Network of Friends Shows Up in Great Numbers & Diversity

Friends have been known to joke around that I probably have the most diverse set of friends on the planet. Seems when you move around and travel as much as I do, you have different opportunities to make friends. And while diversity hasn’t been an actual goal in making friends, I have to admit that occasionally the wide range of friends I have comes to mind and it makes me smile broadly. That’s what happened as I looked at my Facebook wall on my birthday (lazy so I didn’t keep track of phone calls, emails, IM conversation, Facebook messages, tweets, etc). And since I have a really good friend who is all about data, I decided to look at it by the numbers.

First, I realized I had quite a few family there and friends from various points in my life. So I decided to look at the way I first connected to people. Granted that is sort of tough cause I have some friends that fall into more than one category. The categories are alphabetical and some need a little explanation:

  • Camp – I started going to church camp as a child and its a huge part of my background. Some of my dearest friends in the world are from camp. And that closeness goes on today – we had a reunion with some in May and are looking forward to another one soon. A big crowd of us got together Tuesday night to celebrate my birthday too. I even started a Facebook group years ago for the crowd to encourage our reconnecting.
  • Church – That’s pretty easy. My family has been connected to the same church for generations. Some of these folks have moved all over but it’s be great to stay in touch at least online.
  • College – I grouped both undergraduate and graduate school together.
  • Family – Likely the easiest to understand category. 🙂
  • Misc – Friends from wherever I was lucky enough to find them that didn’t fall into another category.
  • Online – This is mostly the AgChat crowd but also includes some folks from blogchat or that share an interest like Memphis music.
  • School – The folks I met through elementary through high school.
  • Work – Includes former & current co-workers as well as members of the trade media who are friends.

initial connectivity with friends

So the first of the chart on geographical distribution. Let me just explain that the states are alphabetical followed by foreign countries. The list starts at what is noon (or midnight) on a clock’s face with Alabama starting there.  On thie chart, there were so many categories that it couldn’t be read if all of them were labeled but I’ve labeled the one contributing a relatively large percentage to help you follow it.

geographical distribution of all friends who wrote on my Facebook wall for my birthday

I have to say, the number of people I’ve met online who took time to wish me happy birthday so I wanted to pull them out and put them in separate pie charts. And many of these friendships were formed on Twitter and have moved to Facebook as well. I had to admit I wondered about the distribution… would it still look so diverse? And while I was certainly I’ll leave it to you to look at the below.

geographical distribution of all friends I met in real life who wrote on my Facebook wall for my birthday
geographical distribution of friends met online who wrote on my Facebook wall for my birthday

I encourage you to give some thought to your friend and family networks. While you may not want to go through the hassle of classifying some of this info to find data on diversity, thinking through it can be interesting and valuable. I thought of several other ideas for blog posts just by looking through all of this!

These are a lot of the friendships I talk to routinely. The people who see something on TV and flag it for me or ask me a question if they hear something that doesn’t seem to sync up with what they’ve heard. And while our friendships are about other people & places, music, travel, etc, agriculture is a big part of my life and consequently part of what is shared as we go back and forth.

Memories of going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parades or making pottery with family are jumbled in my head and on my blog alongside #foodthanks. When I read stories that move me on other people’s websites, I share their stories and adventures with my network and that’s where the real momentum can get going. While I have a diverse network, it’s still somewhat limited. but the networks I tie into through all of these friendships can carry real power and broaden the reach whether it is about blues musicians or cotton harvest. It’s all the tangled webs we weave and ways to share information that may be of interest.

What do you think distinguishes the friends network?

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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10 Responses to Network of Friends Shows Up in Great Numbers & Diversity

  1. Mike Haley November 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Sorry I missed your birthday JP, HAPPY BELATED B-DAY!

    ya know, if you wanted to shove it in my face all you had to do was say something instead of doing all this work to make sure I noticed!

    • Janice November 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

      LOL! You have some incredible guilt there dude! I don’t have nearly that much of a revenge streak in me even if I am a redhead!

  2. Debba / Girlfriendology November 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Janice – I love this! I have a blog – Girlfriendology – all about female friendship and how we need to be a better friend. You, my friend!, already know this and are, no doubt!, a great friend. You’ve maintained a bunch of amazing friendships and are inspiring! I plan to share this with my community on Girlfriendology. Thanks for sharing it with me & happy belated Birthday! Debba /

    p.s. I found you off Twitter – and glad I did!

    • Janice November 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      I certainly know @girlfriendology! (Gotta love the BlogChat connections!) Thanks for sharing this post too! I think it’s amazing how connections are made. It’s continued care of those relationships that really makes for such an incredible network!

  3. SlowMoneyFarm November 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    I’ve pondered at times if everyone on my friend list was in one place at one time what would happen. I think mostly all would get along ’cause most people I maintain contact with can agree to disagree…no matter if vegetarian or omnivore or 20 something or four times that. Doesn’t matter what they do for a living – many similarities. 🙂

    • Janice November 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

      That’s quite a picture you create for me! I love it! I have had a few “what the heck” moments of connectivity, like when I learned that someone I shared a suite with my freshman year of college was friends with kst8er76! Love the way friendships are interwoven!

  4. messin33 November 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    What a great idea Janice. I never thought of putting my friends into graphs although I have been amazed by the range of my friends as well.


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