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They Don’t Love You Like I Love You May 2, 2007

Posted by KG in Etc..

The idea of applying geographic language to the symbolic space of the Web makes a lot of sense in the user controlled content world of Web 2.0.  Efforts 5-6 years ago to “map the Internet” were harder to swallow, conceptually, but with links as rough metonyms for direction, and virtual communities as stand-ins for symbolic space, it’s a good deal more plausible to imagine the internet as a space with geographic attributes like direction and size.

Which is why this map of blogs is both fascinating and frustrating.  The objects off of the dominant blog Pangaea, especially the peninsula of sports, are interesting (and new justification for chastising Livejournal users!).  Less interesting and more baffling: the “bright light” of Michelle Malkin. *shudder*  I say frustrating because I want something more comprehensive, longer term — the same study, but over the course of a year.  Come on, that’s plausible, right?

More fun and less science-y is this old-timey map of online communities, found via Unfogged.  The cardinal directions seem a tad arbitrary — the Sea of Memes is intellectual? — but still, a well done piece of fake cartography. 

An idea: has anyone taken the time to do a map of popular flickr tags?  Where terms that show up together — for example, “mountain” and “climbing” — are contiguous, with size as a function of usage?  If I were more technologically adept, I’d try it.  Though odds are someone else already has, no? 



1. tom - May 2, 2007

Check out Flickr’s clustering functionality. I’m not sure if it’s what you’re thinking of, but it might be…

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