Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Googled Relationships

A colleague recently tipped me off to TouchGraph. Given a URL, TouchGraph will draw you a nifty network of websites connected to it. When I first tried TouchGraph, I thought it was drawing networks based on actual links from one page to another. But when I tested it using my blog's URL, I discovered my closest Internet kin is apparently a French photo-blog Chromogenic with no discernable references to Connectedness (but a similar affinity for Le Tour de France). What was going on? I quickly discovered that TouchGraph draws not networks of Internet links but networks of "Google-related" web-pages. So far I still don't know how the Google-related function works, but I can say Goggle does a much better job measuring relatedness from the INSNA home page than it does from my blog. (See a bit of the INSNA network below.)

From TouchGraph there is a link to Google Set Vista by Chris Langreiter, which does something similar, but starting with names rather than URLs. Chris encourages users to enter philosopher names and see what networks come up.

Imagine for a moment how these kinds of tools will evolve, and how the blogosphere will grow, and it's easy to see that existing social network software is just scratching the surface.

Web pages related to INSNA Posted by Hello


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