Visualizing the Influence of Egyptian Bloggers
Kovas Boguta, the head of analytics at Weebly and a guest author on ReadWriteWeb, has created another powerful data visualization, this time of the “the pro-democracy movement in Egypt and across the Middle East.”
The visualization drew from Twitter use by Egyptians and influential others around the #jan25 uprising. Those writing in Arabic only are represented in red, only in English are in blue and overlap by various shades of purple. Influence, in terms of follows, are represented by lines and those who influence each other are located in proximity.
According to Boguta, the language choice – most of the bloggers speak both Arabic and English – is an important element. Some make the choice to connect with other Arabic-speakers, probably a function of the organizational use of the Web by people on the ground. The choice of English is, among other things, a choice to spread the circumstances, flight and day-to-day activities of the first group, to the wider world.
“For me, the point is that the activists are cooperating with the west, on their own terms and in a constructive way…(I)n fact that is a key element and what allows this much bigger exoskeleton to tightly interface to the core. This is in contrast to what happened in Iran 2009…where the connections between those in Iran and the rest of the world were very thin and easily severed.”
Wael Ghonim is a good example of how the visualization works. Large circle, well connected, surrounded by a large group of Twitter-users whom he influences.
Interesting to notice is the scattered group on the far left, which are mostly U.S. government and corporations like Google. “And that’s probably how everyone in the rest of the network would like this future to look.”
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