How a graph can find missing members


Social network analysis often devolves into pure eye-candy, but I wanted my graph for more than just a pretty face. I already talked about some of the patterns it reveals, but one of my goals was to uncover all the interesting folks I knew I must be missing off the list. How can a graph help with that?

I'd already analyzed who everyone I had listed talked to, to build the initial network. Next I had to analyze all of their recipients' tweets, to see if they'd replied, and how strong the connection was. By picking the most strongly connected outsiders, and placing them in the same graph, I could see where they fit in the network. In the example, their names are underlined so they stand out.

As you can see, I uncovered quite a few people like z3rr0, w1redone and technosailor who are part of the central group, as well as a lot of other well-connected twits. Once I've weeded out the non-locals, I'll update the list.

This technique is general enough to apply to any group with a partial membership you're trying to complete. For a simple case imagine finding new people to follow by analyzing strangers your friends talk to a lot. Stay tuned for more fun with this.

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