reach outside of one's social network. So this isn't so much a graph of shared social connections as it is a graph of shared social interests.
So, unsurprisingly there is some sort of relationship/shared interests between NASA, The White House, the U.S. HSF Committee.
Oddly, there doesn't seem to be any shared connection/interest between "Barack Obama" and Ozzie Guillen, Jr. Go figure!?! And yes, I do have an odd little assortment of people I'm following on Twitter at the moment, thanks for noticing..