Tag Archives: Twitter

@jojokarlin’s Memory Trip pre-pitch

I am massively intimidated by the awesome pitches people are composing so concisely! I feel like Little Red in Into the Woods— scared, well ExcITED AND scared. I offer a rather hasty outline of what my pitch might be on Tuesday…

Memory is tricky stuff. In these digital times, it is a tradable commodity. How many gigs is your phone?

I want to create a memory map of my grandmother’s memory (loosely based on the map of a road trip) and in the process model a platform that others could use to assemble their own memory map with elderly relations who are not particularly digitally inclined. (My grandmother buys disposable wind up cameras).

1. Memory Map—  I am interested in modeling, in a map of sorts, my soon to be 97-year-old grandmother’s remarkable (largely pre-digital) memory. The Dodge ad from the Super Bowl somewhat made my argument for tying my grandmother’s memories to a road trip. She’s been driving a long time and her life almost spans the history of the automobile industry in America. Not only is the road trip a tradition I have with her, time in the car tends to be fairly meditative. The metaphor is useful — roads more and less traveled in life take us down paths we maybe remember– and the project becomes more memory tourism than memorial monument. (I don’t want to build a museum or a family archive — it’s not about ossifying the “true” facts of my grandmother’s life. I want the map to be an interactive spatialization of the way memory from all her years live in her today.

2. Platform for others to use– I have been thinking it should be done in Neatline with some fancy plugins. I would love to make something that doesn’t require elaborate tools for data collection (I’ve done initial interviews and video with my iphone). Ideally, once built, the memory map could be available to people wanting a way to digitally document the way older generations go about remembering.


I offer a photo of my grandmother at the Getty Museum — I bit their social media bait and had her pose and tweeted it. Naturally @theGettymuseum responded:

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 7.05.35 PM

I would like to help my grandmother continue to win the internet.




Twitter and #Ferguson

Dear all,

In the aftermath of the Ferguson decision, and the much-discussed condemning of social media in McCulloch’s speech, we can see the high stakes of a lot of questions we’ve discussed in this class so far.

Perhaps as a way of opening the conversation, here’s a link that shows tweets on #Ferguson and the temporal “hot spots” that happened around key events. Particularly when live-reporting is occurring online, and I’ve seen a lot of news outlets get facts wrong, Twitter’s communicative power is really being harnessed.



Data Set Troubles

Hi all,

So it seems like the only way one can get old data from Twitter is to pay for it. There is a site called Topsy that seemed promising at first, because they do let you get data from several years back. However, making any reliable conclusions from that data would be hard, because they only give you ten pages of results, and you can only specify a date range, but not a time range. For the periods of time I am interested in there was so much tweeting going on that ten pages of results only covers like two hours (and there is no controlling which two hours they show you). Plus, I think they are showing “top tweets,” rather than a feed of tweets in the order they happened, so that is another factor limiting their usefulness. Not to mention Topsy doesn’t offer locational data. The people at Topsy support sent me a list of other vendors including Gnip and Datasift, which both cost. money I also looked at Keyhole, which looks great, but again, it costs money to get “historical data” from them.

Unless someone has any ideas about how to get historical data off Twitter without having to pay for it, I think I am going to shift my focus temporarily to working on tweeting surrounding the election, which should be easier, because it just happened. I will need to learn how to use the Twitter API to do that, though, so if anyone knows how, I would much appreciate any pointers you could give me. Also, I will need to figure out what my focus would be here–particularly in light of Wendy Davis’s recent loss of the gubernatorial race. Maybe I could compare this year to past years? Perhaps there was more support for Wendy Davis than for other democratic candidates?

I am still attached to my earlier idea about mapping the locational data, though, and thinking about transforming this into a final project proposal. I think there are probably some organizations in Texas that might consider funding something like this, though I am also interested in broadening the project out to have a wider appeal. Here are some ideas I had for expanding it. (I would welcome other ideas or suggestions):

  • Doing something like HyperCities, where video and other media could be layered over the map of tweets
  • Charting the tweets of conservatives as well as liberals.
  • Charting the change in tone of the tweets over multiple important moments such as the hearings and Wendy Davis’s filibuster
  • Doing a data visualization of the other hashtags that were used in relation to the ones I already know about.

Idea for a Dataset/Project Proposal

I know this post is coming a bit late but I was so inspired by Hypercities that I had to go ahead and write about it. I have been anxiously awaiting our discussion of mapping all semester, and have not been disappointed. I was particularly inspired by the project gathering the tweets occurring during the Egyptian revolution and with Yoh Kawano’s attempt to use GIS to empower Japanese people to acquire knowledge of the radiation in a given area in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. It was a bit of a revelation to me to see scholars taking on projects that will really help people outside of academia, and that have such personal relevance for them.

Reading this also gave me an idea of what I would like to do in DH—possibly for my dataset project or my large project proposal. I would really like to harvest (?) locational data about the tweets sent last August in Texas during a few of the hearings, and protests, related to House Bill 60, as well as Wendy Davis’s filibuster. These bills which came up for debate in the Texas House and the Senate at this time aimed to severely restrict Texas women’s access to abortion and other reproductive care. These measures (which I believe have now been partially put into effect) disproportionately affect the many Hispanic women living in South Texas, where virtually no clinics were able to remain open, and working class women, who cannot afford to take off several days or more to travel the long distance now necessary to get reproductive care. In a state that takes eight hours to drive across width-wise and probably more to drive across length-wise, there are only seven abortion clinics left—all of which are located in Texas’s few and widely scattered urban areas.

As you can see, geography has played a big part in which women have been affected by these laws. However, geography also played a role in whose voices have been heard in the protests, and whose have been silenced. There is a wide perception that Austin is the only area of Texas with a significant liberal population, and that the rest of Texas is hyper-conservative. While this may be true to a large extent, I believe there are pockets of people all over Texas who strongly opposed those measures, and whose voices were marginalized and trivialized when Rick Perry said the protesters did not represent “real” Texans. Though indeed many protesters present were from Austin, there was substantial opposition to the measures on Twitter as well—a medium which, while it certainly is not accessible to all Texans, provided a relatively efficient and  economical alternative to in-person protesting. I think plotting on a map the frequency of use of certain hashtags popular in these events such as #standwithwendy and #comeandtakeit might give voices to these silenced people, dissipating the feelings of hoplessness and isolation that come with being a liberal person in Texas, and providing a convincing illustration of the extent to which the Republican leadership of Texas in promoting measures like these, ignores the wishes not only of liberals in Austin, but of a much wider portion of its constituency. This project was very important to me because I was actively involved at the time and feel the need to help, though I no longer live in Texas.

It seems like I will definitely have to learn about APIs, and maybe some kind of mapping software. This may be a very large project I am aiming toward, but if anyone knows what other skills I might need to get started, I would be very much obliged for your input!!!

This week’s Twitter success, and how it affects (academic) conversation

Note to future twitter readers: start from the bottom & work your way up.

I’m having a really good week on Twitter (and not just because I have 30 or so new, wonderful followers from our DH praxis class, though that certainly helps).

Look at that: FIVE favorites, ONE re-tweet, and the re-tweet came from an Open Access related association/company/group that I don’t even know! Of course I followed them back.

The problem with Twitter, and specifically the tweets shown above, is that they’re difficult to document (or read) after the fact. These two in particular happened in succession as part of a conversation between me, myself, and the Wall Street Journal. They will live forever on the Internet, backwards. As a person that prides herself on subtle jokes and one-liners I find this deeply troubling.

  • Should I have tweeted backwards for the benefit of future readers, but to the disservice of active twitter users?
  • Should I delete?
  • What if some high ranking administrator at my institution sees my Tweet and doesn’t get it?
  • Should I make my Twitter private? What’s really the point of Twitter, then?
  • Should I have hyperlinked the article in question? What if it had been behind a pay-wall?

(When my worries about Twitter use turn into a bulleted list, I know it’s time to slowly back away from the computer…)

The Library of Congress has begun archiving tweets, so I am inclined to believe that the present conversation is not what matters but rather the conversation’s future impact. Despite my better-than-average week on twitter – combining popular media with my profession in a concise-less-than-140-character package – I’m not sure if who actually matters actually cares.

Academia is beginning to care. I think. Emerging products such as Altmetric (and specifically I’m talking about Altmetric the product from Digital Science, not altmetrics the concept) enables researchers and scholars to quickly see the active conversations happening around article-level content. Such information happens in real-time, just as twitter intended. This function is contrary to both the current rate of publishing – super, super slow – and well curated article citations that have historically defined academic conversations. The traditional academic conversation has seen criticism of late, with the emergence of peer review scams and bogus scientific articles, which to me indicates a serious flaw in the publishing process, available resources, and the resulting competitive nature of academia. Despite the emergence of such concepts and products that may very well be helping to subvert the traditional process I am brought back to Matthew G. Kirschenbaum’s reference in regards to academia and the Silicon Valley. With my altmetrics/Altmetrics example, the concept emerged as a possible solution to collect and display scholarly conversations, but the product (capital “A”) has been monetized.

In my daily work – I’m the E-Resources Librarian at Queens College – I receive cold-calls (industry term: “Inside sales”) on a schedule: at the end of each quarter, so that representatives can make their numbers and receive bonuses (for speed boats, etc.). Library vendors (publishers, mostly) want to sell me stuff, and yes, I’m very disillusioned about it. Before joining the ranks of faculty librarianship I worked for a vendor and I know well what’s happening behind-the-scenes before I’m called.

So how does this relate to DH? I’m not convinced that citing social media and related sources are DH. I do think that DHers, or those inclined to accept it as a discipline and perhaps learn and use its methods, are more likely to follow along via such outlets. I’m also curious about the monetary aspects of DH. When I join the ranks of those that can claim DH scholarship and practice, will I have to add names to my digital rolodex of “reps to dodge lest they try to sell me something”?