I found this article in Scientific American to be very engaging. It clearly shows the relationship between ethics and economics, and shows that how we approach climate change is not 'just' a scientific challenge, but also a philosophical one - in this case gated on a simple economic principle.
I've posted in the past about the relative attention in the blogosphere between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Below we see the same graph but for Obama and McCain. Thus far, there doesn't seem to be any clear trending here - though we can see that Obama receives almost twice as much attention as McCain (note that, of course, here I'm using keyword search as a proxy for true attention). Note the numbers on the x-axis indicate days starting from Nov 28th=1.
Note that according to the attention data comparing Obama and Clinton, the cross over point (the point at which relative attention flipped from favouring Clinton to favouring Obama) was around Jan 26. Polling data (reported by the BBC) shows the flip in the polls to be sometime in the Feb-March area.
Hidden in all this latest ping-pong about search, the value of competition, etc., is a comment attributed to Robert Scoble published on the TechCrunch post:
What is sewn up? The monetization of search. Can that dramatically change? I sure don’t see a new way that’ll come along.
Also, will there be a big breakthrough that’ll be so dramatic (like Google was compared to Alta Vista) that everyone will switch? I don’t see it.
I find this quite amazing. Stating that things are done - there is not more innovation or surprise left - in a technology space is a very naive thing to do. I find it so strange to read this coming from Scoble that I'm still not convinced that this was written by him; perhaps this post should be about authentication and identity in the blogosphere. How does 'Robert' get to all those meetings using only his horse draw carriage?
I'll be speaking at the Text Analytics Summit (June 16th, 17th in Boston). The idea for the talk is as follows:
Examine what I consider to be the two pillars of social media analysis: subjectivity (content) and authority/influence (structure). I have a story that pulls these two together.
Characterize the current model for most social media analysis products (the consumer versus the consumed) and describe what I think will (or ought!) to be the next model for analysis in this space. The basic idea is that a) the producers of stuff shouldn't just be interested in the point of consumption, but in the entire ecology surrounding their product space, b) if you look hard enough you can aggregate the voices of many participants in production of goods and services.
Indiana Jones 4, Narnia and Iron Man had production budgets of $185MM, $200MM and $140MM respectively, but the attention they are getting in the blogosphere doesn't paint a great picture for the reception of the second Narnia flick.
David Winer posts about different user models for twitter in terms of followers, follwed and posts. This graph, taken from Why We Twitter by Akshay Java et al, provides a good description of the range of users.
[Note that I appear to be using Typepad's latest version of their blog editor which has quality issues of its own. It doesn't appear to be able to handle images properly so the image in this post isn't of the correct size - please click on it to get the intended view.]
It's nice to see this feature getting some attention on Google News (while the idea is hardly new, execution is all that matters!). Essentially, news that is gathered by the Google News product is now available as a layer in Google Earth - the 3d geographic visualization tool. The challenge with geolocating news is to figure out what location is to be located. It could be:
The locations being discussed in the story,
The location of the source
The location of the author/filing desk for the story
It looks like the Google Earth layer attempts to do the former (which is probably the correct one for most user expectations).
However, geolocation is tricky. The first article that I looked at in this layer was: Tibetan monks at work at Bastyr. This university is located on the north east side of Lake Washington, near Kenmore. Google Earth locates this story about 30 miles north, near North Marysville.
In addition, in the interaction with the layer, I'm provided with a link to view all articles. Clicking on this link brings me to a page which states that 'No related articles were found'.
As I said, this is a feature I really like, but unfortunately, my very first experience with Google's implementation of it has been pretty negative.
Below is a screen shot to give you an indication of the experience. Note also that there are some encoding issues visible in the display - another quality issue that Google may want to fix.
[For some other approaches to this, have a look at my old DataSphere project.]