Capstone, Design, HCId, Journalism, London, Music, Poynter, Share, Travel

Make music, make friends: my social graph

I wish I had drawn out my interpretation of my social communities before I installed the new Facbeook app, Social Graph. What this app does very well is show me how my facebook friends are connected and clustered.

I ran the app, took a screen grab and began to label the clusters. When I loaded the app again, my clusters looked different. In these screen grabs I did not include some of the outliers. Most of those people are friends I made while traveling. There are so many ways to interpret my social circles. The app is slow right now and it doesn’t tell a story. But I can do that:

My Social Graph

Ultimately, what I found is that my techno community links my high school and ancestry communities the most. Media and music are still the center of my social circle here. My current job at the Office for Women’s Affairs is surprisingly barely connected to anything at all. I have two London networks that don’t overlap at all.

My Social Graph

I can see that media and music are the centrally what link me to people and my professional communities. I have strong clusters in Indiana and San Francisco that thickly overlap with my Chicago community.

My Social Graph

I found many of the outliers here to have a specific ethnic quality in common. I also had an absolutely random seeming smattering of “indian people” from all over the country in that cluster.

Overall, I’ve learned that my music communities centrally have guided my social life. I have an enormous high school network, which makes sense because I joined Facebook as soon as I graduated high school. My Bloomington music community is tightly connected to my student media groups which then led me to my job at the Star, the news design community, my Poytner Fellowship and the cluster of friends in Indianapolis who worked at Rolls Royce.

Last year, friends from my San Francisco Tech and Techno Community went to India for a wedding. They stayed with my aunts, uncles and cousins and must have friended each other. There are enough people from my high school who moved to San Francisco, listen to Techno and work in Tech, so we can see those overlaps too.

I was surprised how few links there were between my tech communities and RockMelt, but then again it makes sense because I did not get the internship by knowing someone, per say (which is quite rare). There was a 6-degrees of separation alumni connection there.

I wish I could make some sense of the random smattering of Indian people. That cluster is concentrated with Indian people I know from all over the country and world. I guess we really are all family.

I would love to search for specific friends in this app. Still, very cool. This is also the first time I got to check off every category in my tags!

Nina Mehta is a writer and product design leader in Brooklyn, New York. She began her design career in journalism and has been writing online forĀ 20+ years. Nina is from outside Chicago has since lived and worked in San Francisco, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. Learn about her work at ninamehta.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *