Peter, like me getting to grips with Webmention, has now used it to send all his own old postings a webmention where he links to them retroactively. So now in his comment database he has a full list of all the links between his own postings.

He says “I wish I had a way of visualizing the interconnections between my posts“.
This type of thing is of interest to me too. In several forms. Like using a network mapping tool for e.g. twitter topics such as NodeXL by Marc Smith/The Social Media Research Foundation. Like having ‘live’ network mappings of how distributed conversations I am part of are shaped, such as the images I recently showed of blog conversations, but then interactively. Like visualising the links between posts as Peter went on to do.

Visualisation of blog conversations (a grey box is a cluster of posts referencing eachother

Peter’s visual of links between blogposts

Anjo Anjewierden’s 2007 visual of Lilia’s blog‘s self references on a time axis

For these types of visualisation Anjo Anjewierden as a researcher did some interesting work 2003-2008, such as building those network maps around my blog. He also looked at visualising self-referencing in blogs. There’s just one dimension there, time, he says. I disagree, as linking to oneself is just as much a distributed conversation as linking between others, and Peter’s experimental visualisation above supports that thought. So I’d be interested to see a network map of self references: which blogposts over time turn out to be more central to our writing/thinking/reflection? Much like citings are a metric in academia, they are of interest in the blogosphere as well. Anjo also released several tools as open source if I remember correctly, so some archive digging is needed.

To do what Peter did, retroactively make all the links between my own blogpostings visible, I would first also need to fix the older links. Those older links are strucured differently than more recent ones and now return 404’s. The corresponding posting still exists but has a different URL now.

Those of you who have been at BlogTalk 2 in Vienna in 2004, have glimpsed some of the work Anjo Anjewierden (University of Amsterdam) has been doing on tracking communities, conversations and topics through blognetworks.
Original aim was to see if knowledge is indeed spread through these text-based virtual communities. You might e.g. expect that something that has been discussed should afterwards pop up in people’s writings where it didn’t before: propagation of ideas and insights. Anjo worked with a dataset of all 2004 postings of a group of blogs, but now is ready to expand.
On a study day of the METIS project yesterday, I was pleased to hear that turning the tools Anjo build into something that can be used by the community at large is now a planned deliverable.
Now it is up to us to feed Anjo’s dataset. For those that use Movable Type or can export in the same format, it has now become as easy as clicking the Export button to help feed Anjo’s tools.
Head on over to Anjo’s call to arms, read what he is looking for, and contribute if you can!
Rumours are flying that BlogTalk Reloaded may be a good point in time to present results.