January 07, 2007

One Year of Omega

omegasmall.pngHere is a visualization (PDF) of the activity on the Swedish transhumanist mailing list Omega. I played around with plotting both list activity over time, who responded to what threads, when posts were made and what words were unique for particular months.

As the central network shows the posting intensity of different people is roughly a power-law, dominated by a very talkative yours truly. For clarity it leaves out posts that had no replies, representing mentions of news and webpages, threads that never take off etc. The tint of the posters represent the amount of such hidden posts, distinguishing responders from originators.

Making a sociogram of a mailing list based on who replies to who is IMHO somewhat noisy, at least for a small idea-based list like this one. People respond to threads rather to people, although some people are better than others at eliciting a response. Filtering rather harshly as in the top right graph brings out what I think is a good essence of the list.

The interval between postings turned out to be nicely lognormally distributed. The posting pattern during the week on the other hand shows fun oscillations depending on day of week and time. The red histogram on the circle shows that traffic is rather bursty. The February peak was a debate about economics and whether technocracy could work, the August peak was a combination of discussion about home-schooling and the Nobel prize.

The word extraction was fun to do. I counted occurences of each word across the year and for each month, showing the 10 most common words that just occured in a single month. In fact, I gathered words from several years on the list, so these words distinguish these months from all previous history. The method works although it might need some more filtering to deal with misspellings (repeated through comments) and occasional oddities like the thread in November where people were writing backwards.

Posted by Anders3 at January 7, 2007 10:55 PM