Like many other designers, and people in many other professions, I have been thinking a lot about networks.  From my particular vantage point, how online connections can inform design.

Unlike physical social networks that fade as we move, change jobs and change priorities, our social networks online continually grow and expand.  Our online threads escape the diminishing effects that time and proximity have on our physical ones.  The strength of those threads, in terms of the exchange of information and influence, is never-ending.

One of the most interesting people I have come across when it comes to describing the power of mapping social networks is Nicholas Christakis.  The hidden influence of social networks is worth the watch.  He animates how in mapping a network you can predict and influence trends by identifying the most connected people within it.

The image above was generated from my LinkedIn account with the help of the LinkedIn Maps Lab.  It is easy to see who the most influential people in each of the areas of my life are by their location and number of connections within my network.   Note: my wife would show up as strongest in all areas if she had a LinedIn account. Those connections, directly or indirectly, are by default, the most influential people in the way I think, act and live.

And that brings me to my point, that the impact of these non-perishable connections could be informative to design. By looking at a clients location within their network, who influences them and who is influenced by them, their identity can be defined by more than just physical location but by their online social presence as well.


2 Responses to “:LINKED MAPS”

  1. Macedonia Says:

    I like this map because it looks like I live near Carl Peters in Australia. G’day Mate! Got my Tap NY tix today.

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