bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

No advice column.

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Friendsheet part 2
bird poops on plum branch
The friend spreadsheet I'm working on (or friendsheet) has grown to 634 since I included most of my LJ friends. 

There are 45 LJ friends (out of 177) that, sadly, I can't recall the full names of, and can't find mention of them on their journals.  As the sheet's currently configured, I need both names for inclusion.  Also, I'm strangely embarrassed to reveal the list, even though it would help complete it.

So, of the 634 people on the list, I'm LJ friends with 18.14%, and I've eaten with 31.39%.

It's much more time-consuming to work on this list than I thought it would be.  Adding a column and going through the whole list to see who is in the set takes over an hour.  Meaning it takes me about 6 seconds on average to process each person (including my distractions while catching up on the Daily Show on, of course). 

I can't quite articulate the feeling I have when creating spreadsheet formulas that take these inputs and output numbers.  It's mechanical and sort of weird at the same time.  At the same time, I love thinking about the people in my lives.  And, the end result for me is to be more aware of my place in my social network and to turn all of this data into some kind of art project.

So, of the 634 people in the spreadsheet, only 5 people have matched in each set.  kellianne, ingopixel, nerdhaus, spangley, and joshc.  Haha.  That means they use Facebook, Twitter, and LJ, while also having met me in person, been in my house, made out, and eaten with.  This is all hilarious (to me).  Then there are 18 missing only one of the sets, and 39 missing two.  What does it all mean? 

Next columns I'm considering: met parents of, bought/received gift, and a few others.  But what about traits like trust, love, admire, etc?  Do those belong here?  How to illustrate the bonds of acquaintanceship, friendship, and love with superficial markers?  Maybe it's futile.  Maybe it's in vain.  Then again, maybe something interesting will come of it.  Who knows!

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Well Buster, I guess we'll have to make out. 6 out of 7 just doesn't sit well with me.

Well now you've hit upon the true purpose of this project.

I like this project. you'll have to publish the results once you're done. I like knowing how people are connected. Facebook tried to do this with their "how do you know this person" feature, but most people are too shy/lazy to complete it.

I do think that certain superficial markers can show the bond of a friendship -- some of the ones people mentioned in your last post are on the mark: accompanied to the hospital, you made dinner for, they slept on your couch. Oo, what about "they've seen you cry." That's a good one. I liked the "drove to the airport" one -- very seattle! On the east coast, you take a cab or the subway ;)

Yeah, if Facebook did anything interesting with that data, I bet more people would fill it out. I certainly would... now, I can't even find a way to edit that information from peoples' profile pages.

Yeah, I like the slept on our couch, drove to airport, helped move, etc. They are basically markers that include a lot of false negatives for people who never needed a ride or don't have a car.

Crying is a good one. It'll be a small set, but it'll be a tight one. I suppose there's no need to limit the number of columns, I can fill them all in, given enough time. :)

And yeah, I'll publish in some form at some point. I do want to make an abstraction of this information into a visualization of some sort... but haven't quite settled on the approach yet.

Wait... I do have a Twitter account! Does that mean that I score a seven? :)

You do? Where? And, it will count once we're twitter friends.

I don't actively use it... but I'll be willing to get back into it to get a perfect score!

Hey... so what are you up to tomorrow? Thinking I should take my German coworker out on the town.

I want to be in your crazy list, so in case you didn't know my full name is Julia Elaine Gfrörer.

You're in it now. Hey, what do you plan on doing with those drawings, are you making them into a book at all? I want one.

It will totally be a book. Right now I'm working on finding a small press that wants to publish it. If all else fails my buddy at Sparkplug Comics said he could take it on next year. So it may be awhile, but it'll be a massive book.

But I did come out with a couple of other new books recently.

awesome. when do i get my commemorative perfect score lapel pin?

Sigh. You never asked. Maybe I would have said yes.

"made out with my wife" should be a category!

I'd make out with you just to get a 100%. (Just like undergrad!)

I think you should add things that are quantitative, but aren't just yes/no. Maybe stuff on a 1-10 scale, like how attractive you think someone is? Then you could see if it correlates with "made out with?" and see if you hook up with hotties or notties!

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