After seeing them mentioned a few times on Twitter, I decided to explore two new visualization tools.
Ever wonder, "Who do you talk to most often on Twitter? Who are your closest friends? What does your social network look like?" Then give Top Twitter Friends a try. Once you share your Twitter name, the site starts to construct a web of relationships (for various reasons, this process might take a while; I took a picture after my own "graph" was 88% complete). One sidebar lists the people with whom you have the most interactive relationships, the other suggests those you might want to begin following.
Portwiture "grabs photography from Flickr that matches the content of your most recent Twitter updates. The result is a serendipitous visual representation of your Twitter profile." Options include changing the number of most commonly-used words, sorting by relevance or other restrictions, and limiting photos to a specific Flickr account.
Although at least half of my Tweets are education- or technology-related, I have been dreaming out loud about vacations and the ocean lately. Portwiture highlighted the words, "sea, work, photo, wish, break" in my collage. The resulting mashup may not be too useful, but it is striking indeed.
And despite my repetition of the word, there is room in my life for much more than work.