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Visualizing First-Time Interactions at SXSW

You might remember the near-novel I wrote a couple months ago on LinkedIn InMaps titled, “Hubs and Connectors: Understanding Networks Through Data Visualization.”

Now New Work City member Alex Shapiro, founder of CEO of TouchGraph, has created a powerful network visualization based on contact exchanges made via Hashable at SXSW. The Java applet allows you to explore the clusters of people who were rubbing elbows in Austin last week and sharing their information by using Hashable’s #justmet hashtag.

On the graph itself, you can click on each node to view how many connections were made for each person as well as the direction of the exchange (meaning who recorded the interaction via Hashable). You can also adjust the zoom level and spacing between the nodes.

Under the Entities tab on the left, you can view a list of all nodes and sort by the number of people they met as well as the direction of the exchange. Under the Relations tab, you can see the entire list of #justmet interactions recorded, along with the detailed status message sent via Twitter.

For extra credit, click on the Show Clusters Control icon on the far-right of the toolbar to adjust the level of clusters shown on the graph.

Overall, TouchGraph’s visualization provides a ton of insight into how people move through a huge festival like SXSW, quickly finding their tribe, and continuing to increase the connections between tribe members instead of across tribes. You can also easily see the hubs within each cluster, as well as the connectors to other clusters.

I’m particularly amused by the folks who recorded their first meeting with several others, but who had few people record their meeting with them. This is very important piece of context and evaluation data that is missing from LinkedIn InMaps.

Thanks to Alex for giving me a sneak peek of this yesterday at NWC.

[Play with TouchGraph Navigator]

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  • http://www.touchgraph.com Alex Shapiro

    Thanks Whitney!

    It’s great to see such a thorough analysis of our software. I like your point about people who initiated more meeting than had meeting requests. I believe that similarly to the way there are few content producers and many content consumers there are a few people who actively initiate introductions, and many who tend to passively accept them.

    Thanks again for the post!

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