Archive for March, 2009

Cooperation Speed of Smartmobs using SMS

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Interesting discussion on CooperationCommons:

The average time it takes for someone to respond to an SMS text message would be an interesting indicator of cooperation speed for (SMS) smartmob networks.

From this:  “SMS and mobile IM messages seem to hold a much stricter timetable [than instant messaging]. Almost all participants indicated a punctual 5-15 minutes response time at replying to messages they receive.”

Mark Elliott’s firm is providing advice and strategy to emergency services for enabling smart mobs to quickly spot forest fires using text messages.

Mark said: “It’s interesting to think about the network effects of cascading responses, each taking 5-15 minutes – which actually adds up to sizable delays. However this doesn’t take into consideration sending messages to groups, or even how many individual messages might be sent out after receiving one high priority”

Twitter as CRM tool – student projects

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Since monetizing from ads wouldn’t work for Twitter (“click through rates on social networks are low – people are there to communicate with each other, not to search for information”), Jeremiah Owyang suggested that Twitter should tap into the lucrative CRM space by offering its own CRM system (or its own analytics system to brands).

That’s not easy, not least because there are unsolved problems that revolve around building a brand management system out of Twitter. The goal of such system would be to make it possible for companies to  “monitor, alert, track, prioritize, triage, assign, followup, and report on the interactions with their brands”. So here is a list of cool student projects:

  • Build tools for  mapping real IDs and pseudonyms  (mapping Twitter ID into customer ID –many don’t use their real names)
  • Build tools for identifying those people on twitter who influence buying behavior
  • Build product recommendation tools that are able to sense and react to users who ask their peers for product recommendations at the point of sale (right in the store).

Useful read: The Facebook Era

Trust, Risk, Reputation and Recommendation on the Web

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I’m in the PC of this workshop. Please consider to submit your paper by April 27th.  The invited lecture will be given by Christian Maar, CIO of the Allegro Group, which is the leading provider of online auction services across Eastern viagra cheap and Central Europe.

Part of Christian’s talk will be about real problems of trust and reputation management for their online auction services.

George Soros to speak at LSE on Tuesday 31 March

Monday, March 30th, 2009

What can the G20 do? The Case for Special Drawing Rights

Date: Tuesday 31 March, 1-2.30pm
George Soros
Chair: Howard Davies

On the eve of the G20 summit, George Soros will argue that authorising an increase in SDRs is the most significant step that the G20 leaders could agree. This event will also launch the new book by George Soros, The Crash of 2008 and What it Means: the New Paradigm for Financial Markets.

Ticket Information: This event is free and open to all.
Event Weblisting: What can the G20 do? The Case for Special Drawing Rights

Experts tend to be hedgehogs and aren’t good at predicting

Friday, March 27th, 2009

From today’s NYT “Learning How to Think“:

“The expert on experts is Philip Tetlock, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His 2005 book, “Expert Political Judgment” (New Yorker Review),  is based on two decades of tracking some 82,000 predictions by 284 experts. The experts’ forecasts were tracked both on the subjects of their specialties and on subjects that they knew little about.

The result? The predictions of experts were, on average, only a tiny bit better than random guesses — the equivalent of a chimpanzee throwing darts at a board. … The only consistent predictor was fame — and it was an inverse relationship. The more famous experts did worse than unknown ones.”

Idea 1: This result partly explains why crowdsourcing may be more accurate than aggregating expert opinions.

(Project) Idea 2: Since “we trumpet our successes and ignore failures”, we need a system that monitors and evaluates the records of various experts and pundits as a public service

Lesson: “Hedgehogs tend to have a focused worldview, an ideological leaning, strong convictions; foxes are more cautious, more centrist, more likely to adjust their views, more pragmatic, more prone to self-doubt, more inclined to see complexity and nuance. And it turns out that while foxes don’t give great sound-bites, they are far more likely to get things right.”

Rich RDF Data for building Music RecSys (by BBC Music)

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The new BBC Music website was launched yesterday – a lot of RDF data. For example:

More in this post. Up to  build a recommender systems from this data?

Smart Dew

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Tel Aviv University — a network of tiny sensors as small as dewdrops called “Smart Dew” — will foil even the most determined intruder. Scattered outdoors on rocks, fence posts and doorways, or indoors on the floor of a bank, the dewdrops are a completely new and cost-effective system for safeguarding and securing wide swathes of property.

Why Free Isn’t the Future of Business

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Few months ago, I wrote a piece for a W3C meeting (more on the meeting here) . In my piece, I pointed out that Google is the only company making money from ads, and the remaining web 2.0 companies are struggling to find viable business models, and they are not making any profit because they are pursing Starbucks’ business model (full article, excerpt).

Yesterday, announced that it will start charging listeners outside the UK, US, and Germany. Before this announcement, The Economist had an article titled “The end of the free lunch – again”. This article shows why Chris Anderson may be proven wrong when he says that “Free Is the Future of Business“, and it does so by learning from the past (dot-com bubble & see “Six years in the Valley“). Very interesting read! Full article here, excerpt follows:

” The idea that you can give things away online, and hope that advertising revenue will somehow materialise later on, undoubtedly appeals to users, who enjoy free services as a result. There is business logic to it, too…. The internet also allows companies to exploit network effects to attract and retain users very quickly and cheaply. … If you worry too much about a revenue model early on, you risk being left behind. Ultimately, though, every business needs revenues—and advertising, it transpires, is not going to provide enough. …”

Update: Also Time Inc. is looking for a business model. Here is what they tried: “On March 18th her company launched Mine, for example, a new concept that allows readers to go online and select articles from eight titles, for delivery in print or online as a free, personalised magazine.” (full article)

Informal Networks and Economics of Social Ties

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Corporate anthropologist, Karen Stephenson (publications), explains how understanding and supporting informal networks of trust can help organizations to become more innovative.

“Our social networks are growing all the time. Can we assume that there is untapped economic potential that lies within them?” asks Roland Harwood.

Few excerpts:” British anthropologist Robin Dunbar has shown us that people can only maintain up to around 150 strong relationships at any one time however we all have many more weak relationships (which probably also has an upper limit but it’s certainly a lot larger number). I find social networks like facebook and twitter most interesting for the people I don’t yet know that well – for the weak relationships. I get an insight into those people’s lives and how their mind works and get to know them a bit better….. a) you may learn something about them that might be of use at a later date i.e.

scientific thesis

they are an expert in a field you need to know about b) it eases the social lubricant when you next see them as you have more material to draw upon to build the relationship e.g. I saw the photo’s of your recent fishing trip on facebook…Within the next 5 years we tend to create value not on the basis of our knowledge, but on the basis of how we can leverage our relationships or social networks to capitalise on the information that we all have access to….The more connected you are, the more options and opportunities you have, and that has social, cultural and economic value.”

Why I blog this: Informal networks may be part of my future research (see the proposal which has caught a lot of attention). Plus, we extensively research and cover social networks.

Planet SciCast Ceremony

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

London, 30 March 2009 (Monday afternoon)

“We’re celebrating the best science films submitted as part of our Planet SciCast competition in a BAFTA-style awards ceremony, hosted by TV presenter, Kate Humble. The competition challenges people from all age groups to make mini movies of exciting science experiments. Throughout the event, we’ll showcase clips from this year’s most talented young film makers. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.”

Register HERE

WikiRank and Car Traffic Data

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Wikirank uses Wikipedia’s traffic data to see what’s interesting on the web. One could use car traffic data to spot what’s interesting on our streets. The question of course is how ;-)

Why I blog this? It’s relevant to Ilias’ research. Plus, Licia will start a cool project on using mobile data for navigating cities – she currently has an opening on that – check her website! For more, stay tuned.

blind review

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

There are plenty of conferences that dropped blind reviewing and that consequently became cliquey (always the same people publish in them; more specifically, the match between “program committee” and “conference program” is surprising). The result: slack conferences. So I don’t really understand why a conference that was successfully growing should do this:

“RecSys ’09 will not use blind review”


How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

A very rich documentary about the new science of network:

The first part is about small worlds model and explaining why six degrees works. The second part brings the concepts of hubs and power-law degree distribution. At the end we learn more about network theory applications, in particular about cancer research.

How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer – Part 1 from gephi on Vimeo.

How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer – Part 2 from gephi on Vimeo.

How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer – Part 3 from gephi on Vimeo.

About This Blog

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

See a tag cloud of mobblog here:

Wordle: mobblog

27 Things To Do Before a Conference

Monday, March 16th, 2009