Friendlist manager

Here’s a cool new FB app from com­puter sci­ences pro­fessor, Alan Mis­love. It’s called Friendlist Man­ager and it makes using lists on the social-​​network (a.k.a. time sink) a whole lot easier (as if you needed any­thing on FB to be easier, since you don’t already spend enough time there).

Mis­love uses net­work infor­ma­tion to build sys­tems like Friendlist Man­ager, and others that solve bigger prob­lems like ebay fraud. In this case, the pro­gram looks at how all your friends are con­nected to each other. Then it builds mini-​​networks based on the results and turns them into list sug­ges­tions. You can opt to add or remove friends and merge mul­tiple lists. When you post a new status or photo, you can chose to share it with one or all of these lists using the drop down menu pro­vided by FB. No more wor­rying about your mother reading about all the bad deci­sions you make!

The visu­al­iza­tion here shows my LinkedIn con­nec­tions and has nothing to do with Friendlist Man­ager, except that it illus­trates the kind of net­work Mislove’s pro­gram uses to detect groups. The blue area here is the group of all my col­lege friends, green is high school friends, and pink is work friends.

This is sim­ilar to the net­work another of Mislove’s pro­grams uses to iden­tify fraud­u­lent Ebay users. Cur­rently, we have no way of knowing if an Ebay seller’s good rep­u­ta­tion comes from real feed­back or feed­back from a bunch of fake users s/​he cre­ated just for that pur­pose. Visu­al­izing the net­work of feed­back “receipts” would set a fraud­u­lent user apart from the main net­work because all of his/​her con­nec­tions are within a single group (the one s/​he cre­ated). A trust­worthy seller would have feed­back coming from all over the place.

So, while this kind of tool is great for sim­pli­fying our Face­book friend lists, it also has some truly prac­tical appli­ca­tions that could help the world in a variety of ways. Check out Mislove’s web­site here and down­load the Friendlist Man­ager here. Also, if you want to create a funky LinkedIn pic­ture like this one, or a whole bunch of other per­sonal visu­al­iza­tions, go here.


Photo via LinkedIn Maps by Manuel Lima