Visualization of the Week: Tweet connections between Twitter employees

While developing his new networks visualization platform Newk, Santiago Ortiz took it for a test drive on Twitter's corporate structure.

Designer Santiago Ortiz is developing a browser-based networks visualization platform called Newk. He took the platform for a spin and visualized the network of Twitter conversations between Twitter employees for the week of February 15 to February 22.

In the interactive visualization, users can hover over a node to get details such as the employee’s name, Twitter handle, and Twitter profile description. Red lines are incoming tweets, blue lines are outgoing. You can also click on a node to select, then drag to another node to display Twitter conversations between the selected employees, or double click to show one employee’s tweet interactions with coworkers:

Mark Wilson noted in a post at Fast Company that Ortiz pulled only publicly available information. “Using Twitter’s API, Ortiz requested all the tweets authored by Twitter’s list of employees,” Wilson wrote. “Then he filtered that content, keeping only the tweets made between colleagues.”

Ortiz explained to Wilson that the question was if the visualization properly represented the company structure and said he thought it did:

“For instance, you can see how people from U.K. tend to be clusterized, and the same happens with people from Japan. Also, it’s possible to identify clusters made from people of the same department.”

Wilson also noted that if you could somehow remove the corporate hierarchy, employees tweeting to their boss simply because they’re their boss, “you’d be left with a strange snapshot of relationship outliers — a map of friendships or corporate romances that are bridging the gap of departmental groupings.”

Hat tip to Simon Rogers at The Guardian’s Datablog for showcasing Ortiz’s visualization and highlighting Wilson’s post.

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