Only Connect


A friend is researching how prominent journalists and bloggers are connected to each other and particular topics. He's having to manually scan through their sites, and Google for pairs of names to spot connections. As you can imagine, with even a few dozen people the number of searches you need to cover all the possible pairs becomes enormous!

Using the magic of Yahoo's BOSS search API, the excellent YBoss library and my Flash graph visualizer I created a tool to automate part of the process:

Enter some people's names, and some topic keywords, and it will start building a graph of how they're connected. If you click on any two terms in the graph you'll see the search results that include both of them.

I don't think this will take over from text search results anytime soon ("It left me with a feeling of motion sickness and confusion" as Marshall Kirkpatrick said when I showed it to him), but it's a good way to dig into how a group of people are connected. Here's an example exploring the connections between economics bloggers:

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