A Few days ago, thanks to Sara, I discovered the program Immersion that gathers the metadata of your email and creates a visual mapping of your connections. Each collaborator is represented as a circle on the map, the larger the circle, the more communication has existed between you and your collaborator.
Through Immersion you can get a visual representation of your network (that is if, of course, you communicate a lot through email). I personally found it fascinating to get an “aerial” view of my everyday communication.
Here’s a screenshot of the results I got (I removed the name labels):
The red circles represent my family, the green ones are my friends and co-workers from home, and the orange ones are my friends from my studies abroad. The other small circles are people I had contact with for more than three times, but not regularly. The big blue circle in the middle is my sister (who is connected to both my family and my friends).
It is interesting to try and analyze your map to understand better your communication patterns. For example, it shows you whether your network is well balanced or if you rely too much on one person. It also shows you who are your most connected collaborators, and so on..
The program doesn’t access actual email content or subjects, it just looks at the “To”, the “CC”, and the “BCC”. So try it out! (if you aren’t hiding big info that you don’t want the NSA to see, haha).
It’s fun (and revealing) to generate your own map: https://immersion.media.mit.edu/.
“I got my own roots to water,got my own family tree.
Got my own set of heroes,that means something to me.
I got my own way to travel,my own story to tell.
(…) Still I’m connected to you and everyone and everything.”
… They know better: