Mar 252010
 

news on an interesting ICWSM paper: The Million Follower Fallacy: Audience Size Doesn’t Prove Influence on Twitter http://bit.ly/bb2gP7.

Mar 252010
 

Network visualization edge bundling demo. Maybe I enjoy it more because it’s in French. http://tulip.labri.fr/TulipDrupal/?q=node/231

Mar 192010
 

@redlog haha. perhaps some giant sunglasses would contribute positively to my fashion image… and yours :) ?

 

This week, First Monday published a paper that I have been working on for over two years. Whether that shows a lot of focus, or lack thereof, I’m not sure. The basic question was the following: what kinds of knowledge contributors flourish: those who focus narrowly on a few subject areas, or the polymaths who contribute to many disparate areas? I think of my PhD advisor, Bernardo Huberman, who in addition to publishing in general venues such as Nature, Science and PNAS, has published in physics, computer science, sociology, economics, etc. Anyone who knows Bernardo knows that he is not typical. So my collaborators (Xiao Wei, Jiang Yang, Kevin Nam, Sean Gerrish, Gavin Clarkson) and I had to gather some data in order to pose the question across many, many knowledge contributors. The answer?

Across a wide range of knowledge contribution media (scholarly articles, patents, Wikipedia, online Q&A forums), the more focused individuals make contributions of higher quality measured in (normalized citations, normalized citations, persistence of new words introduced, percentage of answers selected as best) respectively. In the end our R2 was rather laughable, but one wouldn’t expect focus alone to explain someone’s success, would they? And of course causality remains elusive. Do individuals who focus contribute higher quality stuff because of their focus, or do they focus on the work that has already brought the success?

Still, I found it remarkable that the same pattern emerged whether one looked at “original” contributions such as articles and patents, or smaller, not-necessarily novel ones, such as Wikipedia edits and question answering.

Mar 182010
 

@yardi Once you went public, I had to go public too. Saw your declaration of publicness on @eegilbert ‘s feed, which he showed during a talk

Mar 182010
 

TR quotes TJ on his EECS class @ UofM on designing apps for cars: http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/24824/page1/

Mar 172010
 

Our First Monday paper on individual focus & knowledge contribution http://bit.ly/9DSr1m. More focus <-> a bit higher Wikipedia etc. quality

Mar 122010
 

learning about computational journalism from @Hoenikker (for Turkers: positive sentiment)

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