Data Visualization A close-up of Redditviz, a visualization tool for social news website Reddit.

Published on November 14th, 2013 | by Travis Korte


A Better Map of Reddit’s Ecosystem

Navigating through social news site Reddit can be a daunting task. With over 6,000 topic-specific pages (called subreddits), it is up to volunteer moderators to ensure that visitors to one page get to see related content posted on another.

Michigan State assistant professor Zachary Neal and PhD student Randy Olson created an interactive online visualization tool, called Redditviz, to provide a lens into the complex web of pages. The tool maps the subreddits in relation to one another, not using the site’s own links, but drawing from actual user behavior data. What results is a network diagram where communities of similar individuals are easily visible; there are the sports fans, the gamers, the music lovers, and even the fans of animated TV series My Little Pony. Each node represents a subreddit, with nodes colored according to how many others they link to and sized according to the number of posts in the subreddit.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.

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