Friend wheel

What is this? Do you know?

It’s my Friend Wheel!

Yes, indeed. Someone has come up with a nifty way to visually depict the relationships between my friends on Facebook. Every dot on the circumference of the wheel represents a friend. I’ve erased friends’ names, as well as mine in the middle.

You can see some interesting patterns. Recently, the network effect worked its magic amongst my high school friends from Melbourne. Consequently, that isolated patch of purple at 11 to 12 o’clock is the high school arc.

The pink arc at one o’clock is the beginnings of my university dancesport crowd. Facebook has only just started to ripple through them. I don’t think that blob will get any bigger, though. I didn’t have that many friends at uni 🙂

At 2 to 3 o’clock, the Friend Wheel application decided to place my un-networked friends. There are a couple of people from my university course, work, other courses, and truly random acquaintances.

Which leaves the mass of lines from 3 to 10 o’clock. This is, of course, the Cambridge arc of people who sucked me into Facebook in the first place. Now, as far as I’m concerned, there should be four main groups: my coursemates, my scholarship friends, dancing people, and college people.

However, it’s a mess. The Friend Wheel app has revealed how interlinked everyone in Cambridge is. I really shouldn’t be surprised that scholarship people dance, and that coursemates are in college with scholarship people.

Oh, there is also an interesting blue blob at around half past nine. That’s the Oxford dancesport people. Even though I don’t know them, many of them ‘friended’ me after I released photos from the Varsity Match in May. It’s very easy to make friends on Facebook. Currently, I have 212.

You would think that the lines that cross from one side of the circle to the other would represent the most unexpected relationships. They do to some extent. However, the application has chopped my scholarship group in half and the internal links there represent much of the crossover. Hmm, now that I look at the names, I don’t know why the application has done that. There’s an island of scholarship people at 10 o’clock. Also, for some reason, the Oxford group has bisected my coursemates (divide and conquer?).

Hehe. Kevin Rudd is at 4 o’clock, surrounded by Aussie mates. That’s right. I’m officially friends with Kevin Rudd. I looked, but John Howard‘s not on Facebook. Maybe he has a MySpace (read Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace).

Damjan suggested someone could make a Venn diagram application for friends. That’s the mental model I’ve always had for my friendship groups. I have Venn brain. However, now that I’ve seen what a mess that lines make, I think circles would be an impossible ask.

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