Title: Mapping Networked Attention: what we learn from data
Abstract: Invisible Children’s video #Kony2012 was the most viral media we’ve ever witnessed, accruing over 100 million views within a few days. Yet this “virality” didn’t just happen overnight. It was an outcome of a well planned campaign that was coordinated over years amongst networks of supporters across the US. This became crystal clear by looking at data, specifically how densely clustered the initial audience had been. In this case, the video was heavily shared amongst pre-existing networks of supporters who were activated at the same time. For a message to spread, it must be picked out from overflowing streams of updates, photos and links, and chosen to be reposted by each individual. The networked nature of social media may give some messages an overwhelming boost in popularity, but in most cases they fade as fast as they were created. Analyzing social streams can provide important insight about networked audiences: who they are, what excites them, when they’re active, how they’re clustered and who’s an authority. When intelligently predicted, captured and visualized we can use data analysis methods to draw important insight.
Bio: Gilad Lotan is the VP of Research and Development at SocialFlow where he leads the data science team focused on analyzing networked audiences, information flow and attention in Social Media. Gilad is a leading researcher and authority on deriving insight from social streams. Previously, Gilad built social data visualizations at Microsoft’s FUSE labs. His past work includes ‘Retweet Revolution’, visualizing the flow of information during the 2009 #IranElection riots, and a study investigating the relationship between mainstream media and social media channels during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. At SocialFlow Gilad and his team provide insights and analysis from social media for brands including Pepsi, Walmart and Burberry. Additionally, his team's data feeds have been used to power visualization projects for The New York Times, Intel and Vice Media.
Gilad’s work has been presented at the MIT Center for Civic Media, Harvard's Berkman Center, TED, Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) and SXSW. His work has been published at IJOC (International Journal of Communication), ICWSM (The International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, HICCS (Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences) and covered by the New York Times, the Guardian, Fast Company and the Atlantic Wire. Most recently Gilad gave the opening Keynote at Dalhousie University's Symposium on Measuring Influence on Social Media.