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CityBeat at ICWSM 2015

Our paper “Editorial Algorithms: Using Social Media to Discover and Report Local News” was accepted as a full paper presentation at ICWSM 2015 in Oxford, UK.  Here is the abstract:

The role of algorithms in the detection, curation and broadcast of news is becoming increasingly prevalent. To better understand this role we developed CityBeat, a system that implements what we call “editorial algorithms” to find possible news events. This fully functional system collects real-time geo-tagged information from social media, finds key stories, makes an editorial decision whether these events are of interest and eventually visualizes these stories on a big screen display. The system was designed in collaboration with jour- nalists and tested at four New York City newsrooms. Our results show that while journalists were receptive to the idea of machine-generated news stories, the actual results of the system confirmed current concerns among journalists and researchers about the dangers of outsourcing news-finding tasks to machines. This paper, therefore, exemplifies how news sourcing systems based on social media may favor specific types of news events, do not report results quickly enough, and cater to a biased population and range of interests.

I am joining Facebook Research!

Starting October 2014 I will be joining the research team at Facebook.

The Spatial Self: New Article on New Media and Society

A new article by the awesome Germaine Halegoua and me was just published on New Media & Society. Here is the abstract:

As a growing number of social media platforms now include location information from their users, researchers are confronted with new online representations of individuals, social networks, and the places they inhabit. To better understand these representations and their implications, we introduce the concept of the “spatial self”: a theoretical framework encapsulating the process of online self-presentation based on the display of offline physical activities. Building on previous studies in social science, humanities, and computer and information science, we analyze the ways offline experiences are harnessed and performed online. We first provide an encompassing interdisciplinary survey of research that investigates the relationships between location, information technology, and identity performance. Then, we identify and characterize the spatial self as well as examine its occurrences through three case studies of popular social media sites: Instagram, Facebook, and Foursquare. Finally, we offer possible research directions and methodological considerations for the analysis of geocoded social media data.


Big News! The Magic grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation!

My team was awarded the Magic grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation! Looking forward to an exciting year with my awesome group of people from Rutgers and The Columbia Journalism school. More here:

CFP When the City Meets the Citizens Workshop at ICWSM 2013

A bunch of great people (and me) are organizing a workshop at the upcoming ICWSM conference. If you are interested in cities and social media, make sure you submit your work! :)

Here is the CFP:

The 2nd When the City Meets the Citizens Workshop:

Big Data and the Study of the Urban Habitat

Boston, July 11th 2013 (WCMCW)

In conjunction with the International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM)