A new data collection tool is being heralded as the first “mood ring” of the social media world. The “twittersphere” has become the home for millions and millions of micro-stories - fleeting tales of everyday life broadcast to the masses. Now, researchers at the University of Vermont are looking to extract a social pulse from Twitter’s vast output. Millions of tweets have been processed through UVM’s Hedonometer, which measures collective levels of happiness over space and time. Here to discuss the project - and the newly launched website, is Chris Danforth, associate professor at the University of Vermont’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and one of the developers behind the Hedonometer.
After every errant tweet from another major news outlet, or the announcement of fresh layoffs from another print newsroom, many shake their heads and talk about the good old days, before false reports of WMD’s and internet news aggregators. We remember a time when Edward R. Murrow and other icons of objectivity were our revered national watchdogs, serving up the truth...one newspaper column or TV broadcast at a time. But what if our idealistic view of American journalism's "golden age" is nothing but a nostalgic myth? Todd Gitlin teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University. His recent article “The Myth of Journalism’s Golden Age” was recently featured in the Utne Reader.
To anyone who doesn’t care to Tweet (that would be a whopping 90% of Americans), the massive influence of so few characters seems unlikely. Yet, information disseminated by NPR’s Andy Carvinduring the Arab uprising spread across all forms of media, reaching people in ways no one would have expected.
Increasingly, fans are taking in a second screen NFL experience on social media. The drama of this year’s football season has been echoed, and sometimes fed by the tweets of fans, players, and even players’ wives…leading to more than a few PR scrambles by the league. This is all new territory for the NFL, which only last year began dipping its heavily guarded brand into the fray of social media. Doug Tribou is a producer and reporter for NPR’s Only A Game, and he joins us from WBUR in Boston to talk about football and this season’s biggest social media trends.
Elvis is in the building! Or at least on your smartphone. Despite being laid to rest nearly 35 years ago, the King of Rock n’ Roll still posts on Facebook, and tweets several times a day…here’s a sample: “love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go… hashtag Valentine’s Day deals at Shop Elvis!” The BBC’s Matt Danzico recently looked into the social media afterlives of departed celebrities – he lets us in on how they do it.
A clever Twitter handle got our notice recently when some of the smart folks we follow started tweeting about it. You might be familiar with Roomba…that round little robotic vacuum that cleans all by itself. Well now, through a string of tweets, @SelfAwareRoomba is telling a compelling story about coming to life, falling in love with a toaster, making an enemy of a child, and, in a storyline that got hundreds of people tweeting frantically, suffering a near-death experience after taking a tumble down the stairs.
Imagine the Olympics with no gold medal…the prom without a queen...Top Model without a Top Model. Much of the literary world is bereft after the Pulitzer Prize board snubbed the fiction category in this year’s awards. It’s the first time since 1977 that the 'Lords of lit' deemed no book worthy of the honor.
Vice President Al Gore used to tell a joke about himself: “Al Gore is so boring, his secret service name is Al Gore.” Well, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is now under secret service protection, and while we don’t know what his code name will be, the Twitterati have been weighing in with suggestions using the hashtag #romneycodename.
Football fans, say it along with me: “This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions of the game without the NFL’s consent is prohibited.”