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October 18, 2012 / carlispina

View Twitter Connections and Networks with Mentionmapp

Mentionmapp LogoVisualizing and analyzing social networks has grown in popularity with the explosion of social media. Free tools that track statistics and analyze patterns on social networks abound and Coursera is even currently offering a class by a professor from the University of Michigan that teaches students how to analyze these networks using a host of tools. And this interest makes sense: for those who use social media, seeing how they are connected to other users can be a fun way of understanding their network and for serious researchers, social network analysis can uncover previously unnoticed patterns and connections in populations. While advanced tools, such as NodeXL or Gephi, exist to help create complex visualizations of social media data and social networks, for casual social media users, more simplified tools are also emerging to offer similar visualizations. One such example is Mentionmapp.

Mentionmapp is a quick and simple way to visualize the social network of Twitter users. Once you connect your Twitter account with Mentionmapp, you can search for any Twitter user and instantly see their connections to other Twitter users and hashtags that they have recently mentioned. This dynamic web will also show other interconnections between various topics or users that  are in this network. The width of each connecting line also gives a sense of the number of times that user or hashtag has been mentioned with the number of mentions actually appearing for very popular items. You can navigate through the network to view other nodes in the web (or “neighborhoods” as Mentionmapp refers to them), simply by clicking on a node, which will recenter the web and show the social network of that node. As you click on each node, a box at the left of the screen will provide basic information about that Twitter user, including name, URL and, where available, location. You also have the ability to zoom in or out to see more or less detailed information about the network.

While Mentionmapp does not give you the complete control over your analysis or level of detail provided by some of the more advanced social network analysis tools that are available, it does provide an interesting overview of connections and networks between Twitter users with none of the work required by the more advanced tools. It is a nice option for Twitter fans who just want to visualize their network for fun, professionals who tweet on behalf of organizations and want to view the network they have built or teachers who want to help their students understand how information travels through social media. The video below will show an example of Mentionmapp in action:

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