I wrote a small Facebook application that scans your friends list and finds how they are related to each other. It prepares the data in a format compatible with Many Eyes. You can visualize this data in Many Eyes to see the connections between your friends.
About the visualization: The people on the left are my high school friends, the dense nodes on the right are my current grad school friends and people on the fringes are college friends and other common friends.
Please head over to http://apps.facebook.com/manyeyes/ and visualize your data. I would love to see what other’s people’s data looks like!
This also opens up another interesting dilemma: I accessed information about my friends since I am their friend and they know that I can access it. But I am sure they do not expect me to make a text dump of it and visualize it on a publicly viewable website. I have been thinking hard about my right to do so or their incorrect expectation in this regard. I trust my friends with my information. But if they are not trustworthy, the only thing I can do about that is remove them from my list – this the advice Facebook itself gives to get rid of stalkers and bad wall-posters. I am very interested in hearing from my friends (it’s your data in this visualization) about what they think about this.
[Edit: You might find the following applications interesting as well:
- Friend Wheel – Creates a wheel with connected dots between your friends
- Friend Explorer – Helps you graph out your friendships]