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Archive for April, 2010

CHI 2010 “trip report”

Posted by Scott on April 16, 2010

Usually following conferences on Twitter is so-so: you get a vague sense of the talks and ideas, often conveyed by pithy quotes from speakers that have lost context because you aren’t there. This year’s CHI was was surprisingly informative from afar, or at least it felt that way. I started jotting down notes part way through – just scanning tweets every few hours and jotting things down- so here’s a rough journaling of what I got out of CHI through Wednesday the 14th. (Of course, @infomor says @grammarnerd has emprically demonstrated that reading about it is not as good as actually being there.)



  • The microblogging workshop was awesome! Topics ranged from tools for filtering and consuming social media (e.g., Eddi, FeedWinnower), microblogging in India, comparing Twitter to 19th century diary practices, Twitter use in different demographics in the US (e.g., Hollywood and Compton), using Twitter for self-reflection.
  • Best tweet: “@Louis16 OMG! populace storm Bastille #revolution”
  • Links: Eddi, Gene’s talk, workshop homepage, Google group for Twitter research, FeedWinnower, Twitter in (German) politics
  • Some of the people there: Michael Bernstein, Ed Chi, Gene Golovchinsky, Alice Oh, danah boyd, Lee Humphreys, Joan DiMicco, Bongwon Suh, Dejin Zhao, Julia Grace
  • Some of the people who wished they were there: me, Cliff Lampe, Sadat Shami
  • Photo:

Sessions, 4/12:

  • Opening plenary by Genevieve Bell – inspiring; frontier areas for research: religion, government, gender, sports, manners, non-connectedness; factoid: Isreal is the only place with TV-internet consumption parity
  • Skinput was the “talk of the day!”; “Holy outside the box thinking” >> nice work Chris Harrison and fellow MSRers Dan Morris and Desney Tan!
  • Nice talk by Gary Hsieh on effectiveness of paying for answers in Q&A

Sessions, 4/13

  • Tangible UI session: lots of innovation, Lumino = standout work
  • At home with computing = homiest session
  • Shared file systems = persistent thorn in side. We just aren’t good at labeling files for others.
  • HCI for all: well attended, great presentations by Shaowen Bardzell and Lilly Irani (“must reads”). “Postcolonial Computing” [paper]
  • Crisis informatics: nice ontology of crisis information (vieweg)

Sessions 4/14

  • Sharing session: Fred Stuztman on privacy and Facebook was terrific. People’s perceptions of their FB audience does not match their actual audience
  • Nice talk by Sean Munson on online polarization (work with Paul Resnick)
  • Great presentation from folks at Telefonica on Social Tagging Revamped
  • Jamie Teevan (w/ @katrina_) talk on using FB for Q&A: 90% of questions get answered, 25% in under half an hour (similar to results by Sadat Shami of question asking in microblogging)
  • Moira Burke gave an excellent talk on loneliness and Facebook [paper]
  • IBM’s Blog Muse: generate more participation by letting people suggest topics for others to blog about.
  • Brian Bailey gave a great talk about idea management systems at Microsoft


  • Atlanta is gorgeous this time of year
  • Flip Burger rocks!
  • Lucy Suchman rocks!
  • Havleti Indian food does not rock.
  • Contador to ride in Castilla y Leon classic (oops, cycling tweet)
  • Fake Cliff Lampe
  • Some rooms were too far away from others and some weirdly sized (e.g., madness in too small a room)
  • Centennial Olympic Park is a good place to run; in other places you might get shot at.
  • NodeXL generated Twitter network graph of CHI2010
  • Ed Chi and Niki Kittur color coordinate their shirts:

  • Ed Chi also gets the final line in this hilarious video about CSCW and CHI
  • BREAKING NEWS: Library of Congress to archive all public tweets
  • Alison Druin and Ben Bederson honored with the Social Impact Award
  • Upcoming CHIs: Austin, Paris, Toronto in 2012/13/14.



  • Panels: good in idea, poor in practice?
  • Sophistication of machine learning aspects of CHI (e.g., manimatrix)
  • Room Stream: Twitter streams per room (thanks to Sarita Yardi)
  • Google, YouTube, and PARC are hiring
  • We should (re)consider video recording/streaming
  • 2nd annual video showcase: more than just free popcorn! Here’s the highlight reel
  • Do we really need 3 reviewers for every paper? Let’s save some reviewing time says David Karger

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Things being predicted by social media

Posted by Scott on April 8, 2010

It seems like there’s been a flurry of predictive uses of social media, so I thought I’d compile the one’s I’ve seen recently that are reasonably successful. I’m sure there are more. There is diversity, even in this short list: entertainment, finance, politics – things with measurable outcomes decided by the general public (e.g., elections rather than sports). 

  1. American Idol
  2. The stock market
  3. Box office revenues
  4. Elections, UK
  5. Elections, Germany
  6. Political opinion polls, U.S.

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