Assignment 1 - Data Self-Portrait

Final piece:


I feel interesting that someone says "you might present yourself as someone else on anonymous social networks". That makes me curious about how I look like on internet. So I made this self-portrait according to 7 years' data from my most used social network website, Weibo, which is a Chinese version of twitter. Each row is one month and each dot is one day. The different shapes of dots represent different number of my posts on that day. This is the evidence of my existence on this digital public. It show's how I appeared on and gradually disappeared from this web public.




Home page of my Weibo

1. Data collection

The website only allow me to download some useless data, so I found a crawling tool called gooseeker, which can automatically grab specific informations on webpages. Then I got all my 1894 posts in 7 years as a .xml file.

2. Data screening and rough analysing

The raw data has so many information, but I only need is the time I posted. I separated the"year-month-date time" column with function "text to column", counted posts based on dates by function "subtotal", then inserted zero-post dates to the timeline using formula "=IF(ISERR(VLOOKUP(F2,B:C,2,)),"0",VLOOKUP(F2,B:C,2,))", finally I got the "date to post number" set, and a rough graphic analyzation to get better understand of this data set.

Raw Data

Raw Data

Final data set with rough graphic analyse

Final data set with rough graphic analyse

3. Translate number to image

I manually separated every month as a column and replaced the number to different symbols, so that I can get a image by screen capture.


4. Image processing in Photoshop/Text editing in Illustrator