facebook ain’t all that in French

Here are three visualizations of the most popular social networking sites, mapped (and tree-mapped) geographically created by a research student at University College Dublin.  It’s a nice reminder that no matter how many articles I run across about Facebook, Facebook privacy, Facebook Beacon and Facebook applications – Facebook like anything else is culturally situated and needs to be kept in perspective).  Sitting there all alone in Europe is France with a blue color representing a network I haven’t heard of I don’t think – Skyrock?  Skyrock rules Algeria too – and looking at the the treemap version I see that some of the smaller European countries with big French-speaking parts, like Belgium and Switzerland – are Skyrock countries as well.  As well as Senegal, Martinique, and New Caledonia.

This fascinates me – now I need to know more about Skyrock.  What about it is pulling all of these French-speaking places together?  Is it somehow easier to socially network in French using it? Is it something about the people behind it?  Its history?  Its marketing?  I must find out more!

The data is from Alexa, and the visualizations were created on ManyEyes, where the data is open, so you can go over there and play with it yourself.

FWIW – The US is not Facebook-violet on this map – it’s MySpace gold.

Now going to go find out more about the Skyrock thing.  Even though the pink text on black background thing on the project blog is making my eyes hurt.

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