Q46. Play with Yasiv's Amazon Recommendation Visualizer. After you have played with it for a bit, carry out some specific "analyses" (we use the term loosely here).

Select a book — my example will be The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, a favorite of libertarians and right wingers. Jostle the network around until you get a nice layout that has settled down. You might want to zoom in or out (mouse wheel if you have one).

Copy screen image to clipboard with alt-F14 or alt-PrtScn, open a Word document and paste. Crop the picture (Picture Tools>Format>Crop), unselect it, reselect it and stretch to fill page.

Examine clusters. Now select the picture and Cut it (control-X) and then Insert>Shapes>New Drawing Canvas, expand the canvas to be page-sized, and paste the picture. Then use the circle tool to draw circles around the identifiable clusters.

q0046-001.gif

Now let's create a new drawing canvas and sketch this network of clusters.

q0046-005.gif

And then we will examine the books qualitatively — back on the web interface — to come up with coarse descriptions of the clusters.

q0046-009.gif

Finally, we inquire as to what connections the inter-cluster edges represent, like this:

q0046-010.gif

And ueber-finally, let's prepare this network for data entry in NodeXL

Vertex1 Vertex2
creativity innovation
innovation Pirsig-education
innovation Rand-novels
Rand-novels Rand-videos-etc
Rand-novels Rand-philosophy

Enter Data into NodeXL

  1. Start on the vertices tab and enter vertex 1 in column A, vertex 2 in column B.
  2. Click on refresh graph.
  3. Moving nodes and graph.
  4. Set layout to none.
  5. Vertex labels, vertex size. Refresh.
  6. Add edge labels for an edge or two. Refresh.
  7. Vertex label position.
  8. Copy to clipboard. Paste into writeup document.
q0046--fountainhead.png

Suggestions

The hot book in higher education, Academically Adrift.
The Real Mitt Romney]
Steve Jobs' biography
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood
Caro Emerald's album Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
Omnivores Dilemma
Fast Food Nation
City: Urbanism and Its End
President Obama's Audacity of Hope
The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth
C Programming
The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It