A few months ago I wrote about a visualisation of IBM’s blog social network. Using information about who commented on who in our internal blogs, I generated data for a social network diagram. It was kind of interesting, but not very user friendly. It quickly developed into a complicated diagram (as the nodes and links built up) until it became hard for a normal user to tell much from it.
So, I decided to play around with a new way of visualising the same data, showing pictures of the people commenting, scaled to represent the strength of the link between that person and the blog. More comments, in both directions, strengthens the relationship and makes the picture bigger. It’s also more personal, as each IBM blogger gets their own page with pictures of all their connections. Apart from the information contained in the image scaling, it’s nice just to be able to see on a single page what all your blog contacts actually look like.
– Darren Shaw (Emerging Technology Services, IBM Hursley)