My Online Social Map

This is a visu­al­iza­tion of my online social life. Click on the image to vis­it it online, from where you can direct­ly jump and con­nect to any of my online pro­files. Read the descrip­tion below.

Mahendra_Social_Map

The Ecosystem

This is not at all as com­pli­cat­ed as it might first appear. The red lines are my man­u­al activ­i­ties, blue lines show the RSS feeds, and the green lines are auto­mat­ic notifications/pings/updates. The idea is to auto­mate as much as pos­si­ble, keep­ing in mind long term data porta­bil­i­ty goals.

I write here at An Unqui­et Mind and at MakeUseOf.com. I main­tain a pro­fes­sion­al pro­file on LinkedIn, a per­son­al one at Face­book. My @SocialGeek Twit­ter account is for tech­nol­o­gy focused top­ics, while @Palsule is for per­son­al use. I use Friend­feed and Chi.mp for lifestream­ing and aggre­ga­tion.

Create-Share-Discover-Collect

This mod­el is one way to look at my social life. I cre­ate con­tent on two blogs. I share this con­tent via Twitter/Friendfeed/Chi.mp. I dis­cov­er new con­tent on Friend­feed, Twit­ter, Google Read­er, Blogs, and Face­book. I trea­sure the con­tent I like via book­marks, favorites, etc. My trea­sure is auto­mat­i­cal­ly shared via my Lifestream.

Manual Activities

When brows­ing, I book­mark or favorite var­i­ous links on the social net­works like Digg. I also vis­it Face­book and Friend­feed. Links in tweets also lead me to new links in my brows­er. I use dash­board appli­ca­tions like Tweet­deck / Seesmic / etc. for Twit­ter.

I have hid­den obvi­ous event flows (such as links clicked in email/IM) in the inter­est of over­all clar­i­ty.

RSS Feeds

An Unqui­et Mind feeds go to LinkedIn, Friend­feed, Chi.mp, and Face­book (when it works). My MakeUse­Of feed is shown here in the side­bar. I sub­scribe to feeds using Google Read­er.

Automation

I use Back­Type to track com­ments I make across the web. When­ev­er I com­ment on your blog, or any oth­er site, my com­ment is picked up by Back­Type, which sends me a link every day list­ing all the com­ments I’ve made. Back­Type also tweets this link auto­mat­i­cal­ly for @SocialGeek. I can fol­low inter­est­ing people’s com­ments around the web by fol­low­ing them on Back­Type, and oth­ers can fol­low me too.

When I update my LinkedIn pro­file, or share an item in Google Read­er, it gets pushed to Friend­feed and Chi.mp. Friend­feed auto­mat­i­cal­ly tweets the link for @SocialGeek. When­ev­er I tweet using the Dash­board, Friend­feed posts it to my feed.

When I Digg, Stum­ble Upon, or book­mark on Deli­cious, it gets post­ed to my Friend­feed and Chi.mp. Sim­i­lar­ly when I upload or favorite a photo/video in Flickr/You Tube, Friend­feed and Chi.mp catch it.

Principles and Objectives

I am wait­ing for Twine to let me import my Deli­cious book­marks as I’m excit­ed about the seman­tic web. I am root­ing for Open ID, data porta­bil­i­ty, and the seman­tic web.

There was a time when ‘ME’ meant my blog, the place I felt was my home on the web. That changed with book­marks, pho­tos, posts on oth­er sites, var­i­ous dis­cus­sions via com­ments on oth­er blogs, social net­work­ing sites like Orkut/Facebook, etc. We entered the decen­tral­ized era. But I would still like a place to call my home. That is why I like my Lifestream (to which you can sub­scribe, just like RSS).

I am not an advo­cate of Face­book. It is a data silo wield­ing enor­mous pow­er and I do not trust it. Friend­feed is an excel­lent aggre­ga­tor, and net­works me with many inter­est­ing peo­ple. How­ev­er, it is also a data silo, as it does not com­mit to data porta­bil­i­ty. Hence, I am present­ly root­ing for Chi.mp. With my own free domain name (mahendrapalsule.mp), it aggre­gates my social pres­ence, while remain­ing com­mit­ted to data porta­bil­i­ty. It is still a new ser­vice, and I am hop­ing they will add more fea­tures as quick­ly as pos­si­ble.

Ques­tions? Com­ments? Feed­back?

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  • Very cool! I am going to post this on my face­book page. I was only half-jok­ing when I asked you whether you had mapped out your own per­son­al infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture for social net­work­ing 🙂

    It’s always nice to know one has inspired some­one to do some­thing inter­est­ing, if not some­thing great. And dou­bly nice when it is pub­licly acknowl­edged by that some­one! Thank you, Mahen­dra! May your tribe increase!

    And oh — based on your arti­cle in make use of, I went ahead and got myself a chi.mp domain etc., and also explored some of the oth­er use­ful stuff you’ve reviewed. Thanks for that too.

    Cheers,
    H

  • OMG. If my moth­er refers to me as one of ‘those inter­net peo­ple’, I won­der what she would call you!

    I think I use about a third of the tools you describe here, and the ‘shar­ing’ and ‘col­lect­ing’ parts are vir­tu­al­ly absent. How­ev­er, I did not under­stand the ratio­nale behind hav­ing the .mp web­site (prob­a­bly because I didn’t think enough). You could elim­i­nate flickr n picas­sa once you have a per­son­al domain too, but they are nice to have.

    I like the over­all focus of your online pres­ence — I feel it revolves more around dis­cov­er­ing and shar­ing. You are also try­ing to make most of the process sus­tain­able by using auto­mat­ic noti­fi­ca­tion. But I am curi­ous, how long will you be able to sus­tain these net­works? And which of these are crit­i­cal paths? (say from tomor­row you get to spend only x/2 hours online)

  • Dev

    Man, this is heavy stuff for me. It seems I need to learn a lot from you on this stuff.

  • vig­neshjvn

    Won­der­ful work, and it’s very com­pre­hen­sive. And I see that Google chrome hasn’t fea­tured in your series of browsers. 🙂 Any­thing in par­tic­u­lar against it?

  • Won­der­ful frame­work for sys­tem­atiz­ing your social pri­or­i­ties Create/share/discover/collect. I liken my blog to my social web home. Of course there are com­ments and oth­er data on many oth­er blogs and social media sites but I’m fine with leav­ing that infor­ma­tion there.

    I real­ly enjoy friend­feed, and since every­thing is pub­lic it is portable although not as pack­agable as I’d pre­fer.

    I share your inter­est in seman­tic web. Last month I start­ed a project that uses a seman­tic extrac­tion tool (Zeman­ta at thr moment) on user social media data. It can pro­vide inter­est­ing util­i­ty like clus­ter­ing con­ver­sa­tions by top­ic when com­bined with real time search (see victusmedia.com for a very crude pro­to­type). On the busi­ness side I’m hop­ing to match more rel­e­vant adver­tis­ing to users as well (used google adsense search for that rough exam­ple).

    Ini­tial­ly used Twit­ter name search to gra­ba tweet, now added oauth/friendfeed API (in the works), need to do the same with face­book. Once that’s squared away I can begin work on the data­base (sim­ple tags and weights) for users that­cre­ate account, hope­ful­ly with sin­gle click from their oth­er autho­rized social site(s).

    I have a busi­ness cen­tric friend help­ing work that angle but am active­ly search­ing for folks that live and breathe web pro­gram­ming and are will­ing yo work for sweat equi­ty (founders).

  • Mahen­dra,

    Great post! I tweet­ed it and referred a few new clients to the visu­al as a ref­er­ence to get them think­ing the right way. As a fol­low up, I think it would be great to share how you used your ecosys­tem to share this great visu­al in numer­ous social media avenues. Well done!

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