Today, much of our daily reflections, communications and commentary appear integrated as part of our social media network. Services such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube represent the activities and interpretations of our individual and social life experiences. If we considering such activity collections as digital lifestreams, we can detect patterns of significance that are revealed to us through insightful visual summaries. Our Social Reflector provides three dynamic social network visualizations aimed at supporting reflection and the development of insight about online interactions on social network websites.
The WordCloud interface presents an individuals' Facebook status updates as a weighted 2D list. In this interface, the font size of each status post indicates the number of associated comments (the more comments the larger the font) and the font saturation depicts the number of associated "likes" (the more likes, the more saturated).
Fig. 1. Screen shot of the WordCloud interface depicting an individual's Facebook wall posts, likes and comments as a weighted 2D list.
The Clock interface depicts an individual's monthly Facebook status posts and received comments in a radial layout. Here, each circle represents a day in the selected month, and posts and comments are represented as icons placed on the circle lines according to their time of posting. The icons are color-coded blue (posts) and orange (comments) to give participants an at-a-glance overview of the ratio between their outward expression and their inward feedback reception.
Fig. 2. Screen shots of the Clock interface depicting Facebook data from three users. (a) Data depicts significant inward traffic on a user's birth-date; (b) Data indicates regular morning posting by a user; (c) Data indicates little interactive communication from a user's network.
The Circles interface allows users to explore the inward and outward flow of communications within their Facebook network. The rings in the visualization depict status updates (inner), comments (middle) and friends (outer) as selectable, inter-related bars.
Fig. 3. Screen shots of the Circles interface depicting data from three user categories: (a) Low number of friends and low activity volume; (b) Low-medium number of friends and medium activity volume; (c) High number of friends and high activity volume.Back