Do Search Engine Rankings Influence How People Will Vote?

Do Internet search engines influence elections? Holy cow, this just gets scarier and scarier. “In a third experiment, the team tested its hypothesis in a real, ongoing election: the 2014 general election in India. After recruiting a sample of 2150 undecided Indian voters, the researchers repeated the original experiment, replacing the Australian candidates with the three Indian politicians who were actually running at the time. The results of the real world trial were slightly less dramatic—an outcome that researchers attribute to voters’ higher familiarity with the candidates. But merely changing which candidate appeared higher in the results still increased the number of undecided Indian voters who would vote for that candidate by 12% or more compared with controls. And once again, awareness of the manipulation enhanced the effect.” You do not want to hear my rant on ballot access. But man oh man, do I have a rant on ballot […]

Most Popular Programming Languages of 2015

ProgrammableWeb: The most popular programming languages of 2015. “The Top 10 ranking was calculated with help from computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos. The system was based on weighting and the combination of 12 metrics from 10 data sources, including the IEEE Xplore digital library, GitHub, and CareerBuilder, to determine the popularity of languages from an initial list of 48.” R was #6!

Yes, There Is Google+ Love Out There

In the interest of fairness, Some Google+ love. “None of my real-life friends use it, and my grandma definitely doesn’t share any memes there. In fact, a lot of my online friends don’t have Google+ accounts, and those that do don’t use use them. Who says Google+ has to be Facebook, though? There is a select group of people that I follow — about 1,000, actually — that use Google+ every single day. I interact with dozens of posts every day, I share a fair number of my own, and I’ve met some amazing people.” Better hope there are a lot of amazing people out there, or Google will cut your service off at the knees (COUGH Google Reader COUGH).

Opinion: Google Should Buy Twitter

More opinion: Google should buy Twitter. I’m kind of ambivalent about Google buying Twitter, but I would a thousand times more want Google to buy Twitter than Apple. Apple would ruin it. Here’s a weird one: what if Amazon bought Twitter and put it under the same operational aegis as the Washington Post?

Josh Bernoff: Making Twitter Relevant

From Josh Bernoff: Making Twitter relevant. If you’re into Twitter speculation, as I am, this is a fun article. “Whoever runs Twitter must face the same problem: Twitter isn’t relevant. It’s no fun to read, and nobody clicks. This is the root of both the user problem and the advertising revenue problem. So I set out to answer one question: what would get people to participate in Twitter? I would like to optimize the three things that make Facebook so successful and engaging: Conversations, sharing, and click-throughs to Web content.” (And making nice with third-party developers so you can have plenty of tools to do all of the above.)

Intersecting the Traditional Classroom With the Internet

From Hybrid Pedagogy: Teaching with the Internet; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Google In My Classroom “The Internet poses to us an active challenge to deeply reconsider what it means to be literate in the twenty-first century. Does literacy for us simply mean, the way it did in the 19th century, the memorization and regurgitation of factoids and arguments? 21st century literacies demand that we teach radically differently from before. They ask us to replace content in the classroom with action, centering what our students do, how we interact with them, and the community these dynamics form. I’m going to talk about my experience with experimenting with this: breaking down the walls of the traditional classroom, letting the world in via the digital, and changing our focus from what we teach to how we teach, why we teach and the community that we build through […]

Pernille Ripp on Periscoping from School

Pernille Ripp has some thoughts on Periscoping from schools. “I fell in love with Periscope, the free live-streaming app created by Twitter, this summer while at ISTE. Free, instant access to events happening around the world – finally! The myriad of ways I could see implementing it in my classroom overwhelmed me in a good way….Yet, when I thought about it some more, I started to second-guess my love for it a little bit. I didn’t fall out of love, but I did start to question my own ideas, as well as the professional responsibility that I carry not just as a teacher, but also as an active conference goer/speaker.”

CDC Research: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter

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 […]

Does Facebook Lead to Dangerous Dieting?

Does Facebook lead young women to dangerous diets? “The study included 128 college-aged women who completed an online survey about their eating habits and their emotional connection to Facebook — such as how much time they spent on the social networking site and number of Facebook friends — and whether they compared their bodies to friends’ bodies in online photos.”

Politico Slams LOC’s Twitter Archive

Politico: Library of Congress’ Twitter archive is a huge #FAIL. “The archive’s fate is yet another example of the difficulty of safeguarding the historical records of an era when people communicate using easily deletable emails, websites that can be taken down in seconds and transient tweets, Vines and Snaps. But the library’s critics also see it as a cautionary tale from the 28-year tenure of retiring Librarian of Congress James Billington. During Billington’s time in office, say critics, the library has espoused grand technological ambitions but didn’t back them up with the planning, budget or nuts-and-bolts needed to turn them from buzzy news releases to tangible accomplishments.”

Stanford: Google Glass and the Elderly

From Stanford: Google Glass and the Elderly. “Glass will probably find its largest and most loyal customer base in communities dealing with old age. After all, there is a very large population of aging Baby Boomers set on a collision course with all the ills and predicaments that come with age. As Google Glass evolves, evaluation of its adoption to elder care service is vital for further program design and development. This study uses examples and surveys to evaluate the variables influencing the use of technology service programs by the elderly. A questionnaire survey was used to explore the technology acceptance of the elderly in a Google Glass based program. In addition, open-ended questions were used to elicit qualitative information regarding the experience of technology use. The results revealed elderly with higher social welfare statuses, better health conditions, and more frequent tech usage are usually more open to the idea […]

KevinMD: Why academic medical centers should be on Twitter. Right now.

An interesting blog post from KevinMD: Why academic medical centers should be on Twitter. Right now. “In recent years, the use of Twitter within medicine has increased significantly, and its uses are as varied as the persons and personalities who use it. For some physicians, Twitter is a method to connect with patients and for others, it provides an method to connect with and share research, insights, and anecdotes with professional colleagues worldwide. Furthermore, Twitter has become a powerful tool for the sharing of information at medical conferences via live-tweeting, and is even used in virtual journal clubs discussing new research or live twitter chats debating hot topics within health care.”

More People Getting News From Facebook and Twitter

Twitter and Facebook are being used more and more as news sources. “Fully 63% of Facebook users and the same share of Twitter users now say each platform serves as source for news about events and issues outside of friends and family—a share that has increased substantially from 2013, when about half of users of each platform (52% of Twitter users, 47% of Facebook users) said they got news there, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.” Another argument for transparent alogrithims in Facebook that make it clear why each user is getting the news they are getting.