• College Ready Writing

    A blog about education, higher ed, teaching, and trying to re-imagine how we provide education.


Sharing Time!

Cool stuff people I know are up to. 

February 20, 2013

There’s been so much good stuff online lately, that I want to share and comment here a little bit.

First up: if you do any work in or with Twitter, then you should be following Martin Hawksey. He is responsible for coming up with the scripts to archive tweets in Google Spreadsheets and the cool visualization tool. There’s lots of other great stuff for analyzing tweets and learning from that data, but I just haven’t had the time yet to really dig into it. I’m a huge fan of what he does. I used his advice to be able to put out a live archive of all of my tweets, too.

(By the way, if you want to take your Twitter archive and make it into a “live” website, drop the entire folder you unzip from Twitter into your “Public” folder in Dropbox. When you go into the Tweets folder, share the link to the index.html file. Voila! A public website of your tweets.)

Next: Heather Froehlich, whom I met at DHWI. She took her new-found skills and started to ask about the female characters in Shakespeare. How many are there? How much do they really say? I’m looking forward for the next one, where she will take a look at WHAT they are talking about. I’m just really geeking out over this sort of medium-sized data text analysis.

One of the critiques I heard this past weekend at the Networked Humanities conference was that Big Data (and even medium-sized data) doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. In fact, it often reinforces our suspicions inferred from good, old-fashioned observation. But, there are times when data-mining can in fact reveal something new and interesting, if not downright surprising.

Enter Jon Millard. He collected and broke down the profiles of over 10,000 porn stars to figure out (among other things) what a porn star looks like. Turns out, it not what you expected. But I really appreciated the use of data and visualizations to reveal something new. I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but just in case you hadn’t yet, I thought I’d bring it to your attention.

Finally, another one of my Tweeps whom I finally got to meet (however briefly) in person this weekend, is looking to understand How Composition Teachers Use Online Social Media to Support Scholarly Composing Tasks. So, if you teach composition, then click on the link and fill out Jen Michaels survey. And share it far and wide with your community.

Take care everyone. And don’t forget to share. 


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