Anatomy of a social graph

Anatomy of a social graph

In the aftermath of Twitter announcing all kinds of changes and app.net launching and people expressing concerns, hopeful anticipation or ridicule due to the signup fee of 50$.

All this, and the unsuccessful search for an awesome Twitter client since I started using it in 2008 (I’m using the Tweetdeck Chrome App nowadays, but it’s a crutch) led me to analyze how I use social media by first looking at the supposedly most important part - the users I’m socializing with.

I am following about 130 accounts on twitter, give or take. It’s 127 now, I unfollowed 4 while creating this list and I am one off somewhere I think - so let’s keep 130. I filed them into categories:

  • 29 colleagues and ex-colleages
  • 23 people I’ve got to know/learnt about due to my involvement in PHP
  • 14 people I got to know on IRC
  • 11 people over whose websites I stumbled and that somehow got stuck
  • 11 people from university (not necessarily graduating with me)
  • 8 accounts that are hilarious to read or somehow entertain me
  • 6 people doing clojure
  • 4 companies/websites (usually small ones that I somehow have a relation with)
  • 3 events/conferences/etc
  • 3 bots stating facts or posting stuff
  • 2 real life friends not in any other category
  • 2 scala guys
  • 2 devops
  • 1 python guy

So one could say it’s mostly people I interact with in real life or via mail, irc, facebook anyway. There are roughly 10 accounts (10%) that are held by organisations or projects, the rest should be humans. Of the 90% supposed humans there might be 5 accounts max I have never interacted with on any medium. Of the 90% supposed humans there are about 25 accounts (20%) with whose owners I have never interacted in real life.

So, does that make me an atypical user? Am I supposed to follow some celebrities? At least there’s two programmers with wikipedia pages, I hope that satisfies my celebrity quota.

Next up, Facebook - 156 friends, of whom I’ve never met 7 in person.

  • 79 colleagues and ex-colleages, that’s what you get for signing up because of work actually
  • 12 people from uni
  • 16 people from school
  • 18 people mau
  • 10 people from PHP (of whom I’ve never met 2 in person)
  • 15 people from irc (of whom I’ve never met 4 in person)
  • 5 misc, mostly friends made through other friends, if not included above already
  • 1 relative, yay

The overlap is ~40 people that I got in both social networks.

Taking into account texting, jabber, irc and email the only reasonable conclusion I can draw: I’m communicating too much?