Grouping The Similar Among The Disconnected Bloggers

This is a book chapter that was published in “Social Media Mining and Social Network Analysis Emerging Research” . It was my first attempt to write a book chapter and finally came up with the final version after climbing the steep learning curve for 3 months. Even after coming up with the final version it went through rigorous reviews and edits. I was so happy when I finally completed the entire cycle after 8 months. 🙂 A very special thanks to Dr. Nitin Agarwal who made me do it.

Summary: Social interactions are an essential ingredient of our lives. People convene groups and share views, opinions, thoughts, and perspectives. Similar tendencies for social behavior are observed in the World Wide Web. This inspires us to study and understand social interactions evolving in online social media, especially in the blogosphere. In this chapter, the authors study and analyze various interaction patterns in community and individual blogs. This would lead to better understanding of the implicit ties between these blogs to foster collaboration, improve personalization, predictive modeling, and enable tracking and monitoring. Tapping interactions among bloggers via link analysis has its limitations due to the sparse nature of the links among the blogs and an exponentially large search space. The authors present two methodologies to observe interaction within the blogs via observed events addressing the challenges with link analysis-based approaches by studying the opinion and sentiments of the bloggers towards the events and the entities associated with the events. The authors present two case studies: (1) “Saddam Hussein’s Verdict” and (2) “The Death of Osama Bin Laden.” Through these case studies, they leverage their proposed models and report their findings and observations. Although the models offer promising opportunities, there are a few limitations. The authors discuss these challenges and envisage future directions to make the model more robust.

Chapter Preview: 

With the advent of Web 2.0 and its increasing participatory nature, the social media has become an ideal platform for analyzing the pulse of over 2 billion Web-aware people of the world (Internet World Stats, Usage, and Population Statistics, 2011), which is rapidly increasing every second. Social media includes blogs, media sharing sites, micro-blogging sites, social bookmarking sites, social networking sites, social news sites, wikis, and many other forms of media having an online presence in the Web. In recent times, social media has become more than a place to socialize. It has become a mighty platform for the common people to express his opinion and forming online communities. These virtual communities have proved to be firing grounds for various debates, protests as well as a digital instrument against tyranny and for democracy. It has led to the democratization of the Web. Social media has been integral in putting a spark to the, “Iranian Twitter Revolution” (Quirk, 2009), “Egyptian Facebook protests” (Masr, 2009) and recent movements like “The Anna Hazare Movement against corruption” (Facebook, 2011) in India. As one Cairo activist succinctly puts it, “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to co-ordinate and You Tube to tell the world” (The Arab Spring’s Cascading Effects, 2011). These Web sites are used for coordinating actions, organizing events, mobilizing crowds, disseminating news, and expressing opinions. The modern social media has revolutionized the way, the world expresses and shares opinions and views in public, making the human society, a small world to live in, and share each other’s thoughts. It has become a platform to discuss a wide spectrum of topics varying from politics, economics, company products, personal experiences, science and technology to cooking recipes. Thus social media acts as an enabler to influence and propagate ideas among people who are connected to one another through these social media websites, which has further led to the realization of collective action (Tarrow, et al., 1994). A systematic methodology to study the role of social media in the contemporary forms of collective actions has been proposed in Agarwal et al. (2011) illuminating several fundamental yet theoretically obscure aspects of collective action theory.

The social nature of the Web seems to be increasing; with people getting connected to each other every single second and interacting through social media sites. Blogosphere, for instance, has been growing at a phenomenal rate of 100% every 5 months (Technorati, 2008). BlogPulse has tracked over 160 million blogs till November 2010 (BlogPulse Stats, 2011). Facebook recorded more than 800 million active users as of January 2012 (Facebook Fact Sheet, 2012); Twitter amassed nearly 200 million users in March 2011; and other social computing applications like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Flickr, YouTube, etc., are also growing at similarly terrific pace. This clearly shows the awareness and penetration of social media among individuals and their daily lives. The widespread adoption of social media certainly makes it a lucrative area for researchers converging from various disciplines such as, anthropology, sociology, political science, computer science, mathematics, economics, marketing, management, etc.

To get the full copy of the chapter you need to go here:

research-paper

or just mail me for knowing more about it. 😉

Mining The Blogosphere From A Socio-political Perspective

Summary: Blogs are websites that allow one or more individuals to write about things they want to share with others. The universe of all blog sites is referred to as Blogosphere. The ease & simplicity of creating blog posts and their free form and unedited nature have made the blogosphere a rich and unique source of data, which has attracted people and companies across disciplines to exploit it for varied purposes. The valuable data contained in posts from a large number of users across geographic, demographic and cultural boundaries provide a rich data source not only for commercial exploitation but also for psychological & sociopolitical research. This paper tries to demonstrate the plausibility of the idea through our clustering and opinion mining experiment on analysis of blog posts on recent socio-political developments in the new democratic republic of Nepal; and to elaborate the broader technical framework & tools required for this kind of analysis.

Motivation: Blogs have become a very popular medium for expressing opinions, communicating with others, providing suggestions, sharing thoughts on different issues and also to debate over them. The large amount of valuable data contained in the blogosphere is making it an important field of research, not only for academicians but also for people from industry and other disciplines. The study of blogosphere has helped in reshaping business models, assist viral marketing, providing trend analysis & sales prediction, and aiding counter terrorism efforts. The blogosphere is an ideal platform from which we can extract information, opinion, moods and emotions on various topics. It may include topics like political issues, social issues, product reviews or market surveys. The current research in blogosphere includes areas like blog classification and clustering, community discovery, analysis of relationship among bloggers, topic discovery & tagging, blog mining, trend discovery, bloggers’ sentiment & interest analysis, filtering spam blogs and modeling the blogosphere.

Most of the contemporary analytical research in blog mining, however, focuses more on marketing applications. Efforts on socio-political exploitation of the blogosphere are almost negligent. The fact that the content of the blogs are original free-form writings, and that they are very contemporary & emotion laden; makes the blogosphere an ideal platform for socio-political analysis. The personality, expertise, views and moods of bloggers are well reflected in their posts. The postings are on real time basis and information in the posts is current and relevant. It is, therefore, beyond doubt that the blogosphere now depicts the accurate views and sentiments of the common people, in an electronic media.

Main Contributions: In this paper, we have tried to analyze the blogosphere from a socio-political perspective by collecting and analyzing the blog posts about political and constitutional developments in the new democratic republic of Nepal.

Conclusion: Blogosphere has immense potential for socio-political studies and research, which needs to be exploited in a useful manner. The first hand, un-edited, free-form writings of bloggers provide an incomparable input data. The geographical, demographic and cultural diversity of the bloggers make the data still more valuable, and rich in the various perspectives of the topic of concern. Most of the contemporary work on blogosphere analysis (primarily for commercial exploitation), however, is limited to syntactic mechanisms. The textual nature of the blog data and the lack of sophisticated natural language processing tools (having semantic orientation), make the task very challenging. Availability of good text mining and language processing tools will definitely make the analysis results much more valuable. Moreover, with new structuring and semantic representations becoming popular on the World Wide Web, much of the limitations may be overcome and analytical experiment of this kind may produce more accurate results and hence more relevant inferences.

Download the papers from here:

research-paper      and          research-paper

Singh, V.K. ; Adhikari, R. ; Mahata, D. 
Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC), 2010 IEEE International Conference on 

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ICCIC.2010.5705807 
Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 – 4

and

Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC), 2010 IEEE International Conference on 
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ICCIC.2010.5705807 
Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 – 4