I have a fascination with the way people are connected. I always play a game where whenever I meet a new person, I try to figure out a mutual acquaintance. I first encountered this under the name of 'Jewish geography' but I'm pretty good at it with non-Jews too. And I just love learning about connections between people that I know for different reasons.
So it's not surprising I was eager to sign up for an LJ mind map. In the event it doesn't really appear to tell me very much. If you pay you get a colour version, which might be slightly more informative but I suspect not sufficiently so to justify spending the money.
I'm mainly posting it as an excuse to link to lots of cool posts about friend networks.
Lots of fun stuff here; I'm just lapping it up, and I think it's good to collect all these cool thoughts in one place!
(I've also tried to run the Touchgraph friends list browser, but it crashes with error messages that mean nothing to me because I'm a spoiled and clueless Windows user used to nice, straightforward self-extracting files.)
Addendum 25.9.04: mathcathy found the coolest friends network visualization ever!!! And yeah, the new version of the update page is very, very broken. It was theoretically tested pre-relase but. Over 30 separate issues reported and it's only been just over an hour.
Just realised you're actually connected to the mysterious rho (mysterious to me!! I'm sure she's very nice really) who set me off on my networky post. The only other connection being karen2205, who I only met 2 weeks ago in a bookshop on Oxford Street, via a completely separate friends path. See the tentacles at work!!
Is there a linux version of that Touchgraph thing? - it looks very exciting, but appears to be a Windows download. Grrrrr.
Its a java program so it should run on any platform that has a Java Virtual Machine for it (such as Unix / MacOS / Amiga / BeOS / etc...)... unfortunately they dont tell you how to get it running on other platforms... If you let me know what system you're using I might be able to help (or pw201 might)...
There are actually a few more connections between us than just those two; I've drastically cut down the size of my friends list recently though, so they aren't as obvious. But from looking at your friends list, wechsler, meirion and ghoti are all former inhabitants of my friends list. And then a few more who I think I might have vaguely met or spoken to online at some point, and if not then I definitely recognise the names (tamsanger and lnr for instance).
One of the things that I'm finding interesting about all this sort of thing is how long it's taking to propogate back and forth across the group. I made my entry a little under two months ago, then you made yours about a month ago, and then thanks to this entry of livredor's, I'm finding out about it now. I may or may not end up making an additional comment or entry in light of this when I'm feeling more coherent. For now, I'm going to go and play with that touchgraph thing.
fluffymark, or more specifically his ex doseybat, is one of my major connections to the Tentacled Thing. The other is my boyfriend lethargic_man, which is the connection that at least partly started the whole discussion in the first place. fluffymark and lethargic_man seem to somehow be at opposite 'corners' of the group, they know an awful lot of people in common, but didn't know eachother until I introduced them (I think).
lnr I suspect is a hub; she seems to have connections extending in many, many directions, and always seems to be a good carrd to play in the game I mentioned in my post!
rho I know through LJ Support, but once I'd met her I was kind of surprised that I hadn't met her already, given that she's connected to several of my circles. And you realize I know karen2205 because we were at the same college in Oxford? She's a connection almost completely independent from the rest of my LJ people, but knows a broader cross-section than I might otherwise have expected. It's very cool that you met her at her Coffee in Borders thing. Yay tentacles!
Thanks for the offer! It opens up a DOS box which says this: C:\Downloads\TGLJB15\TG_LJ_Browser>java -Xmx256m -cp TG_LJ_Browser.jar;BrowserLauncher.jar;ACME_GIF.jar; com.touchgraph.livejournalbrowser.TGLiveJournalBrowser Bad command or file name
Now, I guess the bad command or file name bit is the actual error, which doesn't seem very informative. Can you do anything with the rest?
OK, please excuse my extreme ignorance. I think I have Java, because I seem to be able to use it for things like playing Yahoo games, which usually make a little coffeecup icon come up, and I assume this is a Java thing. I also have have lots and lots of files scattered over my computer which appear to be called 'Java'. However, some webpages I browse with Mozilla tell me I have to download Java to see the webpage. So it seems like IE thinks I have Java but Mozilla (and this TouchGraph thingy) are not recognizing it.
So, two really dumb questions: how do I tell if I have Java installed? And if it is installed, how do I put the executable in my default path?
Java can play hard to get, so don't worry - it's just taken me about 30 minutes to get the thing to work properly on my computer, despite writing java code as the main part of my job.
Sounds like you have java, but mozilla hasn't been told where to find it. To check you have it, there will be a "Java Plugin Control Panel" if you go to Start -> Control Panel - if that exists, you have java. Do a search for the executable "java.exe". Simplest thing would be to copy that into the same folder as touchgraph, and then it should find it.
I also had to edit the TG_LJ_Browser.bat file to read "java -Xmx256m -jar TG_LJ_Browser.jar" to get it to work, but maybe thats just my computer being fussy.
Thank you! That was really patiently explained and I appreciate it muchly. I have got Java all working now, and am playing around with Touchgraph. Haven't quite got to the point of something decent I can screenshot yet, but I'm having fun playing!
If rho resent the implication that she's nice then I resent the implication that I'm clever. :-p
The network thing is fascinating, and I've been meaning to post about that myself, though I'm more interested in the role of coincidences in linkages. Just to add, one of the last papers I managed to see at the Internet research conference I just got back from was on UK goths on LJ, by a guy called Paul Hodkinson. For me, the paper complimented the posts by rho, fluffymark, and doseybat, and got me idly wondering what my degree of separation from random-person-seen-at-conference would be...
If rho resent the implication that she's nice then I resent the implication that I'm clever. :-p I do not know rho well, but one of the first things I discovered about her is that she has a very strange reaction to being called 'nice'. As for 'clever', I'm sorry if you are not keen on the epithet. Just you were speaking from a point of knowledge rather than speculation, and you're involved in academic discussions of these kinds of things, which makes you clever, in my view.
The network thing is fascinating, Isn't it? *bounce*
I've been meaning to post about that myself Ooh, please do, I bet you have really good insights! I'm not sure I know what you mean by coincidences in linkages, though?
And it's very cool that you go to conferences where there are papers about networks on LJ, go you!
What does it all mean? Well, I don't know. That's why I'm kind of disappointed by it. I was hoping the visuals would be self-explanatory; since they are not, I feel it needs a lot more explanation of how it's done.
Does the fact that I'm in big letters mean I'm important? Well, you are important, but I'm not sure that the Mind Map knows this. As far as I can work out, the different sizes are supposed to just divide people into groups, so you are in a 'group' of some kind with all the other big letters people. This group doesn't seem to be entirely nonsensical, as it's mostly Wychwooders and their hangers on. But I don't think all the people who are in small letters are connected to eachother in any very obvious way. So I'm not sure.
I don't really know you well enough to be commenting in your journal Not at all, you're more than welcome. And you don't even have to come up with the coolest toy ever for me to appreciate your comments. I like having interesting strangers commenting in my journal; as far as I'm concerned that's part of the fun.
it's different from a lot of the journals my friends write and so is interesting! *blush* I'm really flattered, thank you!
I think the multiple interconnectedness I perceive amongst some of my acquaintances - especially the ones from UK, as several people noted - contributed quite a bit to my feeling "left out" occasionally: I see that some people I know from different places know one another, or at least have someone in common who also seems to know many other people.
And it makes me wish I was more "in" these groups, but I feel very much on the outside - it makes me wish I had grown up with more such connections.
I suppose several things contribute to this: not growing up in the UK, not going to university, and my general low level of social interaction.
But still, sometimes it's hard to see all those different intersecting circles.
It's a pity that you feel left out of these networks. I can definitely imagine that moving countries a lot plus not going to uni would tend to make you less networked.
However, I'd expect you to be networked via online type geekiness, for example with the conlangs community? (Not to mention LJ itself!) And I'm surprised that your religion doesn't have a similar network enhancing effect to mine: after all LDS are, like Jews, a fairly small minority religion obsessed with genealogy!
*sigh* I think part of the point of some of the discussions I'm linking to is that this particular Cambridge-based multi-tentacled thing is exceptionally highly interconnected. I don't think all the people who link into that group have vastly more friends than average (I most certainly don't, anyway). It's just that they tend to be *multiply* linked to the second and third degrees of separation from their immediate circles.
I've never moved countries (always lived in, or close to, Hamburg); I simply grew up in the "wrong" country.
I'd expect you to be networked via online type geekiness, for example with the conlangs community?
A little, I suppose, but I think it's different, since I've never met anyone from them. (I'm also not sure I have good acquaintances from just reading messages supposedly on a given topic in newsgroups or mailing lists - just people whose names I recognise and who recognise me but whom I'm not specifically attracted to as a person.)
As such, I'd say that my best network is probably Perl people - but that because I actually met them on several occasions. Not that I'm exceptionally good friends with them, but I've at least talked to them face-to-face for more than ten minutes at a time.
LiveJournal is starting to become a bit more of a network now, as there are a couple of people I think I know a bit better. Though come to think of it, the one name that comes to mind prominently, I've talked with through IRC on many occasions, and not just through comments.
And I'm surprised that your religion doesn't have a similar network enhancing effect to mine
I suppose so - you do sometimes see interesting multiple connections :) especially since LDS tend to in-breed, so you'll have people from town A moving to city B (where the grass is greener) to marry someone, so you're suddenly connected to a bunch of people in B through that person.
And now that you mention it, a favourite game of ours at the kitchen table on Sunday afternoon was finding out how various people in our stake (regional area) are connected, by marriage or otherwise. My mother knew many people it was sometimes rather fun!