In collaboration with Karsten Schmidt/PostSpectacular.
With the Internet's promise of instant and absolute connectedness, two things appear to be curiously underrepresented: both temporal and lateral perspective of our data-trails. Yet, the amount of data we are constantly producing provides a whole world of contexts, many of which can reveal astonishing relationships if only looked at through time.
This experiment explores these possibilities by starting with messages on the microblogging-platform Twitter. One can search for usernames or topics, which are tracked through time and visualized much like the way a particle collider draws pictures of subatomic matter. Posts that didn't resonate with anyone just connect to the next item in the stream. The ones that did, however, spin off and horizontally link to users or topics who relate to them, either directly or in terms of their content.
The Social Collider acts as a metaphorical instrument which can be used to make visible how memes get created and how they propagate. Ideally, it might catch the Zeitgeist at work.
This project was commissioned by Google Inc. as a Chrome Experiment and is available as open source. There is also an excellent documentation written by Karsten Schmidt, a Flickr-pool and @socialcollider on Twitter itself.