A Collection of Downloadable Twitter-Papers

August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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Though Twitter only went public in July 2006 (according to Wikipedia, though many papers such as Java et al 2007 cite October 2006 as the launch date) quite an amount of Twitter research has already been published. Here is an overview of downloadable papers – please let me know if you find anything else.

P.S: Some of these papers can only be downloaded from a (university) library. If you have access to the network of Vienna University, you need to establish a VPN connection through univpn.univie.ac.at/. Login, select AnyConnect, establish VPN trough the browser or download the VPN client if the browser connection doesn’t work smoothly.

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LOL has evolved into a gesture in France

August 10, 2009 at 10:09 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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Angelika Storrer, a professor at Dortmund Technical University, gave a talk about chatspeak yesterday at the Web as Culture Conference in Gießen, presenting visual evidence that LOL has meanwhile evolved into a gesture in France:

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60% of Twitter users do not return the following month? They might return a year later

August 10, 2009 at 10:08 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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So we have all read the story about the so-called ‘Twitter quitters’, i.e. people who do not return the following month and the percentage of which, according to Nielsen, amounts to 60%. This single month is probably not enough to conclude that users “wind up abandoning the service” – or at least that is what my (very limited sample of 17 users) suggests.

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New Netvibes Release: Ginger!!!

March 5, 2008 at 7:27 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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Those Netvibes people like their spices…. Ginger, the successor to Coriander, has now been released, the new netvibes that allows users to create their own universe (an environment of widgets, feeds and websites) and publish it. Btw, one of their lead developers, Alexander Kirk, telecommutes from Vienna to Paris. He introduced Ginger at the last Barcamp in Vienna.

Another Social Media Platform: Verwandt.de (Relatives)

March 3, 2008 at 11:05 pm | Posted in Social Media, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment
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At the weekend I signed up for yet another social media platform: verwandt.de which seems to be available in a number of European languages – but I cannot provide the link to the English version now as the main directory seems to be defunct at this very moment. Verwandt.de allows you to creative your family tree with just a number of clicks – the application is actually so smooth and smartly running that it lured me into hacking in the names of 34 of my relations, even though I am actually quite apprehensive of social media. Even if you do not sign up for the genealogy feature: The name map tool is also pretty cool – it allows you to see where in German you can find other people with your name.

Absolute distribution of my surname in Germany:
Surname, absolute

Relative distribution:
Surname, relative

Surprise, surprise: My surname is not thaaaat common in the country as a whole, absolutely speaking, but rather popular in the area that I come from originally (I wonder what the difference between relative and absolute distribution might be in this case though; I know it’s individuals vs. percentage, but shouldn’t the result be more or less the same?). Nice and bright – you like?

And just when I thought that ‘LIVE’ was a dead concept…

March 2, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Posted in video, Web 2.0 | 2 Comments

… there comes another niche that has previously eluded me (or rather: that I deliberately ignored –> information overflow).

Youtube thinks of launching Live Video in 2008 (Pop17) | Yahoo Live – Live Video Service | Ustream – Live Video Service | BlogTv – idem | Operator11 – idem | Justin TV – notable Life Caster

Godammit. How to keep track (or why)?

Webvideo Explosion Kills the PhD Student

March 2, 2008 at 10:00 am | Posted in PhD, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment
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Sorry for the lame title. I’ve just experienced a rather dull moment of disillusionment..

For my PhD thesis I am currently doing research on web videos in collaborative environments – it’s the narrative and visual layer I am most interested in. One of the things I am currently doing to establish my own body of research is downloading and referencing the Top 10 movies in the Viral Video Chart twice a week; I plan to do this for at least half year. Of course I am aware that this covers only ONE aspect of the narrative strategies at work – there are so many micro-niches on the web 2.0 that it would be silly to assume that a chart of the most popular movies would take you to the heart of things…

Having said that… this morning I signed up for Bebo and felt a sudden pang of despair when I realized the dimensions of the Bebo video universe… it is going to be IMPOSSIBLE to cover each and everything that is going on at the moment, so many things will inevitably elude me. I’d literally have to have my own collaborative platform and invite other researchers to help map the field to do any web 2.0 phenomenon justice… One thing that I am really grateful for is the ROCKETBOOM – Know Your Meme Series – it’s more anecdotal than critical, but at least I don’t have to download each and everything myself now 🙂

Ultra Kawaii

Sigh… even though, I think I’ll be able to use to use some of the things I found this morning for my presentation in Weimar in (arf!) two weeks, which is going to focus on cuteness on the web, e.g. the Ultra Kawaii Channel on Bebo 🙂

Wikipedia is better than Brockhaus Encyclopedia

December 6, 2007 at 6:13 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | 2 Comments
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Wikipedia That is to say: German Wikipedia is better than Brockhaus online, the latter being the German equivalent to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a comparison conducted by German magazine Stern has shown. They cross-checked 50 randomly selected entries (“Hartz IV”, “U2”, “Penicillin” or “Moses”) and gave marks for Accuracy, Currency and Ease of Understanding.

The results: 43 Wikipedia articles were “better” than Brockhaus’s, mainly for reasons of currency _and_ (surprise!) currency. Brockhaus, for instance, did neither know about Pararotti’s death nor about the Noble Prize for Doris Lessing.

Too bad the study didn’t give examples of accuracy, as it would have been interesting to know their notion of accuracy.

What I thought was surprising: Brockhaus, even though NOT written by laymen, was easier to understand. It seems as if Wikipedians like to impress with elaborate sentences and exclusive terminology:-)

It’s now time to change your privacy settings in Facebook!

September 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Web 2.0 | 2 Comments
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Everyone! If you enter Facebook now you’ll find an announcement that your Facebook profile is soon going to be searchable for search engines like Google, etc. – and that means: visible and searchable to the whole world!

To avoid that this happens (and once the information is out there, it is for sure going to end up in some cache or greedy mirror server from which you can NEVER delete it), do the following:

_log into Facebook
_click ‘privacy’ (second option from the right in the top right corner)
_choose ‘search’ (the second paragraph in the bluish list)
_edit your privacy setting by UNCHECKING the boxes below the question in blue font: “Who can find my public search listing outside of Facebook?”

You might also want to change the rest of the privacy settings to meet your privacy needs.

Boosting Your Blog Traffic, pt. 3: A Little Help From Stumbleupon

May 15, 2007 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Blogging, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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Not that the world’s been waiting for it, but at last, here is a brief review of my experience with Stumble upon. When my boyfriend introduced me to Stumbleupon about a year ago and after I had played with it for while, it made me realize (maybe wrongly) that the web for the first time could really be something like the new television – a medium that simultaneously instills a lean-forward AND a lean-backword attitude in the viewer.

Leaning back had in the past been particularly difficult with the world wide web. Of course you have youtube, dailymotion and Google video, which is more or less the illustrated audio track of TV crammed into the resolution of a 600 by 800 screen, and with a crappy image quality. And that’s precisely the problem about this approach to web TV.

The approach Stumbleupon takes is different. It is a listing of many different ‘interesting’ (as judged by the users) web sites, but instead of having to go through these listings, you can simply specify what your interests are ONCE, and then (and after installing the Stumbleupon bar of course) you can just lean back and enjoy. Well, almost. You still have to click the ‘Stumble’ button of you want a new suggestion, and sometimes pages don’t load promptly. But it’s still the best lean-back experience I’ve had with the web so far.

The suggestions are user-submitted and, similarly to digg.com, users can decide whether they like a website or not. I use Stumbleupon mainly for a little diversion, and my preferred sites offer optical illusions or games. I hadn’t even thought of using it for News and Politics, although it offers a much wider variety of categories in comparison to digg.com.

When, however, one of my own blog posts attracted the insane traffic of over 1,500 on the day of the French elections (because the title sounded as though it offered the results of the elections – unfortunately it only covered the first round of the voting), a few souls also clicked the ‘End Guantanamo’ banner in my sidebar. One of these kind souls submitted it to Stumbleupon, with more than 180 hits coming in in the first night. Numbers have since then dwindled to about 3 to 5 visitors a day from Stumble upon. I suppose that, when a page gets first submitted, Stumbleupon sends it to the screens of a relatively higher number of users in order to have a base according to which to assess the site.

So this has, of course, not been a major breakthrough in blog advertising, but I am happy if just one or two of these 200something visitors downloaded or forwarded the logo. I know that conversion rates (i.e. the amount of people who visited your site AND took the encouraged action, in our case: downloaded or printed or forwarded the logo) for such scenarios are very low: 1% would be a good result.

And I am actually happier about those 234 recent visitors to the End Guantanamo site than I am about the more than 1000 that were misdirected to the French elections page. I am investing my hopes in those tiny steps that might make a difference…

P.S. The one thing that I am not so fond of regarding Stumbleupon is that you can also (and of course – this is capitalism, attention is being marketed) buy screen space from them. They have a kinder word for it: Create a campaign, and once you start this process it takes a few more screens and steps until you realize that this will cost you $0.05 per visitor. I wonder how this interferes with the quality of their site listings – for the moment they should be fine, but once the subjective content to advertising ratio (as judged by the users) is suffering, they’re in trouble (and rightly so:-).

In other words: I those 234 hits that my blog received via Stumbleupon, had been generated as the result of a ‘campaign’, it would already have cost me $11,70. Interesting, isn’t it? Attention is an expensive commodity. If each hit my blog has received so far had been worth 5 cents, I would already have earned $850.

This post is part of a series: Here is part 1, and here part 2.

Boosting Your Blog Traffic, pt. 2: A Little Help From France

May 13, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Blogging, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
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On the 23rd of April, I published a little post about the results of the first round of the elections in France, titled Elections in France: the results. It was nothing special, and I do admit that my resolution of coming up with one post per day is not showing an utterly favourable effect on the quality of my posts. What the heck.

A week later I began noticing that this post attracted a tad more attention than it had attracted while it was ‘fresh’. The obvious reason: People were expecting the results of the second run-off of the French elections.

On Sunday the seventh of May, the day of the second round of voting, I noticed in the afternoon that the traffic on this particular post was going up to something like 70 (which is a lot for one post on my blog). I was about to leave home to meet a friend, so as a kind gesture I included a link to a page on LeMonde.fr where the results could be expected. Since most visitors were probably British or American – neither nationality known for their proficiency in foreign languages – I don’t think this was of very much use to them.

When I came back some time past 9pm and checked my blog I gasped: 1002 hits on just this post! And it did not even contain the results! I felt a bit sorry for the people who had come to this page in vain, so I quickly began editing and updating it. But the traffic had since long begun to falter, and no more than 78 more hits came in over the following five days.

What does this mean for the blogosphere? It means, the hype about grass-roots journalism not withstanding, that blogs are no good for current news. On the contrary, it shows that current news events, just like allusions to sex and a bit of pornography in your tagging, can be instrumentalized to boost your blog traffic.

I did obviously not instrumentalize the elections in France consciously, but it is easily explained how I could have done that: The majority of visitors came in not via wordpress tags, but via search engines. How? Because the original post was two weeks old and thus old enough to have entered the search engines.

This was the first boost. The second wave of traffic was ushered in by the startpage wordpress.com, where blogs and posts of the day are featured. It needs a bit of a foundation in terms of traffic to get onto this page, but once you’re there, you’ll get even more. Or as the German proverb would have it: ‘Der Teufel scheißt immer auf den dicksten Haufen’ – ‘The devils picks the biggest turd to crap on’.

The post ended up in the top five posts, and the blog in the top 20 blogs of the day, with my ugly mug appearing somewhere on the wordpress front page for a little while (as a thumbnail, but my mug nonetheless).

So: If you want to use a current event to increase your blog traffic, be sure to have a suitably titled post published two weeks ahead of the time of the event, so that search engines can list it, and then hope to enter the wordpress.com top 20.

This involuntary traffic operation had one positive sideeffect though: 217 people in the past seven days were directed to my ‘End Guantanamo’ page. And every visitor on that page COUNTS! This effect can partly be assigned to the End Guantanamo banner you can see on the side-bar, but mainly to the workings of another public opinion tool like digg.com.

Which one? I’ll tell you tomorrow. And this time, it wasn’t me who submitted the page:-)

P.S.: This post is part of a series. Here is the first part.

Boosting Your Blog Traffic, pt. 1: A Little Help From Britney

May 12, 2007 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Blogging, Britney Spears, Tagging, Tags, Web 2.0 | 5 Comments
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Last week I tried to boost my blog traffic by heeding Lenina’s advice that a bit of sleaze cannot harm anybody (actually, it can) but is good for the traffic. I blogged about Britney Spear’s latest publicity stunt. It was a rather bland post and didn’t even contain images or video (only links to images and videos), but the title was reminiscent of a Britney Spears title and also contained a reference to the last Hasselhof PR disaster. For further enhancement, I used rather salacious tags, such as ‘upskirt’, ‘boobies’, ‘nipples’ and ‘nude’.

Furthermore, I submitted the post to digg.com, which was probably a bit of a cheat because the only reasonable category was Video>People – as mentioned, it only contained links to videos and thus circumvented digg.com’s own recommendation to link directly to news stories and videos.

But boost my blog traffic it did:To this day, the post has only received one digg (which was my own), but it never the less helped to drive the traffic figures: In the past seven days, the post has received 802 hits, because people click on many more stories published on digg than they actually digg. ‘To digg’ a story means to express that one likes it by clicking on a ‘digg it!’ button. The more diggs, the higher the ranking on digg.

And these are my traffic ratings of the past eight days – the Britney Spears post was published on the 6th of May:

03/05/2007 – 75 views
04/05/2007 – 77 views
05/05/2007 – 75 views
06/05/2007 – 339 views
07/05/2007 – 1589 views
08/05/2007 – 295 views
09/05/2007 – 186 views
10/05/2007 – 149 views

Tomorrow, I’ll explain what happened on the seventh of May. It had nothing to do with Britney’s tits at all.

The folks over at Tchibo are looking at this blog

May 9, 2007 at 7:42 am | Posted in Marketing, Viral, Web 2.0 | 9 Comments
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More specifically at a recent post about their Picasso package on special offer. How do I know? The blog stats told me: I had a total of 14 visitors come in via http://forum.tchibo-intranet.de/topic.asp?whichpage=3&ARCHIVE=&TOPIC_ID=5696 – you won’t be able to access this site, because it’s on their intranet and not accessible from the outside. Which means that somebody from Tchibo found and posted a link to this site in their forums. So let’s see what is going to happen now:

a) NOTHING: If the folks at Tchibo are all cool and down with the web 2.0 , they won’t do anything but secretly laugh up their sleeve for having made it onto the blogosphere. I didn’t exactly praise them for selling off one of the 20th century’s most influential artists as a bargain, but it’s the attention that counts anyway (AND they got a direct link to their sales pages, even if the turnover might be minimal).

b) SOMETHING: If they’re just as anxious as that program director from the European Graduate School (who felt the need to admonish me for “not having done my homework” a while ago when I wrote what I thought about their program) they’ll come up with SOME attempt to control their product communication, even though that’s entirely futile. One can’t have viral marketing without the loss of control, and if that’s what they want, then they should probably switch to the Tupperware marketing concept. Buy only from a selected dealer at your own home.

P.S.: Tchibo is a German coffee chain, but their biggest source of revenue isn’t coffee, but the gifts and household articles which they sell in their shops and online. Once a week, they introduce a new range of themed products, with about four themes on sale at a time – a concept that works pretty well in the themed world of consumer capitalism. I admit that I bought a bag of green plastic crystals from them just a little while ago, because I thought the crystals looked like Superman’s Kryptonite (and who wouldn’t want to have a pocket full of Kryptonite):

Pocket full of kryponite

Blog banners: One signature could end the Iraq war

April 29, 2007 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Blogging, Guantanamo, Marketing, News, Politics, Viral, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment
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Barack Obama’s website has now gone Web 2.0, offering the source code for banners of the “One signature could end this war” campaign to users to put on their blog.

These are the three banner options – I put the third one into a text widget to add it to my sidebar:

The source code can be grabbed here.

This is just one of several ways in which Obama’s team is trying to stimulate people to spread the word: Their campaign also includes printable flyers which people can download and assistance in writing letters to the editor. All options.

The Semantic Web 35/40

April 3, 2007 at 6:28 am | Posted in Web 2.0 | 1 Comment
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I’m in the process of adding a Semantic Web paragraph to the paper I’m revising at the moment. Here are some basic definitions that are useful to everyone on the web (who cares just a little about the technology he is using):

The Semantic Web is a web of data. There is lots of data we all use every day, and its not part of the web. I can see my bank statements on the web, and my photographs, and I can see my appointments in a calendar. But can I see my photos in a calendar to see what I was doing when I took them? Can I see bank statement lines in a calendar?

Why not? Because we don’t have a web of data. Because data is controlled by applications, and each application keeps it to itself.

The Semantic Web is about two things. It is about common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources, where on the original Web mainly concentrated on the interchange of documents. It is also about language for recording how the data relates to real world objects. That allows a person, or a machine, to start off in one database, and then move through an unending set of databases which are connected not by wires but by being about the same thing.

[Source: Semantic Web by Ivan Herman for the World Wide Web Consortium]

The Semantic Web will bring structure to the meaningful content of Web pages, creating an environment where software agents roaming from page to page can readily carry out sophisticated tasks for users. [..]

The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. [..]

For the semantic web to function, computers must have access to structured collections of information and sets of inference rules that they can use to conduct automated reasoning. Artificial-intelligence researchers have studied such systems since long before the Web was developed. Knowledge representation, as this technology is often called, is currently in a state comparable to that of hypertext before the advent of the Web: it is clearly a good idea, and some very nice demonstrations exist, but it has not yet changed the world. It contains the seeds of important applications, but to realize its full potential it must be linked into a single global system. [..]

Adding logic to the Web—the means to use rules to make inferences, choose courses of action and answer questions—is the task before the Semantic Web community at the moment. A mixture of mathematical and engineering decisions complicate this task. The logic must be powerful enough to describe complex properties of objects but not so powerful that agents can be tricked by being asked to consider a paradox. Fortunately, a large majority of the information we want to express is along the lines of “a hex-head bolt is a type of machine bolt,” which is readily written in existing languages with a little extra vocabulary. [..]

The Semantic Web will enable machines to COMPREHEND semantic documents and data, not human speech and writings. [..]

The Semantic Web, in naming every concept simply by a URI, lets anyone express new concepts that they invent with minimal effort. Its unifying logical language will enable these concepts to be progressively linked into a universal Web. This structure will open up the knowledge and workings of humankind to meaningful analysis by software agents, providing a new class of tools by which we can live, work and learn together.

[Source: “The Semantic Web. A new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities“.
By Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila. Scientific American, May 2001.]

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