As promised here is another Altio demo that Dan and I built for the forthcoming Altio Graph Control. Like our previous Last.fm demo it diagrams users relationships within a social graph but this one uses a much wider dataset, the Google Social Graph. Given a url to a social network profile or a blog site it will attempt to find other profiles or sites on the web that belong to the same person. It will then find all the “friends” of that person according to the profiles it found. The initial user and all their friends will be diagrammed with lines drawn to indicate friendship between then. The graph can then be expanded by loading the friends for any user already on the graph.
Like my FindMe Firefox extension, which uses the same data source, it works far better for networks that adequately support the microformats that Google’s API relies on; XFN and FOAF. WordPress blogs where the owners have taken the time to describe their blog roll links properly (http://www.heychinaski.com/ for example) or Pownce profiles (http://pownce.com/HeyChinaski) make for the best starting points. MySpace profiles (e.g http://www.myspace.com/HeyChinaski) also work although because of the low penetration by Google’s crawler not all friends can be found for all profiles. Also MySpace’s parsing of offsite links prevents other networks appearing in the diagram.
Once you’ve successfully loaded a user into the diagram be sure to try and expand it further. Click on another user in the diagram and their urls will appear in the list at the top left of the application. Click on one of the urls and click the play button by the textfield at the top and their friends will be loaded in to the graph. If you don’t get many friends try one of their other urls from the list. If you can’t tell from the user name who a person is you can always double click the urls in the list and the application will open it for you.
UPDATE: Don’t know if I mentioned this in the Last.fm post but you can navigate the graph quite easily by dragging the canvas. You can also rearrange the nodes by dragging them around. Zoom in using the slider in the bottom left of the diagram or by rolling your mouse wheel.