Tuesday, December 14, 2010
This visualization of Facebook’s friend connections is bee-u-tee-ful, no doubt. Visualization based on paths between two set points doesn’t leave much to chance as you know what to expect, but this is still compelling when you see it close up. As Facebook intern Paul Butler describes his pet project:
“It’s not just a pretty picture, it’s a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.”
Easy big fella. Before the hypla gets too deep, look at this similar approach with U.S. domestic flights. Note how you plug in any type of transportation or communication and likely achieve the same effect. Walking. Driving. Whatever. Just as beautiful and not much different overall. But does it make the friend visualization any less important now that you can plug in almost any topic and it will work?
Suddenly, the dynamic of friends on Facebook sharing whatever they share loses it’s vibe when you plug in package deliveries. I’m all for pushing things, and it’s cool that Facebook wants to elevate a discussion around what it is social networks can do, but why not focus more on getting privacy issues worked out while we make art.