On the intersection of technology, culture, and everyday life: My semi-updated space to collect and link my thoughts about interesting things I spot.
Especially for those with 100s or 1000s of "friends", it can be challenging to know your network. Various visualization tools have been created to help people keep track of their universes: from Vizster (interactive sociogram for exploring the community structure of sites like friendster), to more recent Fidg't (using Flickr and LastFM tags as "magnets" to similar members), and the myriad Twitter visualization tools (exploring networks by tweet geography, topic, volume, etc).
More often than not, these digital visualizations are ready-made by
developers or graphic designers; users view or play with
automatically generated mappings of their network.
Net-map is a low-tech tool that focuses less on the end product and moreso on the process of creating the nodes and links of influence. The interview-based social mapping tool has been used in rural communities of Ghana and Chile to help people understand, discuss, and improve situations with multiple-influencers (netmaptoolbox process photostream).