“A God’s Eye View of the World”

“A wave of ambitious social-network experiments is underway in the U.S. and Europe to track our movements, probe our relationships and, ultimately, affect the individual choices we all make.” WSJ’s Robert Lee Hotz reports.

Here at the Social Media Lab, we are also in the midst of developing and testing various web-tools that can help people to explore and visualize their online relationships. Some examples include:

  • Netlytic, a web-based analytic tool for automated text analysis and discovery of social networks from electronic communication such as online forums, microblog(Twitter) messages, blog comments and chat logs. With Netlytic, users such as researchers and companies can automatically discover and visualize who is talking to whom within an online community, how often they are communicating, what they are talking about, how they feel about the topic that they are discussing, and the nature and relative strength of their relationships and interactions with each other.
  • AcademiaMap.com, an Online Influence Assessment App designed for scholars.  AcademiaMap helps scholars to filter the “noise” from their Twitter streams using various “influence” metrics and gives scholars an easy way to identify trending topics and interesting voices to follow from Twitter. With one glance, scholars can quickly assess the ‘influence’ level of a particular tweet or a Tweeter, and discover trending topics and who is connected to whom on Twitter!
  •  rDmap (Research Discovery Map), a web-application that visualizes how individuals and topics of interest within an organization are connected to each other.  It provide a concise way for users to get a birds- eye view of any large complex organization and is designed to help users to quickly identify people and topics of interests. The link above will take you to one current implementation of the rDmap. It is populated with data from Dalhousie University Faculty of Management. It connects each faculty member to their research topics and peers within the Faculty. It is meant to help faculty members to quickly identify potential collaborators, students to find potential supervisors for their thesis work or reading courses and allows the Faculty to showcase the breadth of expertise available within the Faculty.

In the coming months, we will be featuring a couple of posts to highlight specific examples of how these tools can be used in research and other information mobilization projects. For more information about these and other tools, please visit our tools and apps page.