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Social Network of Political Books
Valdis Krebs
Project Description:
This is the third "social network" map of political books based on purchase patterns from major web book retailers, which highlight the strong division between left and right. Two books are linked in the social network if they were purchased by the same person -- "Customers who bought this book also bought?". On this version Valdis Krebs used the top 100 political books on Amazon as a guide. The data was gathered in late April 2004, after the release of many greatly anticipated political books. InFlow software was used to map and measure the "social network of books."

The books are organized, and colored red, blue or purple, based on book buying data. The links determine the grouping and coloring of the nodes. Many thought that Woodward's latest book, Plan of Attack would be read equally by pro and anti-Bush readers. The 'also bought' data does not support that theory. Mostly those reading left leaning books are buying Woodward?s book.

The big difference between this network map and the previous two are the number of books in the middle. The release of two popular middle books, colored purple, expose a further network of middle books. Ghost Wars reveals one group of middle books, while The Rise of the Vulcans reveals a second group. Yet, the increase in boundary-spanning books does not indicate a shift in the political landscape. The three network maps are not that different within common statistical limits.

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