Sociotope

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    Before you proceed, please note:
  • This WebGL application relies heavily on your computer's hardware, so be sure to run it from decent hardware.
  • Sociotope has been tested with all WebGL enabled browsers, but it is recommended that you use the latest version of Google Chrome.
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Sociotope is a social media experiment made with WebGL. It visualizes the data you left in social networks in a way you possibly haven't seen before. Using motion as a metaphor for relevance, Sociotope allows you to grasp, explore and play with the data left in social networks and the reactions to that data.

Sociotope has been created as a student project by Stefan Wagner, an interaction and motion designer based in Würzburg, Germany.

It seems like you are visiting this website from a mobile device. Unfortunately, Sociotope is not yet supported on mobile devices. However, feel free to inform yourself about it here and visit it later on your favourite desktop machine for having the full experience!
If you're currently visiting from a desktop, your browser window resolution is too small. Sociotope runs from a resolution of 960px. Just resize your window!

What it is

Sociotope is an interactive data visualization of digital identities. By connecting the application to your favorite social network, it will build a virus-like creature whose behaviour, look and feel corresponds to the way the chosen identity is behaving in the social network.

We're being overwhelmed by the masses of information we receive in social networks and it has become pretty hard to see what is relevant and what isn't. Sociotope uses two things to visualize online activity: motion and liveliness.

Sociotope builds »data creatures« from the sum of an online identity's actions within a social network. Every tentacle relates to one post / tweet / public activity of this identity. The more reactions this activity has got (comments, likes), the stronger the movement of its tentacle will be.

How it works

After launching Sociotope, you can choose a social network you'd like to connect to.

You are then prompted to login and connect to the Sociotope app. Sociotope wont save any of your personal data and it will not post anything on your behalf without your permission.

You choose between yourself or one of your connections (Facebook friends, people you're following on twitter, or even a search term / hashtag).

Sociotope will load all the data from the chosen connection (posts, tweets) and generate a tentacle for each of those data pieces.

The resulting data creature contains all the (public) data pieces the connection has left in the social network, each one represented by a tentacle.

Each tentacle as it's own appearance and behaviour. Here's how it is decoded:

  • Length represents the length of the post / tweet
  • Thickness represents the relative age of the post / tweet
  • Movement represents the reaction to this post / tweet: the more likes, comments, retweets, favs, the stronger and faster the movement is.
  • Color represents kind: a post / tweet with a video, a text message, etc.
  • The color palette is taken from your online identity's profile picture

What you can do with it

There's lots of possibilities to explore and play with the data creature you brought to life.

Basic interaction:

You can freely rotate the created object by moving your cursor in the middle of the object and dragging in any direction.
If you move your mouse over the tentacles, you will notice that they are being attracted to your cursor. Each tentacle can be clicked, by doing so it will reveal the data it is containing.

At the bottom of the window you have a lot of options to explore and play with the visualization. You can:

  • go back in time via the slider and watch the "evolution" of the object throughout time.
  • delete the object and add another one
  • load older posts (due to performance, Sociotope will only load the latest 140 posts by default)
  • sort the tentacles by clock, kind, author
  • create and share screenshots.

Credits

Sociotope has been created, designed and developed as a student project by Stefan Wagner (andsynchrony) in 2014 & '15 as part of his master degree studies at University of Applied Sciences, Würzburg, faculty of design.

The following libraries and tools were used to make this happen:

My thanks and appreciation go to the people who helped and supported me:

Proudly hosted on Uberspace



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© 2015 by Stefan Wagner