My Facebook Network Visualized

I am fascinated by the idea of emergent behavior. Wikipedia defines it as “the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions”.

In the context of interactions with our social circle, either in reality or virtually, there are patterns inherent in them that we are usually not aware of. With the availability of tools to record and visualize these interactions it becomes possible for non-experts to view, analyze and understand these patterns and perhaps act on them in some manner.

I had found this post about “Making beautiful  graphs of your Twitter network” and followed the steps outlined in a presentation linked to there on analyzing Facebook graphs by Sociomantic labs.

My Facebook Graph

Without further ado, below is my graph on Facebook.


All I did was to follow the instructions on the Sociomantic presentation and ended up with this cool looking baby!

Clusters in Your Network

What is interesting about this? Well, look at the way the system has automatically figured out the clusters of communities within my overall graph. The dark blue node cluster on the left bottom of the pic is my colleagues from Dell. The node cluster in the middle is the team that works on Compose. The bluish nodes on the top right are my colleagues from Thomson Reuters, my current employer. The dark green node cluster is my colleagues from Capco.

Now, not much of my family is on Facebook and the ones that are there are not captured in this screenshot, since they are in an isolated cluster. And that is the technical reason. The real reason is that I don’t have much of a life!

If you are interested in seeing the output for yourself, click on the link to download the pdf that was generated.

A Gephi for Graphs

This has been an interesting exercise for me, to put it mildly. Primary reason is my discovery based, on the Radar blog post, of Gephi – a graph visualization tool. In fact it has gained the moniker of Photoshop for Graph Visualization. That should give a hint about the power of this tool. By the way it is open-source and free! I highly recommend downloading it and giving it a spin.

Now, do drop a comment and let me know what you think. Or even better, play with the tool and share what you have learnt.


  1. jasondrowley says:

    I was looking for a tool to analyze my social graph. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Gephi recently took up residence on my hard disk, and will proceed to suck up way too much of my time. Damn, you, natural inquisitiveness!

  2. Nice to have you drop by Jason! And yes Gephi looks very interesting. What I miss though is a book that provides a comprehensive tutorial for Gephi or similar tool.

    And yes, curiosity is a time drain!

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