Capturing the Zeitgeist

The Social Collider has arrived. I haven’t heard news of any updates, although it was introduced about a year ago.

The Social Collider is a Google Chrome experiment. Its functional design objective is to reveal cross-connections between conversations on the Twitter platform. The actual intent of the application is quite a bit more interesting. As data is collected and accrues, the application’s designers hope to uncover multiple layers of person-place-location-event relationships which can be fully comprehended best when viewed with the additional perspective of time history.

This description is an excerpt from the Social Collider website:

One can search for usernames or topics, which are tracked through time and visualized much like the way a particle collider draws pictures of subatomic matter. Posts that didn’t resonate with anyone just connect to the next item in the stream. The ones that did, however, spin off and horizontally link to users or topics who relate to them, either directly or in terms of their content.

The Social Collider acts as a metaphorical instrument which can be used to make visible how memes get created and how they propagate. Ideally, it might catch the Zeitgeist at work.

Output is on display in a London museum, although primarily as a work of art.

I was curious if I could catch the Zeitgeist at work, so I tried entering a query with search term “facebook”. That was probably unwise to do, for a web application. Windows 7 abended and I was forced to reboot my PC.

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