Research from the CDC: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter (say THAT three times fast.) “From the full stream of tweets posted on Twitter from April 12, 2014, to May 10, 2014 (approximately 14.5 billion tweets), all tweets containing the terms hookah, hooka, shisha, or sheesha were collected (n = 358,523). The hookah tweets from Twitter users (tweeters) with high influence and followers were identified (n = 39,824) and a random sample of 5,000 tweets was taken (13% of tweets with high influence and followers). The sample of tweets was qualitatively coded for normalization (ie, makes hookah smoking seem common and normal or portrays positive experiences with smoking hookah) or discouragement of hookah smoking, and other common themes using crowdsourcing…. Approximately 87% of the sample of tweets normalized hookah use, and 7% were against hookah or discouraged its use. Nearly half (46%) of tweets that normalized hookah indicated that the tweeter was smoking […]
MIT did a huge study of MOOCs. “The study, one of the largest ever undertaken on the topic of MOOCs, examined 68 courses offered through the edX platform, encompassing 1.7 million participants, 10 million participant-hours, and 1.1 billion logged events—or clicks, recorded by the edX servers. edX is an online, non-profit learning platform founded by MIT and Harvard in 2012.”
Language use is so important, and the way you use language online can be incredibly unique! Check out this article on forensic linguistics. “Experts claim a regular anonymous internet user may be tracked through linguistic clues they unwittingly leave behind in their writing. According to Dr Tim Grant in an article for The Conversation, ‘everything from the way someone uses capitalization or personal pronouns, to the words someone typically omits or includes, to a breakdown of average word or sentence length, can help identify the writer of even a short text like a Tweet or text message.’ “
A group of universities are working with Google to develop a platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). “Carnegie Mellon researchers will work with colleagues at Cornell, Stanford, Illinois and Google to create GIoTTO, a new platform to support IoT applications. Initial plans for GIoTTO include sensors that are inexpensive and easy to deploy, new middleware to facilitate app development and manage privacy and security, and new tools that enable end users to develop their own IoT experiences.”
Is Google’s ad-targeting discriminatory? “Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the International Computer Science Institute built a tool called AdFisher to probe the targeting of ads served up by Google on third-party websites. They found that fake Web users believed by Google to be male job seekers were much more likely than equivalent female job seekers to be shown a pair of ads for high-paying executive jobs when they later visited a news website.” Advertisers on AdWords CAN limit their ads to show only to males or females, but I can’t imagine why you’d do that with employment ads. Besides just being a stupid idea, can you imagine a corporation being busted for just showing executive ads to men (or just women)? They’d get sued into oblivion.
Interesting article from MIT Technology Review: Live Streaming: Social Control from Afar. “…there is something about the dynamics of a remote audience that seems to inspire otherwise reasonable people to cause trouble. This was one of the lessons we learned from an experiment we conducted at the MIT Media Lab in 2001. The setup was that an actor equipped with a camera mounted on her forehead and a backpack full of electronics would do whatever the audience (the “directors,” connected via the Internet) collectively decided she should do. Directors could suggest and vote on actions; every few minutes the highest-rated one would be sent to the actor to carry out. She ended up dancing on the table and eating from other people’s plates. Suggesting something transgressive was irresistible. “
The Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress: Challenges for Information Practice and Information Policy
Michael Zimmer has a really good article at First Monday: The Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress: Challenges for Information Practice and Information Policy. “In April 2010, the U.S. Library of Congress and the popular micro-blogging company Twitter announced that every public tweet, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library and made available to researchers. The Library of Congress’ planned digital archive of all public tweets holds great promise for the research community, yet, over five years since its announcement, the archive remains unavailable. This paper explores the challenges faced by the Library that have prevented the timely realization of this valuable archive, divided into two categories: challenges involving practice, such as how to organize the tweets, how to provide useful means of retrieval, how to physically store them; and challenges involving policy, such as the creation of access controls to the archive, […]