Exploring the Ontario Conversation

Ontario Educators are a talkative, supportive, and connecting lot.  Using Twitter (and other tools), they converse about issues of the day all the time.  It’s fascinating at time and all that you need to do is follow the list and you can see what I’m talking about.  Last evening, the conversation was again of great interest.  I used the Talk Explorer visualization tool to plot the conversation.

It really is a simple web application to use.  Enter a username or a list and sit back and watch the visualization happen.  All that you need is to have a Java enabled browser.  The conversation looked like this.  (Look at the map and don’t scroll down just yet)


So, here’s the deal.  Each of the nodes represents an Ontario Educator.  From the 40 most active people at the time that I created the chart, the biggest node in the middle is involved in the most conversations.  Can you guess who that was?


Let me turn on the node names.


In fact, the honour of having the biggest node in the map at this snapshot was @cyndiejacobs, the great connector.  She understands the network and is always setting people up to succeed with her ability to find the right person, the right conversation that’s needed.

You’ll notice some other larger nodes in there as well.  @danikabarker, @colinjagoe, @brendasherry, and even @dougpete were a big part of the ongoing discussions.

If you look at the visualization, you’ll notice that there are larger, thicker lines between certain nodes.  That’s an indication that there’s an ongoing conversation between the two.  If you mouse over the connection, you’ll see it stand out.


As I look at the map, there’s a pretty solid line between myself and @pmcash.  Upon further reflection, that was a good conversation from yesterday afternoon.  Peter and I had a bit of a back and forth as he was setting up his new iMac on his teacher desk.  That’s reflected loudly and clearly in the map.

Talk Explorer is a great tool that does illustrate the strong participants and connections within a conversation.  In the right panel, you can explore the actual content of the conversation and find more about the participants from their Twitter profiles.

I would encourage you to try this resource out with your own Twitter ID and any lists that you may have created.  Hopefully, you can explore some great conversations and relationship like this one from Ontario Educators.


links for 2011-01-20