Social Graph

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The Social Graph is described as the relationships created between humans on the web. Any social graph is based on a common relationship. That relationship is typically friendship on the majority of today's social networks, but may also possibly be based on family ties or group membership such as a sports team, volunteer organization, company, project, study or interest group, although several other possible social graph relationships (basically, any common points of reference) exist based around the more common statistical socio-demographics such as income, religion, ethnicity, etc.

Because of the divisions necessary for creating a social stratification that categorizes humans and draws on their minor and/or superfluous differences, some have critized the process of social graphing as being limited in terms of usefulness since it is easier to make associations between in-group (in-graph) members, but difficult to provide an accurate worldview because inverse relationships between those in a particular graph are not always existent.



Facebook's OpenGraph

Google's OpenSocial

According to Google's OpenSocial project: "The web is better when it's social" The web is more interesting when you can build apps that easily interact with your friends and colleagues. But with the trend towards more social applications also comes a growing list of site-specific APIs that developers must learn.

OpenSocial defines a common API for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create apps that access a social network's friends and update feeds.




NEXUS is a SocialGraph Facebook Application which uses GraphViz to generate interactive graphs showing friends and friends-of-friends of an individual on Facebook, via the Facebook API.


The Lijit Explorer (or "bubble browser" as our team affectionately calls it) is an interactive, visual representation of a blog's network. (Notice that we didn't say a "Lijit user's" network, because you can, in fact, explore your way to blogs that aren't associated with a Lijit user.)

The display shows up to fifteen bubbles in each section (even if there are more), with the sections being defined as the following:

  1. Orange = "fans of" (blogs that link to the blog in the center of the display)
  2. Green = "friends" (blogs that link to the blog in the center of the display, to which the blog in the center also links back)
  3. Blue = "follows" (blogs to which the blog in the center of the display links)

Clicking on a blog from any section will bring it to the center and display its network. And beneath the blog in the center, you'll see an information box containing its URL and any other content it (or its owner) might offer.

The Lijit Explorer is a strangely entertaining way to discover the intricately entwined world of blogs. Enjoy bubble browsing!

Yahoo! Small World Experiment

External Links


  1. OpenSocial API: (DEPRECATED)
  2. Lijit Explorer (Display Explore Feature):
  3. Yahoo, Facebook test “six degrees of separation” idea:

See Also

Social Media