[Talk] Snappers and hunters in action: Mobile crowdsourcing of hyperlocal news—Tue 1/28

By andresmh9 months ago - permalink

Tags: talks research crowdsourcing locativecrowdsourcing journalism civicmedia

UPDATE: Check out the video of this talk.
Next Tuesday, we have Heli Väätäjä from Tampere University of Technology visiting our lab to present her work on cooperative news making through mobile crowdsourcing. Below is the description of her talk:
The importance of reader’s content (images, video clips, stories) is rapidly increasing in journalism as the source of news and as news content. Our research focuses on cooperative news making with the readers. The activity is facilitated by a news organization, currently Metro in the metropolitan Helsinki area in Finland.  In 2012, the studied newsroom received 35 000 reader’s photos sent by 30 000 individuals. Majority of the 4000 stories published in 2012 were based on reader’s photos that were used as tip-offs for news in the newsroom. Since 2010 we have studied both reader initiated contributions and carried out field studies with mobile task-based cooperation in which newsroom creates the tasks. We have addressed the following themes: 1) What motivates readers to participate? 2) What influences their participation when using mobile tasks? 3) How to manage the content quality with social feedback? I will address in this talk the main findings from our studies.
More about Heli
Heli Väätäjä is a Researcher and Project Manager in the Human-Centered Technology Group at the Department of Pervasive Computing, Tampere University of Technology, Finland. Her current research interests focus on mobile crowdsourcing of creative content, content creation and consumption in journalism, cooperation using mobile systems, context-awareness, and complex industrial systems. Heli has a multidisciplinary background in human-computer interaction, signal processing, measurement technology, telecommunications, as well as in applied animal behavior. She publishes actively in the fields of HCI and open innovation and is an active reviewer in the field of HCI. Heli has previously worked at Nokia Research Center as a Research Engineer (1995-2007), and as a Research Scientist at Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT, 1993-1995). She defends her doctoral thesis “Framing the user experience in mobile news making with smartphones”in March 2014. 
The lecture will be held on Tue 1/28/2014 in Microsoft Research Building 99, room 1915A.

#YoSoy132, one year after the “Mexican Spring”

By andresmh10 months ago - permalink

Tags: yosoy132 civicmedia research mexico protests social movements

Last year, Gilad Lotan and I spent some time analyzing the #YoSoy132 protests in Mexico using data from Twitter. Several articles and even books about #YoSoy132 have come out since. For example, De Mauleón wrote an excellent piece for Nexos (in Spanish) that resembled some of our own analysis.  Sadly, Gilad and I got busy and abandoned the project, but after this recent conversation, we decided to dig out our notes and post them here in the event that they might be useful for others.

The rise and fall of the “Mexican Spring” 

Exactly a year ago, in December 2012, the newly elected Mexican President Peña Nieto took office amid violent protests. As early as May 2012, a number of massive student protests against the then candidate Peña gained a lot of attention on social media, both inside and outside Mexico. The Occupy movement and the international press called these protests the Mexican Spring for its similarities with other “hashtagged” protests. In our analysis, we only focused on the first few months of the protests. Today, #YoSoy132 is only a shadow of what it was, but during the election it was able to accomplish several important victories, including the organization of an online presidential debate (broadcast on YouTube), and the introduction of the issue of media monopolies and media bias to the forefront of the political discussion.

We focused on the origin and spread of the #YoSoy132 student protests by lookign at Twitter trending topics, follower connections, and the content of the tweets. We found that despite the common assumption that the movement appeared “out of the blue,” after an incident involving a candidate’s visit to a university, we can actually trace the movement’s gestation to several months before the trigger incident. Additionally, we found that despite the attempts to link the movement to traditional political groups, i.e. a political party, the movement actually activated typically disconnected groups of people across the political and class spectrum.

Poster in support of #YoSoy132 posted on the Occupy website

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Can crowds fill the void left by defunct newspapers? Reflections on our experiments with locative crowdsourcing.

By andresmh11 months ago - permalink

Tags: crowdsourcing locativecrowdsourcing hyperlocal civicmedia research

Write up by Andrés Monroy-Hernández and Elena Agapie, building on the work of J. Nathan Matias

Motivated by the disappearance of local newspapers, this past summer, we started to explore new ways of supporting community news production through collaborative writing tools. The first incarnation of this is NewsPad, a system for neighborhood communities to collaboratively to report on local events such as festivals and town hall meetings.

One of the first challenges we encountered when testing NewsPad in the wild, was the difficulty of bootstrapping these collective action efforts to produce even lightweight articles in the form of lists, also referred to as listicles.

We decided to explore this challenge using on-demand, location-based labor through TaskRabbit. We were able to produce articles about the events in under an hour, and for less than $100. Here we share some of initial reflections after running a few experiments.


Screenshot of report of a neighborhood festival

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Travel awards for students to present civic media projects at the iConference ‘14 in Berlin

By andresmh1 year ago - permalink

Tags: events civicmedia iconference

FUSE Labs, in collaboration with the iConference, is offering a $3,000 travel award for each team selected to participate in the 2014 Social Media Expo in Berlin. Teams must be from one of the member institutions. More info here.

The teams need to submit a 4-page paper along with a video, that incorporate user research, design, prototyping, and/or system evaluation around topics such as:

  • Collecting and evaluating big social data
  • Statistical/algorithmic work for detecting and summarizing societal patterns
  • Visualization of societal patterns
  • Designing for large scale collective action
  • Supporting emergent, community-based civic activities in addition to direct governmental involvement

The projects must explore a technological solution to meeting a concrete need or opportunity around the theme of leveraging social media to foster a smarter society.


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Talk Announcement: Microblogging During Small Scale Incidents—Tue 8/27

By andresmh1 year ago - permalink

Tags: crisisinformatics civicmedia talks

UPDATE: Video of this presentation is now available online.

Next week we have Alex Schulz from the Technical University of Darmstadt who will giving a talk about his work on using social media data along with machine learning, and semantic dictionaries (i.e., WordNet), to automatically detect small scale incidents, such as car crashes, shootings, and fires.

I saw Alex present a paper co-authored with Petar Ristoski at ICWSM during a really interesting workshop titled When the City Meets the Citizen. In that paper they analyzed Twitter data from Seattle and Memphis. One of their findings was that average citizens (labeled I and blue in the figure below) were often the first to report shootings (53% of the time), much earlier than other people that one would expect such as Emergency Management Organzations (EMO), journalists/bloggers devoted to emergencies (EMJ), general journalists/bloggers, or other types of governmental and non-governmental organizations (ORG).  


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The 3 things you can learn about your neighborhood using Whooly

By andresmh1 year ago - permalink

Tags: civicmedia urbaninformatics research seattle whooly

Along with my colleagues Shelly Farnham, and Michal Lahav—and our interns Yuheng Hu, Emma Spiro, and Nate Matias—we have been exploring ways of discovering and fostering latent neighborhood information to help people understand what’s happening in their local communities.

As part of this research, we have created Whooly an experimental mobile website that discovers and highlights neighborhood-specific information on Twitter in real-time. The system is focused, for now, on various neighborhoods of the Seattle metro area (King County to be specific). Whooly automatically discovers, extracts and summarizes hyperlocal Twitter content from these communities based on mentions of local neighborhoods and relevant keywords from tweets and profiles. One can think of Whooly as a neighborhood Twitter client.


Screenshot of Whooly

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How is the Brazilian Uprising Using Twitter?

By andresmh1 year ago - permalink

Tags: research civicmedia twitter social movements

By Andrés Monroy-Hernández and Emma Spiro

More than a million Brazilians have joined protests in over 100 cities throughout Brazil in the past few weeks. Since their early beginning as a “Revolta do Busão” (Bus rebellion) to reduce bus fares, the protests now include a much larger set of issues faced by Brazilian society. Protesters are angry about corruption and inequality. They’re also frustrated about the cost of hosting the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games in light of economic disparity and lack of high quality basic services. Yesterday, as Brazil defeated Spain to win the Confederations Cup final, police clashed with protesters near Maracana stadium for the second timein two weeks.

English translation of “vem pra rua" video, via Global Voices.

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Welcoming FUSE Lab’s 2013 social computing interns

By andresmh1 year ago - permalink

Tags: research summer interns internship civicmedia

We are really excited to have a group of five talented graduate students working with us this summer. We explicitly looked to bring people across different disciplines and backgrounds together, from sociology, to digital fabrication, to computer science. 

This summer, Emma, Nate, Erin, Yuheng, and Ilwon will be working on projects that relate to the use and design of social technologies to support civic action and community building activities, both online and offline, digital and tangible.


Here’s a bit more about them:

Emma S. Spiro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. She studies online communication and information-related behaviors in the context of emergencies and disaster events. Her work also explores the structure and dynamics of interpersonal and organizational networks in both online and offline environments. Emma will be joining the faculty at the University of Washington Information School this coming fall.

J. Nathan Matias is a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab. He collaborates on technology and communities which empower people to become more creative, more effective, and more informed. Coming from a background of tech and charity startups, he currently researches cooperation across diversity at the MIT Center for Civic Media. He also co-facilitates @1book140, The Atlantic’s Twitter book club. (blog) (portfolio)

Erin Smith is a current student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, focusing on digital fabrication and physical computing. She comes from a background in construction and design for film and television and has a particular interest in sustainable, playful, design. She studied at the Yestermorrow sustainable Design/Build school and has promoted ecological awareness through Isabella Rossellini’s series “Green Porno”, and Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project.”

Yuheng Hu is a PhD student at Arizona State University. His area of research is computational social science. More specifically, he has developed algorithms and systems to mine, analyze and make sense of large-scale, time-varying, heterogeneous social behavior as manifested via user-generated contents on the web. His current research focuses on how online social activity can be harnessed to support civic engagement. His work has appeared in scientific venues including CHI, ICWSM, AAAI, IJCAI, ICDE, and TKDE..

Ilwon Yoon is a student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, focusing on designing social platform and mobile app and game development. He comes from a background in fine art, concentrating on storytelling with diverse mediums and the theme of his work explores how online technologies impact on the behavior of people in real life. He is currently working on designing health-related online game that interacts with self-quantified data.