Dave Troy’s previous visualizations have included filtered LinkedIn data to show the connections among Baltimore-area nonprofits and plotted city residents’ geocoded tweets.
Now the co-founder of 410 Labs has constructed a new visualization that shows the individual networks of members of the quite-active Baltimore Tech Facebook group. With the help of Sigma.JS, Troy’s new map organizes the 1,630 members of the Facebook group into five broad categories: two distinct “waves” of people (coders/geeks and investors, respectively), people affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, people from Washington, D.C.’s tech community and members of the media and government.
Perhaps most important about Troy’s new visualization, however, is the ability to click on “nodes” of specific people to discover who is in their professional network. The implications for startups are important, as Troy wrote in a post on the Facebook group:
If you’re trying to find funding, your team’s position in this network is at least as important as your idea or execution. If you’re not getting traction it’s a sign you don’t have the right relationships. Authentically move towards the people who are getting traction.
Assembling a network of talented, employable people in tandem with attracting venture capitalists eager to pump money into Baltimore’s startup ecosystem are challenges for this city. But for all the talk of “siloed” elements of the Baltimore region’s broader tech scene, the real reason to spend time with this latest visualization isn’t to belabor the point any further, but rather to figure out who knows whom (programmers, designers, investors, mentors and so on), and how to, if you’re a startup owner, get those people to meet with you.
We’d suggest Whisper Down the Lane, but e-mail and social media introductions might be much easier.