In analyzing my network on Facebook the TouchGraph above is used. On this TouchGraph all of my 551 friends are categorized in different groups with different colors. I will take you through the network in a timeline correspondent with my life.
I first got a Facebook page in 2004 when I lived in the USA. Most of my Facebook friends were from my local high school, shown in purple. The only connection (besides myself) of these friends into the rest of my network is the occasional friend who (surprisingly) has become Facebook friends with one of my parents or my sister.
In 2005 I lived in Zürich and those friends are shown in dark green at the top. What’s quite funny is that Facebook was not that big at the time in Europe, so it’s not surprising that in the time that I lived there (a little over a year), I did not gain many Facebook friends.
The network from my high school in the Netherlands is shown in red. Next to that is the orange network that accounts for all of my colleagues at my past job. This job was also located in the same area as my high school and it’s visible that there are many connections between the two.
Light (not lime) green is my family, and lime green is my network obtained by doing a board position at a student association. This lime green area is probably one of the most valuable parts of my network for my future career. Orange is a very large but not so valuable network of a student association that I’m a member of. They are mainly acquaintances that you drink a beer with once in a while, but for the most part there is hardly any communication back and forth.
The (Facebook) networks of two friends who I’ve shared many experiences overlap my network for about 40%. They have gone to the same high school, we have traveled together, and they are studying at the same university in the small city of Delft, so I’m not surprised really.
The Facebook network is a very large and complex one, but I think it does not have a lot of value. Think about how easy it is to become Facebook friends. You’ll give anyone you’ve just met your Facebook details and you become friends. I do really like the touchgraph though! It would be interesting to see a touchgraph network of a more select group of facebook friends.