Google Social API Otherme Service – How Does It Work Exactly?

Mulling over where I’m situated on Google+, it occurred to me that I should probably start looking at cross-network networks…for example, comparing public social networks across Google+ and Twitter.

A handy tool for this is the (little known?) Google Social API otherme service.

This lets you look up identities that are, in one way or another, associated with each other across the web… but the question is, how is the lookup working? For example, if I lookup my otherme profiles using my Twitter and Google+ accounts, I get different results, even though my Twitter profile is revealed when I look up my Google+ identity:

Google otherme service

Maybe the service only reveals the otherme links that are publicly declared on the identity I’m actually looking up? (But then, I don’t think my Twitter ID links to my Quora identity?)

Anyway, this is something I think I’ll try to have a play with over the next week or so, though I’m not quite sure how yet… I guess the first step might be to just plot a Google+ map and relabel the nodes, where possible, with Twitter IDs, then compare the Twitter friends map with the Google+ map. I’m not sure quite why this might be interesting (or maybe it won’t be), but if nothing else, it’ll get me exploring the different ways in which it’s possible to compare the overlap and structure of two networks with similar nodes…

PS if you’re feeling flush, there are also plenty of services out there that will sell you personal data associated with online identifiers, eg fliptop, Rapleaf, Rapportive,

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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