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Kyle Gowen, Mengbo Li, Mike Koyle, Eric Rounds
Project Description:
commenTree uses Adobe Flash to essentially mine through hundreds of thousands of MySpace profiles, their biographies, their interests, and their comments. This data is then presented in the form of a graphical network interface displaying users in a organically connected manner. CommenTree aims to explore the various functions meshing real world and online interactions.

Users in the commenTree visualization are presented as orbs of different colors representing their gender, blue - males and pink - females. Each user has an icon associated with them depicting how much they comment. Less talkative individuals are shown with one speech bubble, whereas the most talkative have Three. Comment arcs are drawn between orbs when one user sends another a comment, the text of that comment can be seen scrolling down the side of the visualization so that the entire text body of that comment can be examined along with who is sending and who is receiving. When a orb receives a comment, it is lit brightly so that it can be easilly determined who is currently sending and receiving communication. Users that have accounts but don't send or receive comments (lurkers) have no arcs connected to them. As users cease communicating they fade away creating a visual depth and allowing new communications to be viewed easier.

The data for commenTree was originally collected for a project titled BioMemetics. BioMemetics was deveoloped by the collaboration of Derek Lomas, Ruth West, Todd Margolis, Jurgen Shultz, Jared Chandler, Tiffany Hopkins, Social Movement Laboratory, CRCA, and Calit2.

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