Genealogy of Influence now open at Freebase

The Genealogy of Influence, my project to document creative influence through history, is now open for contributions at the wiki-style structured data site Freebase.

I added 514 “influence nodes” (people of cultural importance), 931 influence relationships, and 138 peer relationships. I didn’t want to restrict the scope to historical figures. So you can go on and start adding influences about anyone, living or dead. You can also add yourself as a Person, add the type Influence Node, and start listing your own influences. Here are sections of a page at Freebase:




and Wikipedia:


What’s the difference? At Freebase you click on the little menu button to add an influence, and a window pops up with an auto-complete field that will pull up matching topics. At Wikipedia, you go into editing code and have to look up the name that will make a safe link.


I had to select “Publish this type” in the type defintion for other people to view and use the type – which is a nice way to allow different levels of use of their service.

What’s next: Freebase leaves alpha and anyone can view these pages without logging in; I keep working on a Flash interface that pulls in live data; I think about ways to get people to go to Freebase and add connections.


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