How Nicholas Felton (@feltron) mapped all 95,000 conversations he had last year: by @ctrlzee via @FastCoDesign

This is Nicholas Felton's "2013 Feltron Report." (click on any image for a larger slide)

It offers a peek into every communication he's had through the year.

But there's a catch--while you hear all of the statistics, you never actually see what's inside.

Even still, the data he shares is daunting. Here we see a complete overview of his communications--94,842 interactions in all.

He breaks it down by the service/medium of discussion.

And here you can see how certain contacts he has span various mediums (when he talks to them on different channels).

This is one of my favorite graphs--a reciprocation graph. On the left, people he sent more text messages to than he received. On the right, people who sent Felton more messages than he sent back.

This is a chart of the unique words Felton received. "The vocabulary visualization is based on an alphabetical gird of all the words in the Oxford English Dictionary. The list progresses from left to right and top to bottom. If a word was used from the dictionary, it is indicated with a dot… and if that word is in the top set of words used, the dot is enlarged and labeled," Felton tells Co.Design.

This is a complementary chart of unique words sent by Felton.

Here we see where the conversations he had occurred across the globe.

Here we see the places he discussed.

Here we see the topics.

And here we see where those topics may have overlapped in a conversation (like going "cross country" to see the "Dirty Projectors").

And here we see a breakdown of his face-to-face meetings.

Nicholas Felton Had 95,000 Conversations Last Year And Mapped Each One

Life quantification pioneer Nicholas Felton's latest annual report is his most ambitious to date.

For the last nine years, Nicholas Felton—who you may know best for inspiring the Facebook timeline or creating the life-logging app Reporter—has been recording some aspect of almost every moment of his life. And each year, he turns this data into a elegant, printed book that visualizes the year called The Feltron Report. (See 2011 here and 2012 here.)

His 2013 report was released yesterday, and while his past efforts have tracked minutia like beers drank and places on the globe visited, this time, Felton was even more ambitious, tracking every bit of communication—be it a spoken or nonverbal acknowledgement, SMS, Facebook message, telephone call, email, or the paper stuff. That’s 94,842 interactions containing 7,673,242 words in all, requiring an painstaking amount of work just to archive.

Felton had to log his physical mail onto spreadsheets (an act that took 15 hours of work unto itself), and dutifully take notes after speaking to someone face to face. But the portrait that ensued—just on the cover of the report!—is a literal universe of conversation that, Felton points out, "overshadows the communication sphere of our ancestors."

All 5,699 people and companies in this network shine as stars of relative size to their speech. In the center, his girlfriend, Olga Bell, appears as a massive hub, its gravitational force influencing Felton’s other activities and interests. You have businesses like Flickr, Kickstarter, Seamless, and J.Crew that are assumably spamming his email, along with the catch-all faceless mass classifications of Female Cashier and Male Waiter, the everyday people with utilitarian jobs who show up again and again in his life.

Now, you never get to see the actual contents of all of these conversations—some transcriptions are actually included in the report, but edited with black bars as a tease—yet Felton still quantifies just how many messages are going back and forth between him and his universe of contacts. And the figures are huge.

"I was amazed by the sheer number of words being read, spoken, or heard over the course of the year," Felton tells Co.Design. "In SMS alone, I am consuming and composing several novels a year . . . it goes to show that we are reading more than ever but in much smaller fragments and in more places."

Interestingly enough, those 44,026 text messages were written to just 87 people. And over 40,000 were to or from Olga. Contrast that to the 3,744 sources that received from or sent Felton roughly 30,000 emails. It doesn’t take a statistician to see that SMS is a surprisingly deep and intimate medium for us to communicate—we speak in-depth to just a few people—while email is a sort of catch-all pile for anyone and everyone to contact you.

The 2013 Feltron Report is available for preorder now for $30.

Get it here.

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