09 August 2006

A radial ontology for webpageviews

to review:

we seek to ground
all thinking
in a precise common visualisation
of local spacetime

Earthglobe flattened Bucky-wise
time-layers stacked, most recent on top

colored lines tracing worldpaths

with any statistic
mappable to color

usually red for high values
and blue for low

and today we consider webpageviews

15 years of hosting

with the webhosts at any instant
in those 15 years
ranked for popularity

with the top one-fifth colored red
the bottom one-fifth blue

so we can trace
ever-increasing numbers of hosts
starting blue/slow

most never cracking green

but some few catching on fast
some few more catching on slow

popular hosts tending to cluster
in the hi-tech corridors

centers of red and orange
diluting outward to yellow and green
with the boonies normally blue

(exceptions being of special interest:
who's that, bucking the trend?)

popularity could alternately
be gauged cumulatively

so slow and steady tortoises
beat meme-of-the-hour hares

earlybirds earning regular colorboosts
just by enduring

now let's break this down by pages

pages color-ranked by popularity
instantaneous or cumulative

hosts adding pages
quickly or slow

the most popular sites
adding hot news hourly

with any individual page
quickly lapsing into obscurity

(which are the steady tortoise-pages,
the Net classics everyone must read eventually?)

now let's break it down by words

less read blue
more read red

headlines and first paragraphs
are read most
boring sections skimmed
only the best writers
making every word count

so now we count
for each second of passing time
how many times each English word
is being read

and we collect these stats for a day

and build a list
of the million commonest English words
red orange yellow green blue

now we alphabetise that list
and reduce each word to a dot
of its appropriate color

and we project that line of dots
into space
along the orbit of Moon
one million dots
across 1.5 million miles
(leaving us lots of mental room to expand
although the scale is finally irrelevant)

and into those 1.5 mile gaps
we insert alphabetical word-pairs
down to aardvark-zymergy

ten word-pairs per inch
each a colored dot
to represent that pair's popularity
using the same colorscale
as for single words

and now we divide each one-tenth inch
to hold a million threeword triplets
and again and again and again

until any popular 5000-word web-rant
has its own colored dot
based on how often it's been read


we move all the red-dot word-strings
into the closest Earth orbits

the orange dots almost as close
yellow and green also intermediate
blue dots still at Moon's length

and we link each wordpair/triple/etc
to its component words/pairs/etc
by elastic bands

(since a pairing will normally be
less common than either component
these bands will link inner-more components
to outer-more groupings)

and we'll let the elastics pull the dots
into mega-clusters

(red dots still constrained to red orbits
but freed from their original alphabetical positions
within those orbits)

one can hope
the resulting groupings
would match, eg,
the basic Yahoo categories

technical word-clusters
sports word-clusters
literary word-clusters
political word-clusters

and an individual's web history
ought to favor certain clusters

if we track any individual's surfing
we can visualise the stream of words
they're reading

shrinking our whole Moon model
down to a disk that fits
within the circumference of their brain

lighting up, each moment
the dot for the word they're reading
and for the most-recent pair
triplet etc

so when they finish reading
a popular page
they'll have incremented the 'counter'
for that page's particular word-sequence

maybe boosting it
from blue-orbit to green