Colliding on a #FollowFriday

I really like visualizations and infographics.  I’m constantly amazed when I see one because of the volume of information that it conveys and the deeper meaning that can be found.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may remember my first attempt at creating an infographic for Ontario Educators.

I still have a need to sit down and refine this graphic with the information and the relationships that can be generated by analysing data.  I really like the work that a former student of mine, Jeff Clark, shows in his various projects at Neoformix.  I still pursue ways of displaying the connections, particularly among the group of Ontario Educators that are using Twitter to build those connections.

This week, I was playing around with some of the content from ChromeExperiments.  In particular, there was an intriguing experiment called Social Collider.  It isn’t an instant program and I’m really hard pressed to explain exactly how it works.  The details in the experiment are a little shaky but the results are very impressive.

Essentially, you provide a Twitter name, phrase, or trend and the experiment visualizes the collisions or connections made based on the information that you provide.  Now, there is no way to enter a Twitter list but for giggles, I asked it to look at the phrase Ontario-Educators.  What would it generate?  Click here to get the full sized image.

So, what does this show about the connections among Ontario Educators?  In the centre of the diagram, you’ll see some hefty purple connections.  This seems to be the genesis of the visualization.  I have a document that’s produced daily from the content contributed by Ontario Educators.  Michael Redfearn has one as well.  In addition, periodically people will re-tweet a message and that ends up in the purple section as well.

Then, the connections kick in.  You’ll see individual nodes that connect with each other.  Move your mouse over a node and you’ll notice that it’s actually a Twitter message and the connectors illustrate the how they collide.  What started as an illustration quickly became a mission as I followed the connections.  The graphic illustrates the conversation from the past week and shows how dynamic and far reaching this group of educators can be.

Above all, I’d recommend putting this in your hip pocket to answer the question if you’re ever asked why would anyone ever want to use Twitter?  Simply enter a name, phrase, or trend and you have a visual answer.

This experiment doesn’t allow access to a document already created so you’ll have to do a little work yourself.  Go to the Social Collider website and enter your own name or phrase.  Give it a few minutes and then be prepared to watch the results.  I hope that it reveals what a powerful network of connections is available.  When you put together a group like our Ontario Educators, it’s absolutely amazing.Tags: , , ,

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OTR Links for 03/11/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.