I discuss "simple" dynamical systems on networks and examine how network structure affects dynamics of processes running on top of networks. I'll give an introduction to the idea of social ("complex") contagions, and I'll present a model for multi-stage complex contagions in which fanatics produce greater influence than mere followers. I'll also briefly discuss the use of ideas from topics like persistent homology to examine wavefront propagation versus the appearance of new contagion clusters, and I'll present a model (without network structure) for the adoption of applications on Facebook. The last family of models illustrates how very different time-dependent dynamics can produce quantitatively similar long-time behavior, which poses both very serious challenges and exciting opportunities for the modeling of complex systems.
The rising popularity of the image in social media has further transformed the way we share our lives with one another.
“This is a watershed time where we are moving away from photography as a way of recording and storing a past moment,” said Robin Kelsey, a professor of photography at Harvard, and we are “turning photography into a communication medium.”
Not surprisingly, the largest social networking companies are spending billions of dollars to be the place where consumers latch onto these visual nods. They know the stakes. While it might seem that Yahoo’s Flickr, Facebook, which also owns Instagram, and Twitter are fighting to become the ultimate online photo album or video vault, these companies are really fighting to provide the service for the newest way to communicate. If they miss that shift, they risk irrelevancy....
Being a content curator is all about displaying information. We don't create the content, we display it. We share it - and people read it. But, first you have to display it. There are several skills involved in displaying content.
Earlier this week, David Eaves kicked off a fascinating conversation with a post on TechPresident. Titled "Optimism, Fear and the Knight News Challenge," it raises important questions about how open government work is supported and sustained. In particular, David focused on Democracy Map, one of two KNC finalist projects from friend-of-Sunlight Phil Ashlock. Democracy Map aims to improve U.S. citizens' ability to determine who represents them at all levels of government. David argues that a subsidy from Knight to DM could threaten the business of companies like Cicero that are trying to solve the problem through a commercial offering. Once the Knight money dries up, will Democracy Map still be around? Or will it only last long enough to kill off Cicero?
Sunlight's Eric Mill responded with a comment, prompting a fascinating response from Cicero's Robert Cheetham. And yesterday Phil weighed in with a lengthy and compelling post that's well worth a read.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.
Pam Selle is a News Apps Developer and Community Evangelist forAxisPhilly, a nonprofit investigative news organization that prioritizes work in the public interest. She is a resident of Philadelphia, speaks at national and regional technical events, and blogs at thewebivore.com. Follow her at @pamasaur.
Philadelphia is known as a leader in the open government movement – the city lays claim to the second Chief Data Officer in the country (Sunlight OpenGov Champion Mark Headd), is a two-time Code for America host city, is home to an active Code for America Brigade and has social good hackathons at least every month, sometimes every week. There’s a strong interest in creating applications to inform and empower citizens with apps such as Lobbying.ph, PhillySNAP and Baldwin using public data for their respective purposes.
In February, the city released the AVI calculator, an online app that helps residents determine real estate taxes under a new policy that went into effect. The city also made the data powering the calculator available as an API. This allowed AxisPhilly, an independent, nonprofit news organization, use the AVI calculator API and transform it from just informational to a discussion tool.
When mayors and developers focus on technology rather than people, smart quickly becomes stupid. These days every city claims to be a “smart” city, or is becoming one, with heavy investments in modern information and computing technology to attract businesses and make the city competitive.
But when mayors and developers focus on technology rather than people, smart quickly becomes stupid, threatening to exacerbate inequality and undermine the social cooperation essential to successful cities. After researching leading cities around the world, we’ve concluded that truly smart cities will be those that deploy modern technology in building a new urban commons to support communal sharing.
El periodismo de investigación consiste en la tarea de revelar cuestiones encubiertas de manera deliberada, por alguien en una posición de poder, o de manera accidental, detrás de una masa caótica de datos y circunstancias – y en el posterior análisis y exposición pública de todos los datos relevantes. Así, el periodismo de investigación contribuye de manera fundamental a la libertad de expresión y de información, elementos centrales del mandato de la UNESCO. Los medios de comunicación pueden cumplir un rol de perro guardián que es indispensable para la democracia, y por esta razón la UNESCO apoya plenamente las iniciativas dirigidas a fortalecer el periodismo de investigación en todo el mundo. Considero que esta publicación representa una importante contribución para la promoción del periodismo de investigación y espero que se transforme en un valioso recurso para periodistas y profesionales de la comunicación, así como para quienes se dedican a la formación de periodistas.
In most social and information systems the activity of agents generates rapidly evolving time-varying networks. The temporal variation in networks' connectivity patterns and the ongoing dynamic processes are usually coupled in ways that still challenge our mathematical or computational modelling. Here we analyse a mobile call dataset and find a simple statistical law that characterize the temporal evolution of users' egocentric networks. We encode this observation in a reinforcement process defining a time-varying network model that exhibits the emergence of strong and weak ties. We study the effect of time-varying and heterogeneous interactions on the classic rumour spreading model in both synthetic, and real-world networks. We observe that strong ties severely inhibit information diffusion by confining the spreading process among agents with recurrent communication patterns. This provides the counterintuitive evidence that strong ties may have a negative role in the spreading of information across networks.
Changing the world not only takes a great idea but also takes building momentum around it.
The team at Open Garden, a San Francisco based startup - who could be to mobile data what Skype was to telephone calls - understood from the beginning how important it was to build a community around its disruptive idea.
First things first: why do I even claim it is an “object”? A link is not exactly a thing that can be touched… However, a link has a material existence in the digital realm, with a beginning and an end — it is clearly defined by chunks of code, the <a> and </a> HTML tags that border it. We can define what’s a link, what’s not a link and, even, what’s almost a link: the six news sites I have extensively studied for my dissertation all contain what I call « plain text links », that is a URL effectively written in the text of the news story, but which is not a link. The idea of indicating another place on the web is there, it’s a reference to another web page or site, but it’s unclickable.
The 3D hand cursor that appears over a hyperlink. Image by StockMonkeys on Flickr CC BY
The material boundaries that define the object itself suddenly become blurry, and that’s exactly where it becomes interesting. Why did the journalists produce almost-links or anti-links? Same goes for the apparently very simple distinction between internal and external links: internal links lead to pages in the same site, the same domain, defined by its URL, whereas external links point to other sites. Alright, but what about links that lead to other sites belonging to the same owner? News site A is the online counterpart of a tabloid, and sometimes links to articles published by news site B, the online counterpart of the quality paper — all are owned by the same company, and due to convergence efforts, news sites A and B are produced in the same newsroom. Formally, that’s still an external link. The material boundaries again become interesting when they are challenged.
A link also has an unambiguous existence for the actors involved in online news making. Ask a journalist, a blogger or an editor: they know what a link is. They can recognize one, they know when they produce one. This may seem a very mundane quality, but many things that we claim to study academically don’t have such an obvious existence. Try to ask journalists about their Bourdieuan habitus… Of course, this is not to say that the Bourdieuan habitus is an invalid concept. There might even be a portion of habitus involved in the ways journalists deal with links. It’s simply a question of vantage point: studying objects—things that exist—is a bottom-up approach that allows to iteratively discover concepts, theories and issues. It’s an empirically-driven, inductive perspective: instead of saying “Hey! The issue of sourcing is an important concept in news, let’s see how journalists use links to show their sources”, the logic sound more like this: “So there’s this thing that seems quite unique to online news, it’s called a hyperlink: let’s see why journalists use it… They use it to show their sources, but also for many other reasons!”.
Approaching the study of the hyperlink methodologically
Studying a single object of journalism has a great advantage: because it is so focused, it allows the use of mixed methods. It’s a very pragmatic argument, verging on stubbornness: I’m studying the link, and just that. Sure, other online news features are fascinating, but I don’t want to know anything about the latest multimedia fad or the craze of users’ comments. This is why I can cope with doing a big data content analysis, a historical discourse analysis, and some ethnographically-inspired newsroom observations — and graduate in due time (hopefully). All these methods are extremely time-consuming: being highly selective about what I was actually going to look at was a matter of survival.
And it produced interesting results. Let’s consider, for example, the ancient debate of how outdated CMS weigh onbad or non-existent linking practices. I’ve conducted ethnographically-inspired work in two newsrooms. CMS-wise, one of the newsroom was a classic case of print-centric tools forced upon web people: journalists in charge of online news had to use the same tools as print folks. Visually, it meant that they had to write their stories in an interface that looks like a printed page, with columns and stuff. No HTML allowed, of course. Hence, no links — or more particularly, no inline links: side-column links are another story. If they wanted to add inline links in their stories, they had to circumvent the automatic workflow and log in into another system. Everything was incredibly ugly and counter-intuitive. It involved many clicks and did not exactly fit well with the pressure to publish fast. When asked about their linking practices, journalists in that newsroom complained that there were many technical barriers. They claimed that they did not produce a lot of links, because of the print-centric tools they had to use.
In the other newsroom I’ve visited, journalists worked with a spanking new CMS, a blog-like interface where everything could be dragged and dropped effortlessly. The possibility to add inline links was smoothly integrated and it could be done at any stage of the process. Journalists claimed they added links “whenever it is necessary”.
Guess which site produced more inline links? The first one, with the print-centric CMS and many alleged “technical barriers” to linking. This surprising result was only visible when looking at aggregated data over a long period of time, it wasn’t obvious when looking at a handful of articles because both sites produced rather few inline links (around 10% of articles contained at least one inline link in the second site, whereas the proportion was a bit more than 20% for the first newsroom). This is exactly why it was important to complement newsroom observation with a large-scale content analysis. Or to complement the content analysis with newsroom observation, if you prefer. Looking at a specific object allowed me to do just that: multiply the vantage points while keeping my research feasible with the time and resources I had. Nothing new, really, just good old triangulation with a pragmatic twist.
All in all, the “object” is a very useful lens. It allows a research stance focused on what’s material, but does not limit it to the study of artifacts. Discourses, representations and meaning all play an important role in my research — as much as large-scale content analysis and ethnographic inquiries. Focusing on the “object” is the only way I know of keeping it all together.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.