Visualizing Mailing Lists

As I was browsing through FlashLounge today, I can across a link to Social Circles, an application written by Marcos Weskamp and Dan Albritton. Social Circles seeks to create a visual representation of the dynamics of mailing lists by charting contributors. Each contributor’s size and position on the chart indicates the frequency with which they post, and how “visible” those posts are.

Why was it created? Although I would encourage you to check out the Social Circles about page, here are a few excerpts that I think do a good job of summing the project up:

Social Circles intends to partially reveal the social networks that emerge in mailing lists…When subscribing to a mailing list you never know who the principals are, how many people are listening or what subjects they are talking about. It’s like entering a meeting room with plenty of people in the darkness and then having to learn who is who by just listening to their voices… Social Circles … aims to raise the lights in that room just enough to let you enhance your perception of what’s happening.

This is a very interesting and innovative project, and I think very effective. Check it out and see where you fit in.