del.ico.us speed dating

Context
I am incredibly interested in the constant flux of the internet. The constant flow of information is something that appeals to me but it also feels deeply disturbing.

I am also interested in the concepts of privacy and fake manifestations of web personas. How much can you learn about a person from their online profile? How much is real?

Idea

By tapping in to the RSS feed of the social bookmarking site del.ico.us, I have access to peoples public bookmarks. The idea of del.ico.us speed dating dawned on me when I thought of actively comparing the bookmarks of two profiles in a simulated physical model, binding webpages together by shared tags. By observing the connections between the two profiles, you could ponder the quality of your match, shared interests and you could stumble upon related sites that might be of interest to you.

Design Process
Once I realised that I was interested in making a physical simulation of the RSS feeds, I changed my programming platform to Processing. This allowed me to use the excellent traer physics library. Although this cost me a few days of Actionscript programming, in the end i was happy I made the change.

What did you learn by seeing the data in a visual way?
Seeing the physics model evolve is highly meditative and is a good focus point for thinking about the networked lives we are leading. You can take time to think about the amount of data traces we willingly leave behind us, and how one can reconstruct a person from these bits of data.

STUDENTS