Tools and methods for capturing Twitter data during natural disasters, by Axel Bruns and Yuxian Eugene Liang. First Monday, Volume 17, Number 4 - 2 April 2012

Abstract: During the course of several natural disasters in recent years, Twitter has been found to play an important role as an additional medium for many–to–many crisis communication. Emergency services are successfully using Twitter to inform the public about current developments, and are increasingly also attempting to source first–hand situational information from Twitter feeds (such as relevant hashtags). The further study of the uses of Twitter during natural disasters relies on the development of flexible and reliable research infrastructure for tracking and analysing Twitter feeds at scale and in close to real time, however. This article outlines two approaches to the development of such infrastructure: one which builds on the readily available open source platform yourTwapperkeeper to provide a low–cost, simple, and basic solution; and, one which establishes a more powerful and flexible framework by drawing on highly scaleable, state–of–the–art technology.

Censorship and deletion practices in Chinese social media, by David Bamman, Brendan O’Connor, and Noah A. Smith. First Monday, Volume 17, Number 3 - 5 March 2012

Abstract: With Twitter and Facebook blocked in China, the stream of information from Chinese domestic social media provides a case study of social media behavior under the influence of active censorship. While much work has looked at efforts to prevent access to information in China (including IP blocking of foreign Web sites or search engine filtering), we present here the first large–scale analysis of political content censorship in social media, i.e., the active deletion of messages published by individuals.

In a statistical analysis of 56 million messages (212,583 of which have been deleted out of 1.3 million checked, more than 16 percent) from the domestic Chinese microblog site Sina Weibo, and 11 million Chinese–language messages from Twitter, we uncover a set a politically sensitive terms whose presence in a message leads to anomalously higher rates of deletion. We also note that the rate of message deletion is not uniform throughout the country, with messages originating in the outlying provinces of Tibet and Qinghai exhibiting much higher deletion rates than those from eastern areas like Beijing.

Un año más desde gencat blog presentan las predicciones para 2012 sobre Administración y redes sociales.

1. Incremento de los concursos de aplicaciones a partir de datos públicos. Especial atención a las aplicaciones relacionadas con el transporte público.

2. Adaptación a web móvil, y navegación por tabletas de las webs municipales. Así como sus versiones para Facebook.

3. Primeras iniciativas de información a partir de los canales de Messenger y WhatsApp. Información instantánea y directa agrupada por intereses y / o personalizada.

4. Integración del Códigos QR en grandes equipamientos, edificios públicos y espacios singulares.

5. Ampliación de grandes zonas wifi en espacios públicos, con especial atención a las zonas deportivas o espacios sociales.

6. Twitter como canal de referencia para emergencias, avisos, señalizaciones, etc. Las etiquetas que se utilizan habitualmente generarán auténticas comunidades de usuarios agrupados por intereses.

7. Smarts cities en smart citizens. El concepto de ciudades inteligentes evolucionará hacia el de ciudadanos inteligentes, favoreciendo propuestas de innovación de abajo a arriba.

8. Plataformas municipales para la participación ciudadana. Para aprovechar la iniciativa de los ciudadanos, la administración ofrecerá y dinamizará plataformas para que la creatividad para encontrar soluciones tecnológicas a los nuevos retos tenga espacios donde hacerlo.

The Guardian has obtained a database of more than 2.5m twitter messages related to the riots.

These messages - unique records of what happened during the August riots, as they happened - have been used in a range of analyses, including how rumours spread and were eventually debunked…

Twitter no modera contenidos como lo hace Facebook, que cierra cuentas y páginas en base a su política de identidad y las denuncias de otros usuarios, dejando a quienes utilizan la red como herramienta para el activismo sin su espacio de comunicación en momentos clave de las movilizaciones, como sucedió con la página “Todos somos Khaled Said”, con la página del Observatorio de la Mujer Siria y muchas otras. Twitter no obliga a los usuarios a compartir su verdadera identidad pero el motor de búsqueda prioriza los mensajes de usuarios que comparten su nombre completo, imagen y biografía y penaliza ese tipo de automatización. Esto ha hecho que la etiqueta #Syria haya dejado de estar inundada de ese tipo de contenidos automatizados…

Today, people with power and influence derive their power from their centrality within self-organizing networks that might or might not correspond to any plan on the part of designated leaders. Organization structure in vanguard companies involves multi-directional responsibilities, with an increasing emphasis on horizontal relationships rather than vertical reporting as the center of action that shapes daily tasks and one’s portfolio of projects, in order to focus on serving customers and society. Circles of influence replace chains of command, as in the councils and boards at Cisco which draw from many levels to drive new strategies. Distributed leadership — consisting of many ears to the ground in many places — is more effective than centralized or concentrated leadership. Fewer people act as power-holders monopolizing information or decision-making, and more people serve as integrators using relationships and persuasion to get things done.

This changes the nature of career success. It is not enough to be technically adept or even to be interpersonally pleasant. Power goes to the “connectors”: those people who actively seek relationships and then serve as bridges between and among groups. Their personal contacts are often as important as their formal assignment. In essence, “She who has the best network wins.”

A Writing Revolution § Seed Magazine
Number of authors who published in each year for various media since 1400 by century (left) and by year (right). Our prediction for the imminent future appears as the extrapolation of the Twitter-author curve (dashed line). The horizontal scale of time has one grid line per century (left) or per year (right). The first blog appeared in 1997; Facebook was launched in 2004; Twitter, in 2006. Note that the colored curves on the right have roughly the same steepness as the black curve on the left, despite the hundred-fold increase in the time scale between left and right. This indicates that the new media are growing 100 times faster than books. The book-authors line is not really broken; it’s still growing at the same old rate, tenfold per century, but looks flat when plotted by year. The vertical scale is number of authors per year, as a count (left) or percent of the world’s population (right). The logarithmic vertical scaling, increasing by powers of 10, displays growth clearly because the same percentage increase is always represented by the same upward shift on the graph. Plotted with this scaling, many growth phenomena, including epidemics, produce straight lines, which are particularly easy to recognize and describe. (Click here for methodology and full list of sources.)

A Writing Revolution § Seed Magazine

Number of authors who published in each year for various media since 1400 by century (left) and by year (right). Our prediction for the imminent future appears as the extrapolation of the Twitter-author curve (dashed line). The horizontal scale of time has one grid line per century (left) or per year (right). The first blog appeared in 1997; Facebook was launched in 2004; Twitter, in 2006. Note that the colored curves on the right have roughly the same steepness as the black curve on the left, despite the hundred-fold increase in the time scale between left and right. This indicates that the new media are growing 100 times faster than books. The book-authors line is not really broken; it’s still growing at the same old rate, tenfold per century, but looks flat when plotted by year. The vertical scale is number of authors per year, as a count (left) or percent of the world’s population (right). The logarithmic vertical scaling, increasing by powers of 10, displays growth clearly because the same percentage increase is always represented by the same upward shift on the graph. Plotted with this scaling, many growth phenomena, including epidemics, produce straight lines, which are particularly easy to recognize and describe. (Click here for methodology and full list of sources.)

Jack Dorsey, who came up with the initial idea for Twitter and co-founded the company often talks about his fascination with cities, mass transit, and bike messengers. He says it was this fascination that led to the inspiration for Twitter.

Dennis Crowley, the founder of Dodgeball and Foursquare, shares that fascination. When I first talked to him about Foursquare, he told me that he “tries to build things that make cities easier to use”.

Steven Johnson, the author and co-founder of Outside.in was inspired to create that company when he was writing the Ghost Map which is about the urban scourge of cholera and how a map of the Soho neighborhood in London solved the question of the source of cholera.

Steven’s co-founder of Outside.in is John Geraci, who I first met at ITP’s senior project show when he was showing off a cool service called Found City which I blogged about at the time. John is now running an incubator for entrepreneurs that want to reinvent how cities and urban governments work called DIYCity.

And one of the crowd favorites at TC50 this past week was a company calledCitySourced, which built “a free, simple, and intuitive tool empowering citizens to identify civil issues (potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) and report them to city hall for quick resolution”. This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my “public channel” post earlier this year.

These and many others are our new urban architects. I am not suggesting that the traditional roles of urban planning and architecture aren’t still important to our cities. They are and will continue to be…

… sta discusión creó uno de los trending topics de Twitter en junio, con su empleo del hashtag “#MyIdea4CA”. Con la creación de la web MyIdea4CA.com, todos los twits que incluyen el hashtag “#MyIdea4CA” son categorizados en dieciocho áreas temáticas, segun de lo que hablen (educación, legislación, medio ambiente…). Se pueden categorizar por los propios usuarios de twitter añadiendo otro hashtag, por ejemplo “#edu” para educación, y también se categorizan a través de palabras clave.

Lo más interesante es que todas estas ideas de la población californiana pueden votarse o comentarse, con lo que la conversación sigue su curso, aprovechando esas ideas y el talento o imaginación de quien las hace. Como indican en esTwitter, “mostrar los tweets con ideas además sirve para hacer un gigantesco brainstorming que puede multiplicar la efectividad e importancia de las ideas”. Aunque eso sí, también se pueden dar votos negativos, y en ese caso, esas ideas que no gustan desparecen de la vista…

On June 22 at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands doctor Lilia Efimova defended her thesis on blogging practices of knowledge workers. For her dissertation Lilia studied early adopters of weblogs to provide insights relevant to introducing blogging in knowledge-intensive environments.

Efimova’s findings suggest that ‘while in some cases weblogs are used to perform one’s core tasks, the open-ended and public nature of blogging makes it more valuable for enabling work indirectly through supporting sense-making conversations, developing ideas over time and being able to tap into one’s network when needed’.

Efimova, L. (2009). Passion at work: blogging practices of knowledge workers. Enschede, Netherlands: Novay.

pdf of this dissertation is online at Efimova’s weblog Mathemagenic. (summary) …

… From the start, I’ve questioned whether Twitter was the right medium for me to do my work. I’ve always said that as a writer, I am a marathon runner and not a sprinter. I am scarcely blogging here by traditional standards given the average length of my posts. Yet I believe this blog has experimented with how academics might better interface with a broader public and how we can expand who has access to ideas that surface through our teaching and research.

Someone recently asked me, “If McCluhan is right and the medium is the message, what is the message of Twitter?” My response: “Here It Is and Here I Am.”

Here It Is
Let’s break that down:”Here it is” represents Twitter as a means of sharing links and pointers to other places on the web…

Here I Am
… Here we come closest to McLuhan’s core idea — “Here it is” is a function of Twitter; “Here I Am” may be its core “message” in so far as McLuhan saw the message as something that might not be articulated on any kind of conscious level but emerges from the ways that the medium impacts our experience of time and space.

"Here it is" became "Here I am" and more importantly "Here we are."