The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


Analyzing my Facebook friends social behavior through Google Reader
|| 6/17/2009 || 3:16 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I haven’t written about Facebook since I created the group “Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro” back in February. Previous to that, the entries were related to my experiments using their internal advertising system (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) and prior to that, I briefly wrote about the Nexus application that shows the relationships & commonalities of my Facebook friends. Back in March of 2008, I had a little under 400 friends and since then I have gained over 600 new friends and now have a little more than 1,000 Facebook friends and they share a lot links.

A few months ago I discovered that I could subscribe to my friend’s shared links on Facebook through an RSS reader. I was attempting develop a means to synch up what I shared on Facebook with what I shared on this website and found that I could subscribe to what all my friends were sharing on Facebook. I had come to the conclusion that it was easier to share information through the Facebook platform than through this blog and I wanted to find a way that my shared links would show up here using my Daily Links concept. While I ultimately abandoned the effort (as well as the Daily Links concept), I kept my subscription active in Google Reader.

Today I decided to check out the statistics related to my Facebook friends shared link RSS feed. What I found was quite interesting….

The average links shared per week is a little over 574 “posts” (posts are technically individually shared links) and with a little over 1,000 friends, this would statistically translate to half of my friends share one link a week. However, from my experience, I would say that its probably 10% to 25% of my friends are active users who share links often and the rest are passive users or don’t use Facebook that much. To reach the number of 574 shared links per week, then in the last 30 days there was roughly 2300 links shared during the month (574 posts per week x 4 weeks = 2296.8 links per month), which translates to a little over 2 links per person per month. As far as the shape of the graph goes, like the traffic on this website, there is a seemingly up & down flow that I’ve found to correlate to how most people use the internet during the week and not using it during the weekend.

This screen grab shows something I wasn’t expecting. The time of day in which my friends share their links does not completely correlate to my initial notion that most people share links on Facebook only while at work. Instead the times in which my friends share the most links are around 10pm & 11pm at night; probably before they go to bed. However, judging by the 4pm & 5pm spikes in the number of shared links, I can deduce that people are sharing links more at the end of the work day than at the beginning. The spike at around 11am in the morning might indicate that people are using Facebook during their lunch break. In all, I think this graph is the most telling of the Facebook usage of my friends on-line social behavior.

Finally, this screen grab also shows shows the which day of the week my friends share the most links. This graph mimics the undulation shown on the Last 30 Days graphic above. Interestingly, Thursday edges out Wednesday as the most popular day and Tuesday is more popular than Friday. I personally expected Friday to be the day that the most links are share because in my experience it was the day of the week that required the least amount of work. At below 200 links, nearly half the amount for the other five days of the week, I was not surprised by the low number of links shared on the weekends. As I stated before, this mimics the traffic this website.

In summary, I find this type of information very interesting. I don’t think its that useful information for everyone because it only shows the on-line social behavior of my friends. Moreover, this information does not fully paint the entire picture of my friends Facebook usage. Status updates, uploaded photos, uploaded videos, and those stupid quizzes are not shown in these graphs; only the number of links that are being shared. However, I believe there are some general concepts that can possibly be extrapolated if you were to subscribe to your friend’s shared links.

Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro
|| 2/4/2009 || 5:32 pm || Comments Off on Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro || ||

Recently I’ve read about the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority threatening to cut back on services. Today I decided to create a Facebook Group that ignores this threat and asks for expanded services– specifically, having the Metro run 24 hours a day. I’d be willing to pay more for late night service, but will WMATA care? Will they expand their services and make DC a more world-class city? I doubt it…

Bird’s Eye View of Little Diomede, Alaska
|| 11/2/2008 || 4:38 pm || Comments Off on Bird’s Eye View of Little Diomede, Alaska || ||

The other day I found this photograph above on a friend’s Facebook page. The photograph was taken from an airplane while the friend was traveling Alaska on behalf of their job in the American government. Around the time current Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, made a gaff about being able to see Russia from Alaska, I remembered how there was only one spot in America where this was the case and it just so happened that my friend had recently been there.

Known as the Diomede Islands in America or the Gvozdev Islands in Russia, the two islands are only split by about 4 kilometers. What I’ve always thought was interesting is that the houses on Little Diomede (above) face tomorrow. Due to the placement of the International Date Line, the Russian side is one of the first territories to start the day. This means folks on Big Diomede can also see yesterday.

NASA satellite image of the Diomede Islands

Related 2008 Election Entries:


The Obligatory MySpace Birthday Screen Grab
|| 10/10/2008 || 7:09 am || Comments Off on The Obligatory MySpace Birthday Screen Grab || ||

On my birthday in 2006 I noticed that my MySpace profile hit 10,000 visitors on my birthday (10/10) and I took a screen grab for archival purposes. I followed up again last year and again this year with the image above.

What I can extrapolate here is not that MySpace presence has diminished (I have more friends today than in 2006 or 2007), rather people are simply using MySpace less and less. This is exactly what happened with Friendster as MySpace began to take over the social networking “scene.” On a given day, I can find most of my friends using Facebook and in this respect I see history repeating. However there is no profile view counter on Facebook, so screen grabs like the one above are not possible.

Related MySpace Entries:


Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 4 – Fvck Censorship]
|| 5/18/2008 || 3:56 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 4 – Fvck Censorship] || ||

For my last experiment I decided to just screw around with Facebook to see if I can get one by their censors. This experiment involves the use of geeky lexical humor to poke fun of the antiquated way of using the letter V in place of the letter U and to see if I could get a quasi-curse word through their filters.


Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 3 – Twenty Phantom Women]
|| 5/17/2008 || 4:45 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 3 – Twenty Phantom Women] || ||

Who would have thought that there were 20 phantom women who are between 26 & 28 that exist somewhere between Washington, DC and the District of Columbia?

I’d sure like to meet one of those ladies.

It should be noted that the Facebook entry for DC is missing the definite article, as in “the District of Columbia.” Currently it dsnt reed rite.

Related Facebook:


Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 2 – Banned Ads]
|| 5/16/2008 || 3:39 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 2 – Banned Ads] || ||

Today I decided to see if I could link to my Facebook or MySpace page. NOPE.


Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 1 – Basic Ads]
|| 5/15/2008 || 2:47 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 1 – Basic Ads] || ||

Facebook ad showing a link to my Geospatial Art on-line store

Screengrab from Facebook showing my advertisement being served
___names whited out___

On Monday evening I noticed that Facebook was promoting it’s internal advertisement system on my notification panel. As a curious person I decided to check it out and see why I receive so many stupid ads for dating websites. I remember reading a long time ago that at the height of MySpace’s popularity their servers had trouble keeping up with the demand of the user traffic, and while those times have passed, Facebook seems like a clear alternative for social marketing.

So what should I link to? This blog or my on-line store? I chose the on-line store because if I am paying money for a service I might as well get some money back. I also don’t actively promote the store because it’s become too cumbersome to manage and I haven’t added any new maps in ages.

But what to specifically link to? This is where is gets fun.


Nexus – Facebook Application visually graphs friends and commonalities
|| 3/26/2008 || 2:55 pm || Comments Off on Nexus – Facebook Application visually graphs friends and commonalities || ||

I am a fan of applications that can visualize the interconnectedness of my digital relations. The first iteration of this type of friendgraph was the Friend Wheel Application. While there is isn’t much difference between the two applications, I like how Nexus groups friends non-hierarchically and shows exactly who is connected to who and by what friend. Visually I can see my past and present friends on the radial friendgraph above. (I think it looks like the iconic Death Star from Star Wars.) Off in the corner are my high school friends who I remain in contact with, the lower right and top are college friends, and the far left are my current DC friends. That, however, is a broad generalization because there are so many miscellaneous linkages. What the Nexus application lacks is color customization beyond dark/light, typographical cloud scaling (like friends who link the most receive a larger font), and the application’s residency in a user’s Facebook’s profile. I am still using the Friendwheel application because it shows up in my profile, whereas the Nexus application is an off-site application.

Below is the less visually engaging spring friendgraph.


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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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