An accurate depiction of the Blogoshpere (via Data Mining)
An inaccurate representation of the Social Media Network
Just left Data Mining a few minutes ago after having an interesting discussion in the comments area with Matthew Hurst, the author. Matthew offers a valid criticism of "Visualizing The Social Media Network" in that it's not technically accurate. From the post:
"The thing that worries me here is that this isn't what social networks (that is to say, the networks found in social media) look like when rendered as a graph. In other words, while this image may describe the fact that there are clusters (communities) and these communities have relationships with each other (via which information is exchanged) it does a poor job of visualizing those communities and the relationships between them. Consequently, I think this is one of the cases where the image has a negative impact and where some simple words would provide a more accurate description."
And Matthew is probably correct. The visual may not be completely accurate as it's drawn from my own personal perspective as I was learning how the social network operated. And personal perspective tends to distort as we all know. However, it was helpful to me to visualize this for myself—and many of you picked this graphic up as well.
So, here is the "but". But, even though my visual is technically inaccurate (I guess), does that strip the value away from it? Matthew says that simple words would have provided a more accurate description. I guess I could have just written about my experience... But then Matthew went on to describe what I did here as an "intuitive impression". Man, I love that term.
So please note that moving forward any visuals you come across here are to be taken as intuitive impressions vs. accurate depictions. That's my new disclaimer. Personally, I think my visual is a nice Yin to Matthew's data-driven Yang. But that's just me. :)