An animated visualization of the POPREBEL conversation: input requested

I made a small video using data from the Edgeryders platform. The nodes represent posts, radiating from topics, in turn radiating from subcategories (the different national fora and the workspace). Participants are represented as pawns who “beam” the conversation and create new nodes when they post. It’s made with Gource – I had to write a script that converts Edgeryders data in a format digestible by Gource.

It’s a nice way to capture how the conversation developed. You can clearly see how the different fora in the various language germinate, develop, slow down, then suddenly speed up again (in the Fall of 2019, when the outreach effort intensified). The community fora are shown in blue, the consortium’s online workspace in gray, the POPREBEL-relevant discussion on Campfire in red, same as on this platform. Yellow nodes are not posts, but ethnographic annotations.

So, there are two things we might want to do it here, and here I ask for your help.

First (mainly for @noemi), it would be interesting to check whether we can visually detect interesting phenomena. For example, a successful event results in a “blooming”; or a particularly interesting post generates a lot of replies; or people participating to more than one forum vs. staying in only one.

There is also an interpretation for the clusters of yellow nodes: they point to semantically dense posts. If one post has 20 annotations, the software visualizes this as a “ball” of 20 yellow nodes connected to one single blue node. Looking at the whole conversation, one can see if the meaning is evenly distributed or not.

EDIT: after the work explained here, the text below has become outdated. Please ignore.

And second, even with one day compressed in 0.1 seconds, this is still a very long video, over 8 minutes. I do not dare to speed it up much more, the software’s default setting is 10x slower, and at high speeds you might lose the sense of what is going on. Any ideas? Should we maybe only take a few clips, or something? @Jan, @Richard, @Silvia_Gigli, any thought of how we could use this for communication/websites? The original resolution is much better than what went on YouTube.


can you make one for the other projects too and ER in general?

Yes, of course. But what are your ideas? The general one will become a mess: 35 minutes long or so, at the current speed. If you have ideas, I can be more precise in the visualization.

hihi ill tell you when sober tomorro :)))


Hi @alberto this is really beautiful and for a visual person like me it’s so interesting!
Watching it you start asking questions, (who is who? how does it work? why?)
For example there is an explosion on the workspace at some point, that sort of ground the project, and I wonder for example, if the conversation before that were to weak to resist the wind (the visualization made me think of vegetation) or if maybe this is a good strategy that we should use every time we start a new conversation?
Watching that for example at the same time I worried that the backend energy will surpass the energy that has been put on the public conversation, resulting in some sort of behind the curtain work instead of out in the open.

It’s really telling a story of the conversation, it’s beautiful (and a very smart media to add to a report)

In term of the length of the video, one suggestion is when you have a backbone of moments/milestones/events that happened, maybe you can create a post where you alternate shorter videos that highlight specific phenomena and text that explain that phenomena. Similar to a twitter thread.

Oh, no. You are not even seeing the private workspaces! POPREBEL’s workspace is public, as is the default policy in Edgeryders.

have you seen this? This is much better.

Noted, and I agree with you. But @Jan has not reacted so far.

1 Like


This looks great! Once the various reports and deliverables are out of the way, developing the website will be one of @Jan’s and my main tasks for the summer.

Ok. @Richard, @Silvia_Gigli, could one of you give me access to a POPREBEL logo file? I am going to regenerate the video so that it looks better.



Ok, @jan, @Richard, @nadia, @marina and anyone who might want a video of the POPREBEL conversation. I made a much improved version of the concept above. It comes in two versions. One displays the beginning of the text of each post (gives an intuitive idea of what people are talking about, and of the languages being used). The other displays the usernames (gives an intuitive idea of “the crowd”). Choose the one you want, I’ll unlist the other.

Sorry, for some reason the audio did not export. I will do the re-export.

1 Like

Ok, this is really going to be the final final version. I have made a substantial improvement to my code, that now also keeps track of the coding done by ethnographers. Annotations in the visualization are color-coded yellow. I am going to edit the first post in this topic with the link to the new version.

I also re-exported the video, and added explanations during the video itself, so that the viewer can better understand what she sees. With this, I believe the video is finally ready for inclusion in the POPREBEL website. @Jan, @Richard, @Silvia_Gigli, @nadia.


@alberto @Richard @Silvia_Gigli @nadia @amelia Alberto: I still do not have audio. Am I doing something wrong? Will share a version with corrected audio later? I like the one with themes more.

And I want to report to you all that @Wojt (Wojtek, our new Polish coder/ethnographer) and I had our first almost 2-hr session today and we made great progress in developing our system of work and coded some. I have no doubt the coding will accelerate dramatically in the coming days. We will keep reporting.

1 Like

Jan, I think you are looking at the wrong link. The right one is in the very first post, or try this:

It is fantastic! I am not sure if further changes can be made. I have two suggestions to consider: (1) add a little more about POPREBEL (the name appears at the beginning but remains mysterious) and (2) show labels on some nodes, at least for a moment? Not sure if that is possible. That would make it more clear what it is all about: semantics AND network. J

1 is not recommended, because videos are not the best place for static text – and after all, this video will live in the POPREBEL website. It makes more sense to look for information in the website itself.

2 I actually did, at the beginning. Then, about 0’45, the graph becomes too big and messy, and I hide the labels.

This is SO cool! I batch code then refine til I’m reasonably happy and do the next big batch, so I love seeing the code bursts :slight_smile: would be interesting to compare with someone like @Leonie who takes a more slow and steady incremental coding approach (there’s no one on POPREBEL like that to compare to).


It looks great!
I cannot figure out which are the bigger conversations (I see them but cannot tell which they are), nor do I know which are the most annotated posts, because the minute the yellow starts flaring in the video there is no more text to show clues.
But I think it works as a dynamic international conversation with a few centers of gravity. Perhaps those should be more emphasized with text again (0’48’’, 1’39’’ for example).

I wanted to give a “big picture” view. For analysis, it is better to install gource on your machine, generate the log files using my code, (or I can give them to you), and then run the files through gource. In this way, you have an interactive visualization. Hovering over a node will show the filename:


You can also do a lot with the view, hiding or showing the names of the files, of the directories, etc. For example, I can tell gource to show me the directories names:


1 Like

Calling @noemi @Richard @Jan @Silvia_Gigli

I had to make a new version of the video, identical but with the POPREBEL logo showing at the end. Please use this one. I unlisted the other video.

1 Like

Oki thanks,… uf I hope we’ll have another Masters of Networks to dive deeper into this !!!