An ongoing conversation about techniques and visualization practice
The evolution of FCC lobbying coalitions: Co-filing behavior in FCC Docket 01-92 on Inter-Carrier Compensation
Pierre de Vries
PEER REVIEW COMMENT No. 1 – This visualization captures the formal connections between lobbying organizations in the fight over telephone transfer fees. This representation suggests that the companies lobbying the most, or the most well connected, are not necessarily the most structurally important, or the most influential. Smaller companies can play important lobbying roles if they connect particular lobbying subgroups to each other. This visualization offers a clean picture of the lobbying network but provides little information about the companies: perhaps a different color scheme, combinations of shapes, or more exaggerated node sizes could have told a clearer story about the kinds of companies playing different roles.
PEER REVIEW COMMENT No. 2 – This visualization clearly depicts the connections made between phone company’s lobby groups, and the extent of pairwise connectivity is captured by the edge color. Since node size represents the number of filings that a company is on, it appears clear that the number of filings alone do not determine the centrality (which is indicated by “pinkness”). The color scheme may not be optimal, however, as it is difficult to ascertain the importance of edge weight or co-filings without very careful study, since the different shades of orange are difficult to discern. The placement of the isolated components in the margins appears to be arbitrary, but it might make sense to imbue the macro-space with meaning here as well.
PEER REVIEW COMMENT No. 3 – This layout does a good job of making coalitions easily apparent to the viewer. I’m curious whether there is a size effect. If node size was proportional to either volume of telecom traffic or total corporate worth, would we see peer-preferences in coalition choices?
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