Web Science Summer School

till tomorrow, i'm at the web science summer school. i was invited to give a talk on privacy in mobile-social networking applications. my talk was a re-mix of blog posts and papers (including spotme, "what we geeks don’t get about social media privacy", and "location-related privacy in geo-social networks" - pdf ). unfortunately i could not attend the whole summer school, but you can check here the schedule and my notes on a couple of talks are next.

marcel karnstedt gave a great presentation on the effects of user features on churn in social networks. he presented a nice empirical study of the mechanisms by which a web forum maintains a viable user base. he found that different forums show different behavioural patterns and also found few interesting regularities. have a go at his paper (pdf)

bernie hogan wondered what kind of mental models people have of their Facebook personal (ego) networks. to answer this question, he collected mental models that a number of Facebook users have about their personal networks, collected the actual personal networks from Facebook, clustered them using a community detection algorithm, and looked at the extent to which mental maps overlapped with actual networks. he found that people are good at identifying the clusters they are involved in but are not good at identifying which of their social contacts act as `brokers' in the network. this finding has interesting implications - eg, since opportunities/new ideas tend to come from brokers and people find it difficult to identify brokers, then it follows that people do not know where to look for new ideas, right? ;) bernie also said that neurotics tend to have broken networks, while extroverts tend to have clustered networks. check bernie's publications here!

the student projects look very interesting. they include collaborative filtering, sentiment analysis, and community detection.

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