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Visual settlements: on weblog visualisations

Anjo Anjewierden (Blog posts 2004)While I was travelling, Anjo did a great job of working out his visual settlement idea into an implementation (and I’m also a lucky one who can actually play with the software and not only enjoy images in his weblog 🙂

First, Anjo’s explanations (the image right is a representation of Anjo’s weblog):

Roughly the method to draw the pictures is as follows:

  • Size of a blob is determined by the number of words in the post. Bigger blob, more words (in fact: every pixel represents one word).
  • Colour of the blob is determined by whether there are links to others (grey), links from others (green) or no links (red). All with respect to a community of KM bloggers determined by Lilia and Stephanie
  • Position of the blog is determined by the chronological order (oldest posts are in the center) and by self-linking (if a post self links back to an own post, it will appear close to the original post).

My first questions are about things Anjo didn’t clarify:

  • is there any difference between squares and circles? circles and ovals?
  • what color is the blob if post behind it has both, links to others and links from others?

Lilia Efimova (Blog posts 2004) Alex Halavais (Blog posts 2004) These are two other visualisations, of my own weblog and one of Alex Halavais.

My weblog is more colored than the one of Alex. Does it mean that Alex doesn’t link or not linked back? That he is not well connected with the community? Or (which I guess is the reason) that the community was mapped as a snowballing starting from my weblog, so my “linking partners” are there, but not those of Alex. Of course, we are working on mapping the community properly, but still would be nice to have some workaround…

You can also see that Alex’ blog shows more “rays from the center” structure than mine – guess as a result of me heavily linking to older posts, so posts are grouped braking straight lines (ray structure is even more visible on visualisation of Robert Scoble’s blog). But what is behind those rays starting from the center? Are posts randomly assigned to a line or there is a logic behind it?

I’m still thinking of what else and how I’d like to see visualised. You are welcome to share your ideas.

And, if you need more inspiration, you may want to check BlogScapes by Brian Dennis, various visualisations of five years writings by Tom Coates, web-log continuum sparklines or knowledge flow sparklines

I’m back to my usual “bad” practice: blogging when I have to work on a paper 🙂

This post also appears on channel weblog research

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2005/01/26.html#a1488; comments are here.

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