l o o m 2
w  o  r  k   i  n   p  r  o  g  r  e  s  s
professor judith donath . danah boyd . hyun-yeul lee . dan ramage
w/ support from scott golder . ming-en cho . jonathan goler

Phase 08 - Macro, medium, micro - individual levels
We tried to visualise all three levels we envision from what we learned in the past exercise. Here in the macro level, we decided to use the idea of a two dimensional surface that would consist of a grid-like structure. But, rather than having a rigid structure we designed it so that each 'plate' would form (expand or shrink) abstractly but systematically; the plates would not always be of the shape of a square but rather any shape that contained all the threads of a newgroup.

Four colours (blue, red, yellow, green) with different hues was used to depict different levels of activity.

Macro View: A plate is categorized by subject such as 'sports'. Any newsgroups related to sports would then be found in that plate. One can imagine that the user can add or delete favourite groups within the plates. When interacting with the plate (which is selectable by the user), the level of activity is shown by the brightness of the colours, which is also consistent in the colour brightness of the name of newsgroups. While one may be viewing the sports plate, other plates are dimmed but still legible. The name of newgroups that are active will appear in the dimmed plates so that it may convey activity around different parts of the Usenet as well as entice interest to the user to explore other newsgroups.

Medium View: This is the level depicting all the threads found in a newsgroup. Here, we start to see all the posts forming a thread in circles, therefore a circle clustering is a thread. At the same time, a post is a representation of an individual - we can start to see the participation of an individual within the newsgroup. In this example, we have selected to see Scott's presence within the newsgroup (represented in red). Using the shapes to represent an individual, we can pretty much see that Scott is consistent in flaming throughout the different threads. Janice who is represented in the colour blue is also highlighted because she has similar ratings in personality as well as participation in the newsgroup. The idea of having another person be highlighted is that the user will be better informed about Scott when juxtaposed to the nearest similar participant within the newsgroup.

Micro View / Individual Level: Here we are going back to the macro level but viewing the individual's participation across the Usenet. In this example we can see that Scott has been around other newsgroups but most active in the subject area of fishing. It is also interesting to see Scott's attitude (i.e. where has he been flaming) in the different groups. At the same time if we decide to use the shape form to represent the notion of time (i.e. how long has he been a member of this thread?), it may better inform us that Scott may like fishing because he has been around in different threads that discuss fishing, but his overall participation of a single thread in sci.electronics.design (represented by the aging shape) shows that he is most attuned and interested that topic rather than fishing.