Los Angeles: so far... and sort of close

fanpage_analytics_grab.pngWe came across a project today called Fan Page Analytics that pulls data from public Facebook profiles to see how people are connected.

The best way to understand it is to just go check it out (and here's more on the geographic connection analysis by the project's creator). Here's the listing for Albany. A few things that caught our eye:

+ The list of cities "connected" to Albany (that is, where people have friends) includes a bunch of places you'd expect in the East: New York City, Poughkeepsie, Boston, maybe even Washington DC. But #10 on the list is Los Angeles.

+ It's interesting to see the top connections for the cities that sit along I-90 in New York. Albany has strong connections to Syracuse. Syracuse has strong ties to Albany, Utica, Rochester and Buffalo. Rochester has strong ties to Syracuse and Buffalo. And Buffalo has strong ties to Rochester and Syracuse.

+ The most popular "like" among the Albany profiles surveyed? The dislike button.

[via Kottke]

image from Fanpage Analytics


Does the "dislike" button mean we're just a bunch of crotchety Facebookers? Or something more sinister?

I hate all that "dislike button" junk, though not as much as groups called: "We will NOT pay to use facebook!" When are they going to learn?

It's like Lewis Black said when he played the Palace Thursday night: There's the Rust Belt, the Bible Belt, the this and that belt... we're the Bitter Belt.

Well, I think the question is, are they friends, or are they "friends"? If I were to "friend" a bunch of people in the entertainment industry, that would certainly skew my map toward L.A. And toward shallow.

I wish the airlines picked up on the apparent affinity the I-90 cities seem to have for each other. Intra-state travel via air is difficult at best in our state.

Yeah, that L.A. connection is celebrity friending and fan pages. This analysis lumps Friend and Fan links together -- probably because they can't be reliably filtered. The Fan device is new-ish; there are a ton of Friend links that would be Fan links today. These days your FB profile can have "Add as friend" and "Become a fan" buttons right next to each other, if you're a performer or something.

WRT regional links (I-90, etc.), I'd like to see reciprocal data, city-to-city. For example, the percentage of Albany accounts with links to Syracuse accounts, vs. the reverse. That might shed light on the celebrity effect (or a general wannabe effect, if there is one), by giving a sense of link direction.

Consider a statement like: "When I get my act together and move to ________ ...". When I lived in Oklahoma City, Dallas was the promised land. In Omaha it was Denver. I got to spend a lot of time in Dallas and Denver too, and far fewer folks had their sights set elsewhere.

Guess it's time to learn MapReduce.


@Lou, @CJ: good point. More, and better, data would help provide a clearer picture.

@upstater: three words: high speed rail.

@Greg: I'm too old to wait! But long term, you're right on track

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