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Wolfram on Facebook

Posted on the 24 January 2013 by Jlipnack @jlipnack

I spend a lot of time thinking about networks, trying to comprehend what network science is telling us, frankly trying to make sense of the endless network visualizations being generated. Of course, I tried out LinkedIn Inmap and will certainly try Facebook's Graph Search as soon as I'm deemed linked enough to be worthy.

So when I woke up to an email from Wolfram Alpha offering to analyze my Facebook network ("Personal Analytics for Facebook," I clicked and clicked and clicked until I got a very full report. Interesting, very Facebook-y:

  • My most commented on photo? My darling twin grandsons? No, no. My dog, Belle, the day she died.
  • Are most of my friends men or women? 58%:41%
  • Oldest friend is my cousin, Julius Blank (98); youngest is my namesake cousin, Jessica Lipnack (22)
  • Distribution of my friends' ages follows ye olde belle curve, with most exactly my age (ah, George School classmates)
  • My friend with the most mutual friends is Rusty Barnes (go, Rusty!), whom I know through writing and have met only once
  • The top 10 friends with the most friends are not people I really know at all (I have a liberal acceptance policy which my children have excoriated me for)
  • After the US, Canada, and the UK, I have the most friends in the Netherlands (I've been there many times for work)
  • My top commenter is a boyfriend from my youth :)

Having been unsuccessful posting a clip of one of the graphs, I leave it to you to generate your own maps. Meanwhile, I'll think about what this means. Something about all kinds of proximity trumping everything else -- most friends are relatively close to me physically, most are my age, many are writers... I better diversify -- quick!

More seriously, having this kind of analytical output from the graphs (meaning network maps in plain English) is what makes them useful. I could have looked at endless webs of the same material and not easily grasped things like the fact that I mostly post on Tues at 9 AM. Is that useful info? If I were a deeper analyst, it probably is. If I were marketing, then comparing that with response would be truly useful. Now I go off to ponder, at 8:15 on a Thursday, why Tuesdays?

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