Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sifting Authorities From Celebrities On Twitter

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the signal-to-noise dept.

Social Networks 86

holy_calamity writes "Celebrities like Britney Spears may be the 'most followed' on Twitter, but new service PeerIndex mines the content of tweets and tracks the spread of links and phrases to reveal the hidden experts in specific areas, from cloud computing to venture capital. The authorities the site finds for a given subject often have only a few hundred followers, but the content of their tweets is known to spread widely. Could data mining tools like this be the future for people or businesses looking for new collaborators, advisers and influencers?"

cancel ×

86 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

If you want idiots (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197568)

Only if you want collaborators, advisers and influencers that are idiots and use Twitter.

Twitter Twaddle (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 years ago | (#33197634)

Pretty much. The idea that anyone would go to Twitter for "experts" is, well, staggering. Twitter content it pretty much Twaddle.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1, Troll)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33197738)

It's a means for humans to interact.

If all you're getting is twaddle, maybe that's all they think you can understand.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197802)

It's a means for humans to interact.

You need to get out of your mom's basement more.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197764)

Pretty much. The idea that anyone would go to Twitter for "experts" is, well, staggering. Twitter content it pretty much Twaddle.

It isn't a big surprise that social networks requiring friends are generally poo-poo'd on Slashdot.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33198026)

Pretty much. The idea that anyone would go to Twitter for "experts" is, well, staggering. Twitter content it pretty much Twaddle.

It isn't a big surprise that social networks requiring friends are generally poo-poo'd on Slashdot.

Uh... Twitter doesn't have friends. It has followers. There's a difference.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198110)

Uh... Twitter doesn't have friends. It has followers. There's a difference.

Yes there is, just not one that's applicable in this context.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33198226)

You're saying that Slashdot users are neither capable of following nor of being followed? A bit of a drama queen, are we?

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198316)

You're saying that Slashdot users are neither capable of following nor of being followed?

Sort of. I think you know exactly what I meant and are just mugging for the word 'Insightful' to appear next to your name.

The funny thing is your pedanticism is simultaneously sucking the fun out of my joke and illustrating why it's funny. Kudos!

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

tqk (413719) | about 4 years ago | (#33198428)

You're saying /. users wanting to be followed or making themselves able to be followed, is a good thing? Tell me why.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (4, Interesting)

neogeographer (1568287) | about 4 years ago | (#33197810)

You've never used it have you? I now have the ability to instantly follow, and communicate with, all the experts in my field as if they were my co-workers. I know what they are reading about and what new technologies they are employing, instantly. No other exchange mechanism has been this easy to use and this powerful. It takes a deft hand to chose the right people to follow, true, but even a Slashdotter should be able to pick out those who represent expertise in their chosen field and could learn from the interactions now available, for free.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197894)

So... You're a "stalker"? YIKES!

But seriously, if you're getting your information about the world outside your mom's basement from Twitter, you have problems... "THE SUNLIGHT! IT BURNS!!!!"

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

darien.train (1752510) | about 4 years ago | (#33198206)

You've never used it have you?

I've tried it repeatedly and hate it every time.

I now have the ability to instantly follow, and communicate with, all the experts in my field as if they were my co-workers. I know what they are reading about and what new technologies they are employing, instantly.

Yes but is Twitter the best way of doing this? Twitter is only a single implementation of near-limitless communication possibilities.

No other exchange mechanism has been this easy to use and this powerful.

The telephone's pretty cool too.

It takes a deft hand to chose the right people to follow, true, but even a Slashdotter should be able to pick out those who represent expertise in their chosen field and could learn from the interactions now available, for free.

I think a lot of people's problems with Twitter is that it takes a lot of work to make sure you get no work done. Twitter seems like it's for people who talk about doing things because people who do things don't have time for Twitter. Slashdot appeals to me because it doesn't take a lot of work (compared to building and maintaining a followers list) to figure out how to get it to show you the content you want to see.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (2, Interesting)

neogeographer (1568287) | about 4 years ago | (#33198358)

Hate is a strong word, but it's your post, not mine, so I'll let you be your own editor. It could be that you really do hate it. But the telephone? I'm an Alexander Bell fan as much as the next guy, but if a bunch of people called me up 150 times an hour with news I would freak out. There is no comparison. Twitter just silently passes interesting messages (yes, interesting, because you pick who to follow and thereby are picking those who are interesting to you).
If you curate your 'friends' list well, it will be a boon to your life as all the headlines that interest you are aggregated in one place with links to the stories that might mean something to you (more than headlines about another murder in Oakland, to use an example from an older form of news aggregation, the newspaper).
It's not for everyone, but its potential seems to be under-appreciated on the Dot.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198686)

Hate is a strong word, but it's your post, not mine, so I'll let you be your own editor.

Good grief! My, how your tiny life revolves around a consumer product created to make money on dupes like you. Such a sheeple fan boy you are. So sad, just so sad. Will you ever have children? Your hand can not get pregnant, and sleeping with your own mother is disgusting.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (2, Interesting)

darien.train (1752510) | about 4 years ago | (#33198722)

Hate is a strong word, but it's your post, not mine, so I'll let you be your own editor. It could be that you really do hate it.

I do hate it. It teases me but doesn't deliver on the meat. It's a million quiche appetizers being force-fed intravenously without ever sitting down for a steak. But that's just my opinion. If it helps you out at work and gives you pleasure more power to you.

But the telephone? I'm an Alexander Bell fan as much as the next guy, but if a bunch of people called me up 150 times an hour with news I would freak out.

In no way did I imply that anyone use a phone as one would tweet.

There is no comparison.

I compared it to the telephone as a contender in powerful exchange mechanisms per your post and I'm still waiting for a reply for where justify that Twitter is more powerful than the telephone.

Twitter just silently passes interesting messages

Read what you wrote there and tell me that doesn't sound annoying on principal.

If you curate your 'friends' list well, it will be a boon to your life as all the headlines that interest you are aggregated in one place with links to the stories that might mean something to you (more than headlines about another murder in Oakland, to use an example from an older form of news aggregation, the newspaper).

What I'm getting at is that there are lots of people who have no desire to curate their friends or lists of their friends for other than social reasons. Twitter keeps me from working and I have no desire to read streams of bumper-sticker-level thoughts from friends and luminaries in my time off. This is a common attitude that I am explaining so that you can have empathy for those who detract it.

It's not for everyone, but its potential seems to be under-appreciated on the Dot.

I think a lot of people on the Dot understand the lessons learned from the tech boom and can smell the air of forever-startup emanating from Twitter HQ. It's nothing I can put my finger on but there's just something about Twitter that seems fleeting.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | about 4 years ago | (#33199974)

I do hate it. It teases me but doesn't deliver on the meat. It's a million quiche appetizers being force-fed intravenously without ever sitting down for a steak.

Most of the tweets I see contain 1) a link, and 2) a brief explanation of why I might find it interesting. If you don't want to follow the link, well, enjoy some more quiche.

I'm still waiting for a reply for where justify that Twitter is more powerful than the telephone.

Two reasons:

1) Many-to-many > one-to-one

2) You don't get charged international rates to hear from Bangalore.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 4 years ago | (#33200808)

150/h??? That makes it more than twice per minute and you actually inhale all this and can do something? Well I was almost certain that Santa is dead and superman was a myth and there are no superhumans no more but obviously I was seriously mistaken as there are some and they are all on twitter.

I find it interesting how the twitter works and how human interactions look like there, all the same I see no reason why I should waste time there when I am already wasting time here and at work, club, pub etc. From what I see here I am not alone. But of course you are free to waste your time the way that makes most fun for you but please do not tell us that it makes your work easier and provides information that is not available anywhere, provides for world peace and cures cancer. At some point I may start having doubts if all the claims can really be true.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | about 4 years ago | (#33198850)

No other exchange mechanism has been this easy to use and this powerful.

The telephone's pretty cool too.

Yep, I regularly get calls from Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, Eric Meyer, Graham Linehan, Dave Mustaine, Jono Bacon, Chris DiBona, Miguel de Icaza, Derick Rethans and Ben Heck telling me what they're up to, sharing information, links etc. Seriously, I don't know what all the brouhaha around this twitter thing is when the humble telephone can do everything much more easily! The GP's post was a bit over the top...("No other exchange mechanism has been this easy to use and this powerful.")...but for the purpose, Twitter is the most powerful tool I've seen. The only real alternative is for everyone to blog and publish an RSS feed.

From the fact that you've "tried" Twitter, "repeatedly" and "hated it every time", I'll infer that you tried it for short periods of time and never really gave it much of a chance. Fair? I thought it was just nonsense for a long time until I signed up and stuck with it. There's no reason why you can't have a separate list of technologists, experts in your field etc that you can keep open during work hours without feeling guilty. As for your comment that it's for people who don't "do things", there are a few people in that list up there that "do things" instead of just talking about doing them.

There's no obligation to build a list of followers and you can quite happily consume feeds without ever tweeting yourself. If by a followers list, you mean, the people you follow, then I *really* don't understand. The list of people I follow is more or less static and has been for a long time. Occasionally I'll follow someone new, and then I might decide to unfollow them, but it's not a lot of work. No more so than adding a new RSS feed to your RSS reader of choice.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198896)

Why do you feel the need to know what Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, Eric Meyer, Graham Linehan, Dave Mustaine, Jono Bacon, Chris DiBona, Miguel de Icaza, Derick Rethans and Ben Heck are up to?

Live your own life.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

darien.train (1752510) | about 4 years ago | (#33203280)

The only real alternative is for everyone to blog and publish an RSS feed.

How is that any different from Twitter? Last I checked it was a micro-blogging service wrapped up in a bunch of manufactured marketing speak with a data scheme that provides maximum compatibility amongst various device classes. An interesting implementation of IMing and blogging services? Yes. Necessary for keeping up with who's who and what's what? No.

From the fact that you've "tried" Twitter, "repeatedly" and "hated it every time", I'll infer that you tried it for short periods of time and never really gave it much of a chance

Why can people not believe that I gave it a decent shake and just didn't like it? I try new software all the time (just like you) and then I come to a conclusion on my preference (also like you). In this case I didn't like it (different from you) but you insist that it must be my fault that i didn't like it because of prejudice or laziness or some other silly notion that you're applying to a piece of software like it was a pet. If you'd stop anthropomorphizing technology you'd have more than emotional bluster to say about it.

If you must know...I even piloted an internal version of Twitter among my department at work (a use case I thought would work will for it) and all it really did was democratize the choosing of a lunch vendor.

Occasionally I'll follow someone new, and then I might decide to unfollow them, but it's not a lot of work. No more so than adding a new RSS feed to your RSS reader of choice.

If you don't think building, reading and maintaining a decent RSS list is a lot of work yours must not be very good. Mine takes a decent amount of weekly pruning and I don't get enough out of Twitter to justify maintaining a whole other list in parallel.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 4 years ago | (#33198816)

But I can't find a valid use for Twitter! Surely that means Twitter has no value?

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198838)

You've never used it have you? I now have the ability to instantly follow, and communicate with, all the experts in my field as if they were my co-workers. I know what they are reading about and what new technologies they are employing, instantly. No other exchange mechanism has been this easy to use and this powerful.

Really? Did you miss the whole USENET thing? Newsgroups are far more powerful, far more directed, and just as fast.

It takes a deft hand to chose the right people to follow, true,

Not really a problem with newsgroups.

Yes, Twitter is just a fad. I imagine it'll suffer the same fate as USENET, only sooner.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33199564)

  There is a huge difference between following the commentary of people you know and trust, and following the commentary of the average idiot or claimant to fame or expertise. It's just like it was before the internet, the only difference now is that it's faster and easier.

  I only follow Twits if I have exchanged correspondence with them outside of any of the social networking systems.

GSVEMR

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

eison (56778) | about 4 years ago | (#33200660)

Do you really want them to teach you 140 characters at a time?
Aren't web pages (blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, forums) a better way to actually convey information?

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | about 4 years ago | (#33202952)

That's why people often post links to such things in their Tweets. They don't try to teach ideas within 140 characters, but they say, "Hey, I just posted this HowTo or such here. -tinyurl-"

If anyone knows a better way of spreading that kind of info, short of Slashdot, let me know.

Or maybe they should have a website with links to their websites, so you can go and load up dozens if not hundreds of differents websites to learn about their websites?

I like the notifications I get on Twitter (and Facebook) of new blogs, videos, forum posts, etc. It's a good way to condense and follow numerous sources at once.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

Jeprey (1596319) | about 4 years ago | (#33200954)

Plenty of us have.

I'm not sure what you do for living but frankly if you time for tweeting all the time, but what you do must be fairly lightweight stuff, uncompetitive and you must be pretty shallow. Academic? Or low-level line employee? Really hard kinds of work don't allow for the Twitter kind of luxury or openness of communication.

Frankly what I do is none of these. My competitors gain far more from knowing what I do than my company or our customers. I work in high tech, but not the Web 2.0 faux tech, but with real hardware, firmware and software. It's no one's business how I spend my time other than those who pay me and only when working for them. Any other time, not even. Boundaries, son. Learn about them - live them.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33201042)

It must suck getting old, fearing change and wishing that it could 1985 forever.

Being stuck in the past is a good sign that your life sucks.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (2, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 4 years ago | (#33201182)

A more significant issue with this and any other measure of competence based on popularity is that being expert and being popular/linked to are not remotely connected.

Expert != popular
Expert != well liked
Expert != referenced hundreds of times by people who know nothing about the domain

Expert, at least in the old-fashioned sense, means knowledgable and skilled in a particular domain.

The reason twitter is full of twaddle is that the minds of most people, collectively, are full of twaddle, and they like it that way.

Just as slashdot attracts a certain sort of internet blow-hard pontificating on the inferiority of others, so twitter attracts those in search of trivia and light relief, mingled with the occasional interesting link. I use both sites :)

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

CeruleanDragon (101334) | about 4 years ago | (#33203008)

Expert, in the old-fashioned sense, was probably hunted by Good Christians for being a witch.

Experts, these days, now have a means to hold up that expertise for everyone to ooh and aah at, and even better, to learn from.

Why, exactly, are experts not referenced hundreds of times by people who know nothing about the domain? Why shouldn't they be? Shouldn't be use these tools we have now to help spread that expertise? Or is it really better to just leave people who know nothing about a given expertise, but might be interested in it, in the dark?

If there's an expert who wants to post tidbits of what they're doing in the course of their practicing their expertise on Twitter, or Facebook, or MySpace, or Blogspot, so that people can catch a glimpse into their world and what makes a genius tick, why would you have a grievance with that?

I don't understand why the spread of knowledge should be limited to only the novices.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 4 years ago | (#33204542)

Why, exactly, are experts not referenced hundreds of times by people who know nothing about the domain? Why shouldn't they be? Shouldn't be use these tools we have now to help spread that expertise? Or is it really better to just leave people who know nothing about a given expertise, but might be interested in it, in the dark?

Experts may or may not be referenced hundreds of times. More likely experts will be ignored and LOLCats will be referenced hundreds of times instead. Witness the mainly prurient comments you'll see on serious stories on this site for example.

If there's an expert who wants to post tidbits of what they're doing in the course of their practicing their expertise on Twitter, or Facebook, or MySpace, or Blogspot, so that people can catch a glimpse into their world and what makes a genius tick, why would you have a grievance with that?

Why indeed? Did I say I had a problem with that? I'm sure it happens all the time, but because some experts may be linked lots on twitter, that does not make everyone who is linked to lots on twitter an expert, far from it. It's an important distinction, unless you want to live in a world where celebrity trumps knowledge.

Re:Twitter Twaddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33201344)

I find the idea of "having to be on twitter" as a prerequisite for being listened to a sickening anathema. What happened to "knowing what you're talking about" and "having something useful to say"?

The number crunching is vaguely interesting but very much low hanging fruit suitable for self-congratulatory bandwagoneering. There's more interesting numbers they could be crunching in the field of content and influence tracking. But then people'd want to *gasp* peer review the work and *double gasp* field constructive criticism on methods, techniques, results, and so on. This OTOH is cheap to do and easy to sell. ... profit!

Re:Twitter Twaddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33203184)

I just took a massive dump...is this my twitter account?

Re:Twitter Twaddle (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 years ago | (#33205198)

Some intelligent people DO use Twitter. I don't know why, but they do.

That said, using Twitter as a medium for finding them is giving yourself A LOT of extra work.

Re:If you want idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197756)

Uh, it also looks at Facebook, blogs, and similar things. I just looked up some of the top ranked people and none of them even have a Twitter account.

A few are on Facebook but most of them link directly to their site or blog.

Re:If you want idiots (2, Insightful)

General Wesc (59919) | about 4 years ago | (#33197936)

Yeah, only dumbasses like Tyler Cowen and Aza Raskin.

There may not be much expert discussion on Twitter, but when you dogmatically insist that everyone on Twitter is an idiot you're actually identifying only one person as an idiot.

Re:If you want idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198246)

There may not be much expert discussion on Twitter...

Case closed, FAN BOY.

Re:If you want idiots (1)

feidaykin (158035) | about 4 years ago | (#33198980)

Only if you want collaborators, advisers and influencers that are idiots and use Twitter.

Tribalism much? Making a broad, sweeping generalization about millions of people is generally a good way to be wrong. While I personally believe twitter isn't much more than a noteworthy fad, and there are obviously a lot of morons using it for inane banter, there are also very intelligent people making the most of those 140 characters and you can't dismiss them with mere hand-waving.

Re:If you want idiots (1)

davev2.0 (1873518) | about 4 years ago | (#33203482)

Yes, because @neiltyson (Neil deGrasse Tyson), @TheScienceGuy (Bill Nye), @michiokaku (Michio Kaku ), @donttrythis (Adam Savage), and various NASA astronauts are idiots and not experts in their fields. /sarcasm

No (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | about 4 years ago | (#33197622)

If, recent, history tells us anything..... anything that is "social" that corporations jump on board with, will die a horrible fate.

Think SecondLife... MySpace.... Facebook (it's going that way)....

Twitter has been corporation-ized from (nearly) the start and will die a slow painful death. It's like getting junk mail in your mailbox..... it just pisses you off.

Re:No (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197750)

Wrong. There is no 'unfollow' choice for spam. The ability to aggregate one's news feeds on Twitter is astoundingly powerful; it is up to the user to make the choice about who to follow and what to care about. If one Twitter feed sucks, drop it and move on. That is not spam.

Re:No (1)

tqk (413719) | about 4 years ago | (#33198530)

Wrong. There is no 'unfollow' choice for spam.

Linux + procmail + bogofilter + mutt

I've been posting to Usenet for decades not hiding my email address.

Stop using Windows and you might learn something useful. Using Windows, you're relegated to "trying to hide." Good luck with that.

Re:No (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 years ago | (#33207206)

s/Twitter/RSS/g
s/unfollow/delete feed/g

Still works!

And I could even choose to add someone's twitter feed to my RSS feeds, if I wanted to give myself a headache.

Re:No (3, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | about 4 years ago | (#33198196)

If, recent, history tells us anything..... anything that is "social" that corporations jump on board with, will die a horrible fate.

While I tend to agree with you, it is not the Twitter that would die a horrible death: it is the experts that the PeerIndex will identify would they choose to hire their twitter-voice to the corporations.

To elaborate: the most influential persons are upright-standers. For example (without being limited to):

  • the "cool" persons (non-conformists, I-don't-give-a-damn-of-what-you-think)
  • persons which stand for some principles/values/etc, or which have expertise/wisdom/experience worth following (with no disrespect for any religious values, think Jesus and the apostles, if they would have used twitter ;) )

What do you think would happen with their stand if they'd offer it for hire/sale to corporations?
Granted, if this would spread at phenomenon level (rather than in some isolated cases), Twitter's fate will be the death: as anything with the sole purpose to distribute advertising (i.e. corporate spam).

Could data mining tools like this be the future? (2, Insightful)

madddddddddd (1710534) | about 4 years ago | (#33197628)

RT: @slashdot: no.

Re:Could data mining tools like this be the future (1)

solevita (967690) | about 4 years ago | (#33198210)

Speaking of slashdot; I can "claim" my twitter account and also tell them about what I do on LinkedIn and Facebook, but not Slashdot? Clearly they're missing out on the good stuff there...

Predicted (3, Informative)

LordSnooty (853791) | about 4 years ago | (#33197672)

There was an essay from around 2003 or maybe earlier which predicted that these so-called "news aggregators" would become as famous as the news-makers themselves, and would hold the most valuable positions in the information age. Someone refresh my memory, as it seems it might have been incredibly accurate.

Re:Predicted (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33197760)

Marshall McLuhan said "The Medium is the Message" nearly half a century ago.

Re:Predicted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197842)

Stating anything in 140 character tweets give what kind of message?

Twitter is nothing but a circle jerk.

Re:Predicted (1)

Failed Physicist (1411173) | about 4 years ago | (#33198482)

Well, you did manage to get your point across quite vehemently in 104 characters, and so did I just now!

Re:Predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198894)

Neither of your posts contain any useful information, which I believe is the parents point.

Re:Predicted (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33198496)

"Stating anything in 140 character tweets give what kind of message? Twitter is nothing but a circle jerk."

Your message is 111 chars long.

Tug harder, you're not that pretty.

Re:Predicted (5, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | about 4 years ago | (#33197898)

"Marshall McLuhan said "The Medium is the Message" nearly half a century ago."

He also coined "Global Village", and the problem with twitter is that it makes you realize that there's one hell of a lot of village idiots in the village.

Re:Predicted (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#33198524)

They give you an Unfollow button to go with the Follow button.

But if you're going to click on Trending Topics there's no help I can give you.

Re:Predicted (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33199592)

the problem with twitter is that it makes you realize that there's one hell of a lot of village idiots in the village.

  I sense a new sig meme approaching, force five... wait, wait, it's redundant! Cancel the alert!

Re:Predicted (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | about 4 years ago | (#33200972)

He also coined "Global Village", and the problem with twitter is that it makes you realize that there's one hell of a lot of village idiots in the village.

The intelligent man realizes that he's surrounded by idiots. The wise man knows that he's one of them.

Re:Predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33203278)

"Style is the new content" - i heard this line in the movie 9 and thought WTF the media organizations truely believe this. They are so full of themselves they leave the really important messages adrift and present us with fluff or BS in the form of news.

Re:Predicted (2, Interesting)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 4 years ago | (#33197808)

The problem I see with this, is that twitter twitter seems like a constrained information channel that would limit how much an expert could convey. Imagine if we tried cramming Knuth's collected works down a 140 character channel: and for the proof of why this sorting algorithm is O(n log n) see tweets 234 - 702. Tweets, because of their brevity are more suited to spontaneously commenting like: meet at mvies 2pm or omg I have bellybutton lint lol.

Re:Predicted (1)

neogeographer (1568287) | about 4 years ago | (#33197838)

You've never heard of a hyperlink? What if one was to link to Knuth's collected works? There would still be ~100 characters left to add a comment or a joke.

Re:Predicted (3, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 4 years ago | (#33198154)

That's certainly a possibility, but tweeting a hyperlink seems like adding a superfluous layer of indirection when google and google scholar already do a pretty good job of looking up people by topic. But, to be fair, I wouldn't know if useful information can be extracted from tweets until it's done.

Re:Predicted (1)

neogeographer (1568287) | about 4 years ago | (#33198404)

If you respect the opinion of someone you follow, they may point you towards an interesting article or subject that you might not have considered or encountered on your own. It becomes a helpful tool that even allows the user to ask questions or communicate with the poster of the Tweet in question. And the news is so immediate! I really do like that part as well. One must use it correctly (no bathroom break Tweets, please- if there is too much of that than I drop that feed), but once that is taken care of, it is really useful.

Re:Predicted (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#33198180)

And in that context, assuming they understand the material, it really doesn't matter much if the people commenting are experts or celebrities, so long as the people they're linking to are the former and not the latter.

Unfortunately, when used in this manner, Twitter becomes little more than an RSS aggregator, but without the consistency of the feed being provided by the same people who created the original stories, often with summaries written by people who don't fully comprehend the subject.

Any limit that makes it impractical to communicate complex information is a hindrance to communication even if there are ways to work around it. There's a reason FaceBook allows you to post "notes"---longer works that you summarize yourself in a normal wall posting, accompanied by a link to the real content. As far as the user is concerned, they're using the same service, posting larger pieces of content. It's seamless. Sure, there are services on top of Twitter that can do the same thing, but used purely as designed, Twitter doesn't lend itself to any sort of serious content.

Re:Predicted (1)

neogeographer (1568287) | about 4 years ago | (#33198448)

I heartily disagree- I have a few Twitter accounts set up. One feeds my sports addiction (which really enhances watching games by getting information from beat writers and others) and one that I use professionally to follow and communicate with those in my field (GIS) who have been working in it for decades and can help advance my career by pointing out new technologies and career opportunities. And I am able to reach out and talk with them if I am struggling with a script. I have really learned a lot from following their feeds and have come to appreciate Twitter for enhancing my work productivity and skill.

Re:Predicted (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | about 4 years ago | (#33198718)

But the channel itself does not convey that information, it merely points to the location.

The information contained in that link is simply the location of the text.

I do not believe the information content contained in a set of characters includes any use of such a referent.

Regards.

Re:Predicted (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | about 4 years ago | (#33198228)

They wouldn't be publishing their collected works to twitter, they would probably be commenting on things other people say. For instance, if a news article is circulating--say on the P=NP--which they could intelligently (but concisely) comment on, they would, possibly linking to a blog post, or to a post/paper they already wrote a while ago, or to a post/paper they read a while ago from another informed source.

Being a source of information means more than being able to publish, it means being able to grasp a huge network of other people's ideas and sift through it.

Seems a good idea, but... (3, Interesting)

bbtom (581232) | about 4 years ago | (#33197752)

...their notion of expertise is limited to only the sorts of things Silicon Valley types think are valuable. 'Social media', 'cloud computing', even Apple.

Actually, it'd be quite useful for both business and politics to be able to find if there are people on Twitter who are influencing people on science, who are influencing our democratically-elected representatives, our media figures and so on.

(After writing that, someone from PeerIndex has just responded to me moaning on Twitter and said that they are tracking a wider variety of categories and will be exposing that in the future.)

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (5, Informative)

azeemazhar.co.uk (606883) | about 4 years ago | (#33197922)

Yeah. That would be me. We have a pretty flexible topic model, which let's you build authority networks within those topics. So for example, we have a super cheery one called "brain disorders' (mostly neurooncological); and things that are a bit broader like 'Web development frameworks'; as well as things like "space science" etc. anything missing, let us know and we'll probably rope you in to help us. cheers aa

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

neogeographer (1568287) | about 4 years ago | (#33198014)

This is a really great idea. Thanks for setting up the site!

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33199716)

  Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is an "authority network"? To someone who grew up before the internet, it sounds like a modern buzzword replacement for "propaganda".

  Is the authority network peer reviewed, and is the peer review audited and signed by people in the particular field that the topic of the submissions or postings are concerned with? How do you validate your authorities? Given the ongoing fight wrt wikipedia, it would seem to me that you are facing a pretty difficult problem.

  In addition, what exactly is a "topic model"? What, exactly, do you model? Do you model the topics people actually post (hard for a startup), the topics people may post, or the topics that the average aggregate of a study of the posters on the internet post?

  The number of topics on the internet are almost literally infinite, and from a modeling standpoint, indefinite. How do you differentiate between the ones that are worth viewing and those that aren't, based on subject matter?

  Just some questions...

 

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 4 years ago | (#33199950)

The Authority/Hub model was a ranking algorithm proposed by Jon Kleinberg [wikipedia.org] . The web pages on the internet would be classified as hubs, meaning lots of pages would be linked from them, and authorities, meaning lots of pages would link to them. The idea is that if you view a web link as an arrow representing "click here for more information", then you can identify the sources and the sinks as hubs and authorities.

If you draw the relationships between people as a set of arrows (called a social graph), then provided you can interpret the arrows in a compatible way, the sources and sinks can be identified using Kleinberg's algorithm or variations thereof.

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33200470)

  While it seems like a good tree model for classifying the internet (see below), I think that it'd be best if the term "authority" was not used inside the model. That term has connotations that in addition to being misunderstood will likely be misused, especially by some of the not so savory media types.

  No offense, but I view the attempts to diagram the relationships on the internet with some amusement. The internet is and has been for at least a decade and a half much more complicated than any simple representation in 2D or 3d or any human visualization space can ever show; and anyone who attempts to simplify it in that fashion is showing their naivety.

  Even before that relationships between people in any social setting larger than a few dozen were more complicated than any but a few could comprehend, and that but dimly. The internet has raised the complications of relationships between people by many orders of magnitude, and put it out of reach of our current social science's theories.

  It's one of the major core faults of most professional business models - but don't take my word for that, do your own research.

  Yeah, I don't use the "professional" lingo. But what's been happening for the last couple decades should be obvious to anyone who lived thru the times before that. To put it simply, the technological phenomenon of instant global communications has scrambled all the 'old' models of human behavior (Victorian etc), much as, but to a hugely greater degree than the printing press did.

  That might be a good thing, if the generations currently growing up with that technology use it wisely. We'll see.

  GSVEMR

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 4 years ago | (#33200624)

I forgot to do so before, but I should point out that I'm not associated with the PeerIndex described in TFA. Within the internet / web 2.0 / social graph / data mining context, the concept of an authority nearly always derives from Kleinberg's (very influential) early model. It's best to take the terminology as jargon rather than a fundamental truth. The media will always find a way to misuse it if it sells stories.

As to the relationship with (proper) social science, it's not necessarily the most important. The "social" sites like Facebook, MySpace etc offer services that they hope their customers / members will find useful so that they stay and part with their money. If an obscure algorithm producing "authorities" results in a feature that people like, they'll implement it without thinking twice about what it really means.

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33212832)

  Didn't assume you were.

    You said it very well. It's not really science, but the pseudo-science that is part and parcel of the phenomenon of consumerism; which has deeper sociological roots.

  I do object to the use of terminology as jargon, however. Terminology for the most part describes the use of words that reflect specialization in science, and should not be misused as propaganda. We don't live in a perfect world, however; and the misuse, and, more frequently lately, abuse of the terminology of science by the media is beyond disgusting.

  I think that social networking sites are a good thing; but as with nearly all communication technologies in human history, they are being badly abused by those who find a profit potential in them.

  In that respect I agree with the FOSS community.

  Meanwhile, I stay away from them, and I advise all the people who will listen to me - which is a very short list relative to the internet as a whole - to do the same. The more mature social networking parts of the internet - usenet, etc - are beyond the reach of the average user, unfortunately.

  Human discourse should be free - and not just free of monetary considerations, but free of censorship, free of moderation (regardless of content); free from oversight of any sort. Yes, it is likely that it'll be taken over, for at least a short time, by those who see the short term profit motive as imperative.

  However, if it becomes moderated by large numbers of people who have their own ideological objectives, then no study of the phenomenon, no matter how pure it's motives, is worth anything. This is why a lot of the hard science theorists consider the social sciences to be ephemeral; lack of objectively hard data. Up is Up, Down is down.

  Algorithms - code - are written by humans, don't exist in a vacuum.

  Given what I've seen of Slashdot's moderation system, it looks like, as Larry Niven once put it very well, "evolution in action" ;)

  GSVEMR

 

Re:Seems a good idea, but... (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33200534)

  One of the worst misconceptions one can live with is to assume that everyone that one deals with are just as rational as one is; and regarding your particular project, that they would be willing to be categorized as cleanly, and that the algorithmic results would make sense when applied to the real world.

Don't count on it.

GSVEMR

My prediction: (4, Interesting)

deadhammer (576762) | about 4 years ago | (#33197824)

This will be gamed by spammers before it even launches.

Re:My prediction: (1)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | about 4 years ago | (#33199798)

  PR personnel, as well (who in this modern day and age might as well be considered spammers for all the real net worth of the crap they publish; perhaps we should call them "Corporate or Government Sanctioned Spammers" )

Al Gore is deemed an "expert" on global warming (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197888)

No need to waste any more time on this venture funds destroyer.

Err, make that "global climate change" too.

Re:Al Gore is deemed an "expert" on global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33203526)

When global climate change has destroyed agriculture we will eat the deniers like you first!

Re:Al Gore is deemed an "expert" on global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33203572)

When this has come to pass, welcome to my barbecue party, green man-chop.

Slashdotters will be anxious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33197918)

I hear the experts of Linux filter will include looking for terms such as dick smoking, rim job, rump roasting, gay, man on man, anal sex, getting banged up the ass by Linus.

Gabe is an authority on (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 years ago | (#33198262)

Gabe is an authority on his own bowel movements, but it seems only Tycho retweets from Gabe. The retweet tree begins from Tycho. What does that mean?

Re:Gabe is an authority on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33198574)

I thought Gabe was an authority on not producing Episode 3.

Dave's not here mam (1)

hugg (22953) | about 4 years ago | (#33199618)

Probably not, because many domains don't have Twittering experts. Go look for experts on programming language research, for instance. The terms used won't even appear in search results. If it can't be marketed, it won't be on Twitter.

Umm...remember Peter Wiggin, Hegemon of Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33205004)

Even though he's subsequently been shown to have medieval views (he's apparently a rabid homophobe), Orson Scott Card, author of "Ender's Game", was indeed ahead of his time.

I don't get Twitter... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33208912)

There are lots & lots of musicians, actors, writers, etc. etc. whose artistic output I greatly enjoy & admire.

But I don't get this idea of celebrity worship or hanging on to ever single thing they say or do, and never have done.

To me, the whole system works because I hand over some money for some interesting entertainment (a book, a CD, a cinema ticket, etc.) and I get some entertainment in return. If it's entertaining enough, I'll probably go back for more of the same at a later stage and hand over some more money.

But what the creator of that entertainment does in between of bouts of entertaining me personally is entirely their own affair, I could not care less as I'm probably too busy paying for someone else to entertain me during that time.

So why people follow celebrities on Twitter is beyond me.

Re:I don't get Twitter... (1)

neminem (561346) | about 4 years ago | (#33210006)

I follow a few (non-mainstream) musicians on twitter. Why? Because their twitter posts have stuff like, say, how their new album is doing, where they're thinking about touring, secret links to unreleased covers they've recorded, that sort of thing. I also follow one (also non-mainstream) game developer twitter, because their game is hilarious, and so is everything else they write, including their twitter posts. I agree, twitter is mostly just full of hype, but occasionally people do use it in useful (or at least amusing) ways.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>