The Facebook Whisperer

Photo by Gerald Davison

That's Andrew Hyde's new nickname for me after reading the ReadWriteWeb article! More seriously, it's been amazing to see the reaction and support I've received from everyone. I'm so excited by the possibilities and insights we can gain by this sort of analysis, and I'm hopeful that we'll see a lot more of it coming. I'm still trying to catch up with my email and the blog comments, so my apologies for the slowness in responding, but I did want to mention a few things here about the maps.


I want to make sure Manfred gets credit for the awesome Mercator Flash component he open-sourced, I used it as the basis for the interactive maps. I've blogged about it before, but he deserves a lot of kudos for making a great visualization building block. If you're interested in the interactive heat maps I use on, I've also made those available as open-source.

Twilight and Utah

I'm feeling very old and out of touch! I was unaware that Stephenie Meyer is from Utah, which explains the Mormon connection. Thanks to everyone who helped educate me, even Edward Cullen himself.

Alexandria, Georgia and ambiguous place names

Some of you spotted some mis-classification of people's locations, with people from Alexandria, Egypt showing up in Alexandria, LA, and the ex-Soviet Georgians showing up in Dixie. That looks like a bug in the location sorting I'm using, I'll investigate and get a fix in for the next version.

Data release

I was hoping to get the first release of the academic data set out today, but Facebook have asked for a little more time to check the privacy implications. I'm very keen to avoid inadvertently helping spammers and scammers, so I'm working with them to make sure the data set is useful for network research but not malicious purposes. I'll keep you up to date on how that goes.

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