Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Please see the updated course description on my Professor Welser teaching site.  The course has been substantially updated, and the most current information is linked there.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Project time!

Get your project team ready for some heavy lifting! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Filter Bubbles

Bubbles are great - if you're taking a bath. But if you're highly leveraged in the stock market, or are in the business of flipping homes, then bubbles can be dangerous things (as we've all recently learned). In the TED video below, Eli Pariser (founder of MoveOn) talks about another type of dangerous bubble - the Filter Bubble.

You see, even the mighty Long Tail has a downside. While Netflix, Amazon, Google, and countless other web services cater to an individual's tastes, those tastes are never challenged. Netflix doesn't present you with "films you'll probably hate" when you look for your next movie, and Amazon probably won't suggest a different book with the note that "users who bought this book found the following volumes challenging to their worldview." As a result, it's possible to live an online life without ever having to encounter information which doesn't fit into our predetermined narrative schema, and this might already be having real affects on our democratic discourse.

Here's Pariser's TED talk:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Abstract Presentation Sign ups

. . . if you don't sign up for a presentation

Go to the google doc spreadsheet named:    Group.Processes.Database

Notice in the bottom left corner of the window you can chose one of two different worksheets on that file.

It should look like this: 

Select Prezzy sign up.   Sign up next to one of the numbered slots. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tasks for Wednesday

The Group Processes Database lists readings and videos that have been included in the Fall 2009 (coded gray in the reference column) or our current session of 419/519 (coded yellow in the reference column).   Open that spread sheet in google docs and take a look at it.    Everyone has been asked to complete two tasks:

  1. Identify one of the summaries that you contributed to from the first 5 weeks of the course.  Create an entry for it in the data base.  See examples starting with record # 45.   Make sure you include a link to the resource that you created (google doc write up or blog entry).   Take the time to identify relevant keywords for the "Concept" columns.    See examples from both 2009 and 2011 that have already been posted.
  2. Review the lecture from Monday: 
    2. Note that the readings from 2009 fall into 6 subgroups: 
      1. Research methods (yellow highlight concepts in data base)
      2. Technology (red highlight)
      3. Online community (blue highlight)
      4. Social networks (pink highlight)
      5. Collective action (orange highlight)
      6. Social psychology (green)
    3. The readings from 2011 seem to add one major category
      1. Markets and costs (purple)
    4. Your task is to look into identifying potential readings that you want to read and write an abstract for Monday about.   The reading needs to deal with one of the four substantive categories that are central to group processes research: 
      1. Social networks (pink highlight)
      2. Collective action (orange highlight)
      3. Social psychology (green)
      4. Markets and costs (purple)
    5. To turn in your suggestion, fill out an entry in the database-- as demonstrated by Kyrstal and Kristine.   
      1. After you submit the suggestion (including a link to the resource) I will inspect it and either approve it or suggest that you offer another option.   
      2. When your entry is approved I will highlight it in green (i.e. you get a greenlight) and type that it is approved as demonstrated by both Krystal and Kristine's entries. 
    6. Your suggested readings should either be papers that explain or use foundational theory in the field of group processes, or empirical studies that use such theory or core concepts.   
      1. Kristine's addresses social capital (a core concept in social network research)
      2. Krystal's employs a model using status characteristics (a core area social psychology related area of group processes research)
      3. If you have questions you can ask them in the comments of this post.
Further details: 
  1. Make your suggested readings by class time on Wednesday.  
  2. Sign ups for presentations (5 min max) for Mon and Wed of week 8 will be held in class on Wednesday.
  3. Written versions of your abstracts are due on Monday before class (regardless of day you present)
  4. The template for the abstract is online here:
  5. An example of a good abstract from last year is item #24 in the database. (on Chwe's explanation of culture and common knowledge). 
  6. Bring your questions to class on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Temporal Network Visualization

Follow this link to a description/explanation of a video "flip book" that shows the development of connections between Wikipedia authors and pages related to the Sendai earthquake.

This is a good example of a creative use of NodeXL for data visualization.  Marc Smith's blog and Flickr stream are great sources for other images, especially those using data from Twitter.

Here is a recent twitter mention graph created by Marc:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Birthday Fun