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Lab Alum Spiro Studies How Brazilian Protestors Use Twitter

Published on July 8, 2013 by

NCASD lab alum Emma Spiro, interning at Microsoft Research (MSR) this summer, is studying the relationship between social media and the recent Brazilian uprising. The research, done in collaboration with MSR researcher Andrés Monroy-Hernández, looks at how the protestors use social media, particularly Twitter, to share their experiences and invite others to join the protests. Findings currently include information about the peak of the protests’ tweets, the international nature of the protests, and the interaction network among the most active users.

Their research was recently highlighted by The Guardian Datablog.

Spiro and Monroy-Hernández were also interviewed by techPresident.com about the research. Article found here.

For additional information, please see the original blog post about the project here.

 
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HEROIC Research Featured by Calit2 Newsroom

Published on June 30, 2013 by

The HEROIC project was featured in a recent article by the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

The article can be found here.

 
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HEROIC PI Sutton Presents at WCDM

Published on June 30, 2013 by

Sutton presented on “Alerts, Warnings, and Social Media: what works, what doesn’t, what makes a difference” to a standing room only crowd in Toronto on June 24, 2013 at the World Conference on Disaster Management. Drawing from current HEROIC project research efforts and the empirical record on disaster alerts and warnings, Sutton translated research findings into practical lessons for emergency managers who utilize new media as one channel among many for alerts and warnings in disaster events.

Abstract:
Twitter has become a redundant channel for crisis communicators in disaster.  Effective messaging has become vital. This talk addresses how message content, style, and exposure predicts message dissemination in a disaster.  Using data from empirical research over a set of different hazard events, we show ho message factors affect transmission across social networks online.  From this, we identify the key elements that will lead to social amplification of crisis communications in disaster.

 
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HEROIC Team Published in IJISCRAM

Published on June 7, 2013 by

Research from the HEROIC team was published in the recent issue of the International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM).

Abstract

Informal online communication channels are being utilized for official communications in disaster contexts. Channels such as networked microblogging enable public officials to broadcast messages as well as engage in direct communication exchange with individuals. Here the authors investigate online information exchange behaviors of a set of state and federal organizations during the Deepwater Horizon 2010 oil spill disaster. Using data from the popular microblogging service, Twitter, they analyze the roles individual organizations play in the dissemination of information to the general public online, and the conversational aspects of official posts. The authors discuss characteristics and features of the following networks including actor centrality and differential mixing, as well as how structural features may affect information exchange in disasters. This research provides insight into the use of networked communications during an event of heightened public concern, describes implications of conversational features, and suggests directions for future research.

Reference

Sutton, J., Spiro, E., Butts, C., Fitzhugh, S., Johnson, B., & Greczek, M. (2013). “Tweeting the Spill: Online Informal Communications, Social Networks, and Conversational Microstructures during the Deepwater Horizon Oilspill.” International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM), 5(1), 58-76. doi:10.4018/jiscrm.2013010104

Full article can be found here.

 
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Final Report on Twitter Response to Boston

Published on May 20, 2013 by

Today we released the final report in a series of three research highlights on the bombing and other events in Boston, MA earlier this month. In this third report we discuss the content of Twitter messages and the warnings/advisories that were released across many different channels.

Please see the online research highlight here.

Sutton, J., Johnson, B.,  Spiro, E.,  and Butts, C. (2013). “Tweeting What Matters: Information, Advisories, and Alerts Following the Boston Marathon Events.” Online Research Highlight. http://heroicproject.org

 

 
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Gibson and Spiro to Present HEROIC Research at Sunbelt 2013

Published on May 15, 2013 by

Team members Ben Gibson and Emma Spiro will head to Hamburg, Germany next week to present preliminary findings from HEROIC projects at Sunbelt XXXIII. The annual conference is sponsored by the International Network for Social Network Analysis.

Gibson will speak on recent work that introduces a method for estimating the size of active user populations in an online environment over short time intervals (e.g., minutes to hours). Using a variant of the capture-recapture method, Gibson et al. can estimate the total population of those who are active in online environments such at Twitter. Preliminary findings suggest that this method is an effective and useful approach for estimating active user population dynamics in a variety of online social network settings.

Spiro will present an exploration of tie dynamics in online social networks.   Many social systems now facilitate rapid re-organization (creation and dissolution) of social ties over short time scales on the order of days. Spiro et al. examine tie decay following instances of mass convergence of attention (i.e. “degree spikes”) on particular users of a popular microblogging service. They do so for randomly sampled users as well as a population of targeted emergency management organizations.

 
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Spiro to Join University of Washington

Published on May 15, 2013 by

NCASD lab member Emma Spiro has accepted a tenure track assistant professor position at the University of Washington Information School starting Fall 2013. Congratulations, Emma!

 
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Second Report on Twitter Activity During Boston Bombing

Published on May 14, 2013 by

The HEROIC team has released a second online research highlight that focuses on Twitter activity during the recent events in Boston, MA. This second report explores relational and conversational aspects of messages posted by official government accounts during the event.

Please see the online research highlight here.

Sutton, J., Spiro, E., Johnson, B., Fitzhugh, S., and Butts, C. (2013). “Tweeting Boston: The Influence of Microstructure in Broadcasting Messages through Twitter.” Online Research Highlight. http://heroicproject.org

 
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New Research Highlight on the Boston Bombing

Published on May 10, 2013 by

In recent work the HEROIC team examines the behavior of government organizations during the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon.  In particular the team looks at the drastic increase in followers that these government accounts experienced during the week of the bombing and subsequent events.

Please see the online research highlight here.

Sutton, J., Spiro, E., Johnson, B., and Butts, C. (2012). “Following the Bombing.” Online Research Highlight. http://heroicproject.org

 
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Almquist Awarded the Mathematical Sociology Outstanding Dissertation in Progress Award

Published on May 9, 2013 by

Lab member Zack Almquist has been awarded the Mathematical Sociology Outstanding Dissertation in Progress Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Mathematical Sociology for his dissertation entitled “Vertex Processes in Social Networks” (advised by lab PI Carter Butts).

 
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