Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NBC Unpacks Trove of Viewer Data From London Olympics -

NBC Unpacks Trove of Viewer Data From London Olympics -

For research wonks there’s no event quite like the Olympics. Roughly 217 million people in the United States watched the London Games, making it the most watched television event in history. And unlike other big, live events like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards, the Olympics offer researchers a prolonged, 17-day period during which to study behavior.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project

Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project:

46% of internet users post original photos and videos online they have created themselves and 41% curate photos and videos they find elsewhere on the internet and post on image-sharing sites. Women are more likely than men to use Pinterest, while Instagram and Tumblr attract equal shares of men and women.

A nationally representative phone survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that:

46% of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
41% of adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
Overall, 56% of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities we studied and 32% of internet users do both creating and curating activities.

In addition, this is the first time that the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has asked questions about Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.

In Microsoft’s New Browser, the Privacy Light Is Already On -

In Microsoft’s New Browser, the Privacy Light Is Already On -

IT could usher in a new era of online privacy. Or it might bowdlerize the Internet as we know it.

Then again, it might do almost nothing at all.

The item in question is Microsoft’s latest version of its Internet Explorer browser, scheduled to be available to consumers in late October, packaged with Windows 8. The browser comes with an option called “do not track.” It lets users indicate whether they’d like to see ads tailored to them by companies that track their online browsing histories — or whether they’d rather not have their online activities tracked, recorded, analyzed and stored for marketing purposes.

Of course, browsers like Firefox from Mozilla, Safari from Apple and even an earlier version of Internet Explorer already offered this choice for people who expressed a preference. But Microsoft is going further — by making privacy a more public issue. The new Internet Explorer 10 comes with the don’t-track-me option automatically enabled, a fact that the software makes clear. During installation, a notice will appear giving users the choice to keep that preselected don’t-track-me preference as is, or switch it off on a customization menu.

It’s a radical move for a technology company, especially one like Microsoft, with an ad business of its own.

“No one says today, when a consumer first loads a product, ‘Hey, by the way, there are some privacy choices you may want to consider,’ ” says Alex Fowler, the global privacy and policy leader at Mozilla. He believes that this may be the first time that privacy features so prominently “in the first-run experience of a consumer software product.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Keystrokes in Google Bare Shocking Rumors About Bettina Wulff -

Keystrokes in Google Bare Shocking Rumors About Bettina Wulff -

Say a schoolchild writing a homework assignment about Bettina Wulff entered her name into the search engine. “Bettina Wulff prostitute,” Google’s autocomplete function would helpfully but perhaps slanderously suggest. “Bettina Wulff escort” would pop up for good measure.

“I was stunned,” Ms. Wulff, who vehemently denied the accusations, told the weekly newsmagazine Stern, one of several publications to feature her on the cover in recent weeks. “I felt powerless and cried a lot.”

Taking an aggressive tack against the rumors, she filed a lawsuit against Google in a Hamburg court.

Her suit signals the latest effort to force the Internet giant to play the role of online referee, following close behind Google’s decision to block an inflammatory anti-Muslim video from YouTube in certain countries.

In Ms. Wulff’s case, Google has countered that it is not to blame for her troubles. “All of the queries shown in Autocomplete have been typed previously by other Google users,” Kay Oberbeck, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement that suggested it was the curiosity of the many, and not the assessment of the company, that was causing the offending terms to pop up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Intellectual networking | News & Events | University of Calgary

Intellectual networking | News & Events | University of Calgary

Ullyot started by requiring students to post their questions to him (@ullyot) via Twitter on the weekends before he would introduce new texts in class. Tapping into the resulting dialogue was a way for Ullyot to identify student preconceptions about the Shakespeare plays, and plan how best to deliver the course’s content during class time.

“Coverage of a topic is just as important as exemplifying critical practices, and teaching to the students who are in the room,” says Ullyot. “Twitter is known for its limitations — to 140 characters — but this limited tool can expand minds. It encourages ways of thinking and talking about the texts that’s more flexible and responsive to student needs.”

Not only did Ullyot notice a substantial increase in the number of student tweets over time, he also witnessed growth in expert thinking, intellectual discourse and dialogue among students.

“Students are already using Twitter in their daily lives,” says Ullyot. “This project was about taking student habits that were already established and repurposing them for intellectual use.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Google Won’t Rethink Anti-Islam Video’s Status -

Google Won’t Rethink Anti-Islam Video’s Status -

Google said on Friday that it would not comply with a White House request to reconsider the anti-Islam video that has set off violent protests in the Arab world in light of its rules banning hate speech on YouTube, which it owns.

Google said it had already determined that the video did not violate its terms of service regarding hate speech, because it was against the Muslim religion but not Muslim people.

The company also said Friday that it had blocked access to the video in India and Indonesia because it violated local laws.

These actions came after Google temporarily blocked the video on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya of its own volition — not because it violated laws or YouTube’s terms of service — an extraordinary measure that it said it took in response to the delicacy of the situation. The video is accessible in the rest of the world, even as protests spread to nearly 20 countries, from North Africa to Indonesia.

The company does not police videos uploaded to the site because of the sheer volume involved; 72 hours of videos are uploaded each minute. It reviews videos only if users flag them as inappropriate or if it receives a valid court order or government request to remove them for violating the law.

Kevin Bankston, director of the free expression project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group that focuses on digital civil liberties, said that Google, as a private company, could decide what was appropriate on its sites and what was not. But he added, “Considering the power that many of these platforms have, it’s important for them to be as clear and transparent as possible about those decisions.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Libya Attacks Came in Two Waves, Official Says -

Libya Attacks Came in Two Waves, Official Says -

The mayhem that killed and wounded more than a dozen American officials was actually two attacks — the first spontaneous and the second organized, a top Libyan security official said.

Turmoil Over Contentious Video Spreads -

Turmoil Over Contentious Video Spreads -

In Yemen, hundreds of protesters attacked the American Embassy, two days after assailants killed the American ambassador in Libya and crowds tried to overrun the embassy compound in Cairo.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Business Analytics: The Solution Behind the Crumb

Business Analytics: The Solution Behind the Crumb : A team of IBM analytics experts noticed that on rainy days customers were more likely to purchase cakes, while on sunny days the choice food was paninis. We couldn’t have guessed this by looking at the weather and sales reports separately, but together, we uncovered a new outcome. Now the bakery knows what to bake based on the weather forecast.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Engagement Gap -

The Engagement Gap -

Forget the enthusiasm gap, let’s focus on the engagement gap.

In particular, let’s focus on the gap in the level of media engagement — particularly social media engagement — between President Obama’s campaign and Mitt Romney’s. Obama is on the winning side of that gap.

A study earlier this month by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at how the campaigns are using social media this cycle. It found that:

“The Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms. Obama’s digital content also engendered more response from the public — twice the number of shares, views and comments of his posts.”

It is too early to say what the Obama campaign’s digital edge will mean on Election Day, but if it can convert virtual engagement into actual turnout, that could turn a tough race into an easy one.

Can Obama campaign convert virtual engagement to actual turnout? – The question sounds very similar to virtual vs. physical collective action.