Apr 12

What Happened When We Created a Facebook App for Social Network Analysis

facebook-medFacebook and Mark Zuckerberg are getting blamed for a large number of issues from promoting fake news, election fraud, mishandling user data, and profiting from selling user data.

While some of that may be true, the Facebook security breach is actually a violation of Facebook API licensing rules by the people who used it. Facebook provided the data and encouraged developers like us to create innovative solutions for the Facebook ecosystem. They weren’t selling the data.They weren’t even charging us to use it.

Our Facebook App with Social Network Analysis and Maps

In 2010, we created a Facebook application using our Sentinel Visualizer technology to perform Social Network Analysis (SNA) based on a user’s friends’ friends. It would automatically cluster friends so you could quickly see their groups (high school, college, work, family, in-laws, clubs, etc.).

Facebook Social Network Analysis App of Clustered Friends

Each box (picture) was one of your friends, and you could move them around the network, hover over them to get their info, or click on them to go to their page.

We also plotted friends on a Microsoft Bing Map making it easy to see who were near you or where you were visiting.

Plotting Your Friends' Locations on a Map

 

We launched our free Sentinel Visualizer Facebook App to a limited number of users and it started to gain followers. People were amazed to see which of their friends knew each other. The application started to go viral. We were having trouble supporting the traffic.

Not Allowed to Save Facebook Data

One of the things developers couldn’t do was to save Facebook’s data. All we collected were the user names and email addresses people provided when they registered our program. Unfortunately, other developers didn’t abide by Facebook’s terms and the data improperly got to Cambridge Analytica and others.

Facebook Stopped Making the Data Available

Our app ceased to work when Facebook limited their APIs and prevented our ability to get to the list of your friends’ friends among your network.

It’s not entirely Facebook’s fault for trying to spur innovation by sharing their data for free. Some developers violated the trust Facebook gave them.

The Full Story

Here’s our new web page describing our experience in detail:

Jan 25

New Video: An Introduction to Social Network Analysis

Link Analysis, Social Network Analysis, Geospatial, and Timeline SoftwareThe FMS Advanced Systems Group has a new video for its Sentinel Visualizer program: An Introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA). If you are trying to find hidden relationships among people, places, and events, Social Network Analysis can help.

Social Network Analysis is a subset of network theory that finds important relationships and centrality in complex networks. Learn how organizations in the law enforcement, intelligence, defense, finance, and other data intensive fields are using Sentinel Visualizer in their missions.

Here's more information on Sentinel Visualizer and its Link Analysis features.

Sep 04

Use Link Analysis to Visualize Your Data

Link AnalysisWe are all used to seeing the 'rows and columns' metaphor when looking at data. In fact it is the primary interface for many of our data analysis tasks.

But rows and columns can hide valuable patterns. What happens when you take data out of a database and visualize it as a network? Now you can see important connections, centrality, trends, movement over time, and many other key indicators.

Check out our article on Link Analysis and Social Network Analysis to see how our Sentinel Visualizer solution provides innovative ways to get more meaning from your data.

Apr 13

The HotMommas Project in the Washington Post

The HotMommas ProjectThe HotMommas Project and Professor Kathy Korman Frey are featured in a recent Washington Post article. It is about the GWU Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Class, the Hot Mommas Project (as mentioned previously on our blog), and all the reasons why these educational initiatives exist.

Today, April 13th, 2009, at 12pm EST you can participate in a related online chat at the Washington Post's website. Professor Frey will be there to answer questions and lead the discussion.