The celebrity Turing Test


This is cool. A CalTech student named Adam D’Angelo was thinking about Instant Messenger buddy lists, and realized they formed a massive network. If I have person A on my buddy list, and person A has person Q on their list — then I am effectively linked to person Q.

So D’Angelo created BuddyZoo — a tool that lets you upload your buddy lists and then generate a visual map showing how you’re linked to the world. For even more fun, he’s crunched data on buddy lists from college students — and determined that CalTech has the most popular students on the planet, heh.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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