Posted on Aug 11, 2013 in Weblog | 0 comments

We’ve covered the power of one’s own personal social connections with medical school & residency as an example, and visualizing with LinkedIn using Inmaps. How do you visualize your friends & connections in one screen, using Facebook?

Touchgraph, an older Java application, seems to be the best way at visualizing your Facebook connections.

Here, each person is represented by a circle. The size of the circle shows how many connections they have with their own networks, including people I don’t know. Lines represent connections in between each person. Dark green circles represent the groups, or the networks, that my contacts are in. Strong ties are represented by an increased number of lines in between nodes. I’ve blurred out the names of people for privacy reasons, but you can see how much more heterogenous the networks are versus the ones I have in LinkedIn, based on the dark green circles.

Below, the Berkeley network is clicked, highlighting all of the people who were part of that network at one point or another.


Information broker roles tend to be those with the largest circle, particularly those who are farther out from the density of the graph. For instance, Ivy (the fuschia circle) serves as an information broker between her other groups at UC Irvine, her involvement as a teacher, but she knows few others in the rest of my network. Her circle size is large, and she falls outside a lot of the denser cluster of people on this diagram. Within this diagram, I’ve reduced the number of people visible to only include those with a large number of their own personal connections.


TouchGraph seems like a great way to highlight Facebook connections, particularly if you use Facebook to build personal friendships (versus LinkedIn which is most often purely used for professional connections).

Again, like LinkedIn Inmaps, these diagrams only highlight those on Facebook. I’ve found personally that more medical students and residents — and people in general — use Facebook. The friendships and connections on there are likely more “authentic” because the culture of Facebook encourages sharing and disclosing personal details of their lives, such as politics, religion, aside from job connections.

I’m writing a series of posts on building a social network from a bird’s-eye view, and how to view your connections. So far, I’ve covered: