The Blogosphere Visualized

Illustration: Matthew Hurst

Last year, Discover magazine has a very neat post on how Matthew Hurst of Data Mining figured out what blog linked to whom and made this nifty "map of the blogosphere":

The blogosphere is the most explosive social network you’ll never see. Recent studies suggest that nearly 60 million blogs exist online, and about 175,000 more crop up daily (that’s about 2 every second). Even though the vast majority of blogs are either abandoned or isolated, many bloggers like to link to other Web sites. These links allow analysts to track trends in blogs and identify the most popular topics of data exchange. Social media expert Matthew Hurst recently collected link data for six weeks and produced this plot of the most active and interconnected parts of the blogosphere.

Some interesting observations:

The bright spot here represents the popular site Boingboing, a “Directory of Wonderful Things” that links to oddly compelling online news from the fringes of the real world but mostly offers gossip about gadgets and all things high-tech.

This isolated, close-knit online community of bloggers uses LiveJournal, an online host that primarily serves as a social networking site. This blogging island is just barely in touch with the rest of the blogworld.

This blue blob represents a balanced sociopolitical discourse. The prevalence of blue in this area shows that most of these links are reciprocal, suggesting a sort of metadialogue between bloggers who hurl headlines at one another. The brightest light belongs to syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin.

Link | More Blogosphere maps at Matthew Hurst's blog

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