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November 17, 2011 6:26 AM   Subscribe

The UnFacebook World via
posted by infini (57 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The above image is a mashup of two world maps: NASA's earth at night and Facebook's friendship map. Subtracting one from the other reveals places that don't use Facebook.

Seems to me that looking just at the "friendship" map accomplishes that goal (...such as it is) pretty well on its own.
posted by Gator at 6:31 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can see my house from here.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:32 AM on November 17, 2011


I do not use Facebook.

I am the 99%.
posted by DU at 6:33 AM on November 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


Seems to me that looking just at the "friendship" map accomplishes that goal (...such as it is) pretty well on its own.

I don't know about that. The dark areas in the friendship map don't discriminate between places with people but without facebook and places that just don't have people. I think this does a nice job of capturing that distinction.
posted by agent at 6:35 AM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


so THIS is the thread where we can talk about how we don't use facebook
posted by nathancaswell at 6:40 AM on November 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


I dunno, man... there's a hella lotta yellow on Japan but I have a hella lotta Japanese FB friends.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:44 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree. The yellow all over Japan and South Korea is surprising. China, not so much.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2011


What do Russians use? Is it still LiveJournal?
posted by smitt at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2011


What do Russians use? Is it still LiveJournal?

In Soviet Russia, book faces ah fuck it
posted by nathancaswell at 6:51 AM on November 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Is this something I'd have to use Facebook to understand?
posted by gauche at 6:51 AM on November 17, 2011


What do Russians use?

Odnoklasniki.ru and/or Vkontakte.ru
posted by griphus at 6:53 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


LiveJournal is still big, but it serves a different purpose.
posted by griphus at 6:55 AM on November 17, 2011


Is Brazil showing all the Orkut demonstratively?
posted by infini at 7:04 AM on November 17, 2011


Nuts to Facebook and its unprofessional white background.
posted by panboi at 7:07 AM on November 17, 2011


My house is a dark black dot.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 7:19 AM on November 17, 2011


Brilliant.
posted by fake at 7:25 AM on November 17, 2011


I don't even have a teevee.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:29 AM on November 17, 2011


My house is a dark black dot.

my house is a dark black dot
there ain't no facebook here
i have actual, physical friends who stop by
we play cards and drink lotsa beer
we "like" each other's comments
and we haven't been "unfriended" yet
when the beer runs out, we go get some more
so who needs the internet?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:31 AM on November 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


So what if you signed up for facebook so you could look at pictures and stuff your friend posted, but you find the Facebook user interface to be almost as pleasant as a root canal and if you wanted all the bother of running a farm but no actual produce, YOU'D BUY SOME ACREAGE OUT IN THE COUNTRY AND GIVE AWAY THE DAMN VEGETABLES!

Because I'm pretty solidly in that demographic.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:36 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


my house is a dark black dot
there ain't no facebook here


On the map, dark=facebook and yellow=no facebook.
posted by not that girl at 7:36 AM on November 17, 2011


On the map, dark=facebook and yellow=no facebook.

Oh, right. I had it turned around.

Ahem...

my house is a bright yellow dot
there ain't no facebook here
i have actual, physical friends who stop by
we play cards and drink lotsa beer
we "like" each other's comments
and we haven't been "unfriended" yet
when the beer runs out, we go get some more
so who needs the internet?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks, I'd liked the mash-up and it's interesting how it's a map of western cultural influence. Not necessarily surprising, but definitely interesting.

On a different note: It's great if you don't use facebook, I rarely use it myself (much to my family's dismay), but you can probably find more relevant threads to bring that up in than this one.
posted by forforf at 7:55 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


> The yellow all over Japan and South Korea is surprising.

I am not surprised that this is the case for Korea.
Cyworld is the dominant social networking site in Korea, and fairly early on let you define levels of relationship, from very close to acquaintances. At least from what I've seen, people whose social network is Korean stick to Cyworld - really, there's no need for them to get on Facebook. Facebook tends to be used by people who have people in their social network outside of Korea, these people outside Korea having Facebook accounts but no Cyworld accounts.
posted by needled at 7:59 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's interesting how it's a map of western cultural influence

By this definition, so is the whole internet. At least in this regard, I tend to see its spread, particularly on the African continent as a spread of the internet rather than 'western culture' per se.
posted by infini at 8:02 AM on November 17, 2011


The yellow all over Japan and South Korea is surprising.

For Japan, mixi is the main social networking platform (80% of the market according to wikipedia).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:36 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your Japanese friends on Facebook are probably in California.
posted by LoudMusic at 8:44 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dark = Facebook
Yellow = No Facebook


I think the legend misleads. It should be something like:

Dark = More per capita Facebook users
Yellow = Fewer per capita Facebook users

... or I think that's what it's going for?

The existing legend implies that Facebook is not available in the Yellow areas, when the friend graph used refers to usage, not availability.

Another problem seems to be that the graph equates electric light usage at "night" with population. Not horribly unfair, but also sorta misleading.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on November 17, 2011


The yellow all over Japan and South Korea is surprising.

If you look at the NASA image ^^^^, you can see those areas are also brighter, so again, it seems like the electric light at night thing (while perhaps relative to FB usage in some way...) throws it off.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:57 AM on November 17, 2011


The blogpost in the via link seemed to have interpreted this quite well, imho

The dark lines are Facebook usage and the bight yellow dots are where there are population centers that have bright lights at night but no Facebook friends.

Do you notice anything odd about Africa? How about that São Tomé and Príncipe have electricity but no Facebook and the millions in Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC have neither Facebook nor electrical lights at night.

This is a stark visual reminder that not everyone one is on FB, regardless of the hype around Facebook usage doubling in a month across Africa in 2011.

posted by infini at 9:17 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use FaceBook...as my image blog.

All my relations: WHATEVER, EVERICHON
posted by everichon at 9:39 AM on November 17, 2011


Huh. Spain is significantly less into Facebook than the rest of western Europe, including Portugal. I wonder why that is.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:26 AM on November 17, 2011


Huh, with those friendship trails streaking all over, it looks like a post apocalyptic rendition of the day Eurasia got the drop on our virtual-tomato-distracted asses.
posted by Bokononist at 10:37 AM on November 17, 2011


In my continuing-to-develop fantasy saga, the 'incident' went down shortly after the U.S. and Euro Zone simultaneously announced they would be, going forward, redeeming their outstanding bonds exclusively for FarmCash.
posted by Bokononist at 10:43 AM on November 17, 2011


OK I told this story two times before but everybody seemed to like it and I will retire it after this.

Once upon a time I joined facebook for twenty minutes. What happened was I met this woman and she seemed a *little* interested in me and I thought she was a *little* more than a *little* interesting and I was bored one afternoon so I decided to internet stalk her. Typed her name into google. First hit: her facebook page. You have to be a member of facebook to read her facebook page.

So I used a throwaway e-mail account and I joined facebook under an assumed name. Then I loaded her facebook page.

575 friends. I actually recognized a couple of them. Since I have being a scientist as one of the core components of my self-concept, I happen to be aware of the idea of Dunbar Number, 150 as a pretty damn tight upper bound of the number of people a person has the capacity to keep track of in their mind. Before I had spent more than twenty minutes on the page (to be honest it could have been as little as two or three, but if you count the googling and the e-mailing and the making up shit to type on their user signup page it probably got close to twenty minutes total) I signed out of facebook and I have never signed back on.

Once a week or so their spambots get my e-mail from one of my acquaintances and once every couple of months they get it from one of my friends but I ignore it.
posted by bukvich at 10:54 AM on November 17, 2011


What's the punchline?
posted by griphus at 10:58 AM on November 17, 2011


OK I told this story two times before but everybody seemed to like it and I will retire it after this.

I have no idea what that story means. The Dunbar Number is for stable relationships. Internet relationships are not stable.

I wouldn't say I had any stable relationships with MetaFilter users, but I'd also happily call many users on here my friends. *shrug*

Internet social networking isn't for stable relationships. It's for everyone you'd ever want to ever remember again. I have about 250 FB friends, but I have many more people that I track on Tumblr, G+, etc. They are all in my "network" whatever that means.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:59 AM on November 17, 2011


I'm doing everything I can to make that map more yellow.

I'm so sick of hearing "but it's the only way to keep track of _____, who I haven't _____ in a long time." The reason you don't talk that often is because you aren't as close as you thought.
posted by hellslinger at 11:05 AM on November 17, 2011


You know, I meant yellow dot. Poetically it isn't as strong.
But I do not have a Facebook. I do not use Facebook. I prefer not to make myself a product for others to sell, or to in fact market products to loved ones in this manner.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:08 AM on November 17, 2011


I'm waiting for the day someone commissions me to take a deeper look at why FB has been gaining popularity in rural Eastern Africa - is it, as they say, the social networking and friends aspect of it, or, truth be told, as I've often suspected, simply defaulting due to a lack of a better, more relevant alternative to "what do I do with this Internet thing everyone's talking so much about?"
posted by infini at 11:09 AM on November 17, 2011


The only thing non-FB users are really missing is photos. Lots and lots of photos.

I'm curious. Do non-FB users also eschew other social networks (or the social network elements of Web sites), like G+, Tumblr, Flickr, Last.fm, Blip.Tv, YouTube, etc?

And do they do it so proudly? ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've thought about joining a social network, but I'm a bit frightened by the idea of being obligated to respond to more people. Email is hard enough right now.

So what's with the yellow dots in central BC-Alberta-Saskatchewan? So far as I know, Facebook is as dominant here as everywhere else in the west.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:00 PM on November 17, 2011


Metafilter: Not horribly unfair, but also sorta misleading.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2011


I have to ask: what's everyone's metaphor of Facebook? I keep thinking the one I am using is significantly different than everyone else's and it confounds me.

I look at Facebook like a street and "friending" someone is an acknowledgement that they may be found on the street at some time. The equivalent of meeting someone at a party and saying "see you later." You might say "oh, hey, look at Frank down the block, he's talking about Occupy Wall Street" or "hey, he's showing people his baby pictures" or whatever. So you can sort of come up to Frank and look at his pictures and say "hey! cute baby!" or you can just give him a thumbs up as you walk past or just ignore him. When someone posts something on your wall it's like they're passing you by and saying "oh, hey, take a look at this" and continuing on walking.

I have a feeling other people don't see Facebook this casually. Am I right?
posted by griphus at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


The only thing non-FB users are really missing is photos. Lots and lots of photos.

That's the only thing I miss. All the family photos are on facebook these days, and it sucks to be that one guy who keeps asking if someone will please send him a copy separately.

I'm curious. Do non-FB users also eschew other social networks (or the social network elements of Web sites), like G+, Tumblr, Flickr, Last.fm, Blip.Tv, YouTube, etc?

I was a social networking early adopter, clear back to sixdegrees, and I bounced along from one service to the next wondering when it was all finally going to come together and do something useful, but it just never happened. Facebook is basically a giant skinner box in service of an advertising service. Other social networking web sites seem basically to be bandwagon-jumpers with no real substance.

The social networking web site experience seems to consist of an endless series of exchanges like... "Hi! I see you over there. You still exist!" "Yep, I'm still here!" "Ok, well, nice to see you!" "Yep, you too." "Oh hey, you're there!" "Yeah, you too!" "Ok, well, I'll see you around." I mean, nothing ever happens there, you just all observe and occasionally comment on each other's independent existence.

The sad part is that facebook et al seem to have soaked up most of the creative energy that was formerly distributed all over the web. Or am I just old and jaded? Either way the stream of personal blogs and quirky creative projects seems to be a lot thinner than it was a decade ago.

I'm not really proud of it, I just think social networks are tedious and mostly boring, and I'd rather spend my alway-too-limited time doing something creative.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:14 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


griphus: "...So you can sort of come up to Frank and look at his pictures and say "hey! cute baby!" or you can just give him a thumbs up as you walk past or just ignore him. When someone posts something on your wall it's like they're passing you by and saying "oh, hey, take a look at this" and continuing on walking."

Mars Saxman: "The social networking web site experience seems to consist of an endless series of exchanges like... "Hi! I see you over there. You still exist!" "Yep, I'm still here!" "Ok, well, nice to see you!" "Yep, you too." "Oh hey, you're there!" "Yeah, you too!" "Ok, well, I'll see you around." I mean, nothing ever happens there, you just all observe and occasionally comment on each other's independent existence."

But isn't that what most social interaction is about? At least ninety-percent of all communication is about acknowledging and strengthening preexisting ties between individuals, just like grooming in apes or elephants touching trunks. We're the same. And Facebook probably isn't that different conceptually from meeting people on the street or calling them on the phone - it's just more efficient.

To me that seems like a lot of work. Maybe it's not so bad if you do it every day, but imo, the idea of being in constant touch with everyone I've ever known sounds like a full time job. And if you do it wrong because you're exhausted or sick or whatever, and don't respond appropriately when someone sends you a picture of their new boat, then you run the risk of alienating everybody you've ever met. In the pre-Internet era there was a limit to how many people you could interact with in a day, but now with services like Facebook the limits are gone.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:35 PM on November 17, 2011


See, that's the thing. I don't see it as much being in constant touch as it is having the potential to be in touch with. I've just got this disconnect with the mentality that says that you have to make contact with anyone you're Facebook friends with. 90% of my Facebook friends I have not dropped a line to since friending them. I'm not going to de-friend them because, hey, why bother burning a bridge when I can just block them from my feed. The other 10% I will comment here or there when something they say strikes my fancy. No obligation.

I'm not saying that you SHOULD see it this way, but I'm just not seeing why people who don't think they have so much obligation to the other people on the network.
posted by griphus at 12:42 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


(That is, I'm not seeing what exactly is exhausting when you don't have to do anything at all.)
posted by griphus at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2011


I guess those exchanges felt like a waste of time because they didn't translate back into anything real. I only have so much time and energy, and only so much capacity to maintain relationships, but I never ended up spending any more time with the people whose status updates filled my newsfeed. The people I do spend time with never posted much on facebook anyway, so the service was neither expanding nor enhancing my social life.

Facebook could have been valuable if it had helped me identify people in my peripheral circle of acquaintance that I would have enjoyed getting to know better, but it really didn't do that. Instead all their clever algorithms seemed to focus on convincing you to re-route your existing communication channels through facebook so they could blast more ads at you.

The company is so blatantly mendacious that I was never willing to trust their web site with any personal communication, but their "edgerank" algorithm only seems to work if you heavily use facebook to communicate with people directly. In my case they had no data to work with, and my news feed was basically selected at random. It was a lot of work to dig through it, and in the end it just wasn't worth the effort.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2011


Cyworld is the dominant social networking site in Korea, and fairly early on let you define levels of relationship, from very close to acquaintances. At least from what I've seen, people whose social network is Korean stick to Cyworld - really, there's no need for them to get on Facebook.

Certainly Cyworld is the reason why Korea is relatively bright on the map, but the most recent figures I've seen suggest that Facebook is catching or has even caught Cyworld in terms of active users, even if the installed user base of Cyworld is still higher.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2011


"The social networking web site experience seems to consist of an endless series of exchanges like... "Hi! I see you over there. You still exist!" "Yep, I'm still here!" "Ok, well, nice to see you!" "Yep, you too." "Oh hey, you're there!" "Yeah, you too!" "Ok, well, I'll see you around." I mean, nothing ever happens there, you just all observe and occasionally comment on each other's independent existence.

This is making me rethink my original hypothesis regarding 'there's nothing else that can be cheaply done wiht a data enabled phone' - this mimics real world behaviour, particularly in rural locales and community is your insurance/backup etc in times of trouble, so you maintain these ties with strokes/contacts the rest of the time. Might even be, its faster, cheaper and easier for large extended families and friends, than the more expensive voice or text. *ponders*
posted by infini at 1:57 PM on November 17, 2011


For Japan, mixi is the main social networking platform (80% of the market according to wikipedia).

But Wikipedia cites that 80% as of 2008. I've seen Facebook gaining traction in Japan the past couple years. Younger and more tech-savvy folks seem to like it more than mixi, and I see a lot of Facebook books at bookstores recently. I wouldn't be surprised if they were close to 50% alongside mixi now.
posted by p3t3 at 2:04 PM on November 17, 2011


I certainly know plenty of Korean Facebook users, but they're the "internationally minded" exception as this map shows. For linguistic and cultural reasons (as well as the online ID law I expect) Korea functions almost almost like a national intranet. A huge percentage online activity takes place on just a few multi-purpose domestically run sites like Naver, Daum, and Cyworld. Korea Yahoo is pretty popular too though, so that is a notable exception.
posted by Winnemac at 2:18 PM on November 17, 2011


I use Facebook personally, where I have friendly interactions with nice people I know, and I use it professionally, where I use it like a community bulletin board. Some people are really grarrrrrr about Facebook, but it can be very simple, and fun.
posted by Biblio at 3:15 PM on November 17, 2011


Just turning my feed into "close friends only" has made me like facebook more than I had been for awhile.
posted by maxwelton at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2011


the most recent figures I've seen suggest that Facebook is catching or has even caught Cyworld in terms of active users, even if the installed user base of Cyworld is still higher.

Those numbers from Rankey have been disputed, plus they measure visitors to the site, not active users. For example, Nielsen KoreanClick estimated that the number of monthly visitors in August this year for the sites were 10 million for Facebook and 20 million for Cyworld. This Google+ post also points out that not all Facebook visitors with Korean IP addresses may be Korean. Based on default language settings, he estimates the number of Korean Facebook users may actually be around 3.5 million.

Actually the service that's threatening both Cyworld and Facebook in Korea is KakaoTalk, an instant messaging application for mobile devices. KakaoTalk currently has over 20 million registered users, a number made even more impressive when one considers that just a year ago they had about 1 million registered users. Just looking around me, people I know who were meh on social networking sites have taken to KakaoTalk with a vengeance.
posted by research monkey at 6:38 PM on November 17, 2011


Wow, that's really interesting stuff, research monkey and I'm heartened at any signs that Facebook hegemony is not absolute.

Well caught on my misuse of 'active users', although I doubt that measurements of actual activity would do Cyworld many favours. I agree that seeing this as a two-horse race is mistaken and that mobile-based networking is likely to produce the next big challenger, be that KakaoTalk or something else.

I'm not convinced that Korea's small immigrant population is skewing the figures as much as claimed; in fact I think that Rankey is just as likely to undercount non-Koreans. (but I may be misunderstanding the arguments)
posted by Busy Old Fool at 3:23 AM on November 18, 2011


"The social networking web site experience seems to consist of an endless series of exchanges like... "Hi! I see you over there. You still exist!" "Yep, I'm still here!" "Ok, well, nice to see you!" "Yep, you too." "Oh hey, you're there!" "Yeah, you too!" "Ok, well, I'll see you around." I mean, nothing ever happens there, you just all observe and occasionally comment on each other's independent existence.

For me, the social networking Web experience is more like: "Hey, look at me!" "Who cares?" "Hey, here's a cool video?" "No, that sucks." "Occupy Everywhere!" "Hey, what do you think of this?" "That's the most ridiculous thing I've seen all year" "Go Niners!" "Football is for morons" "I can't believe they got that guy to do that" "Hey, we just had a baby!" "User X is listening to Ted Nugent's Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" ...

Aside from all the babies (and now Spotify), MetaFilter's not that much different. For me, I enjoy G+ the most, because I literally start new (sometimes interesting) conversations with strangers every single day.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:19 AM on November 18, 2011


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