Slide #1 – Hi I’m Stu and I’m going to talk today about the power of crowds for performing certain tasks. I want to thank Josh Sowalsky for managing this project and drafting the slides.
Slide #5 – We’ve heard hype about “the power of Twitter & Facebook to bring about political change.” We get it. The Internet is changing politics, but what else can crowds do together online?
Slide #7 – Wikipedia is a remarkably social source of information, potentially edited by anyone. It catalogues human knowledge and, with the exception of prankster gags, the project is working.
Slide #8 – Wikipedia is a fun project that most people don’t contribute to. What about not so fun tasks? There’s lots of interesting research people want to do, but it requires many eyeballs to sift data.
Slide #10 – Social science research can cost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thank-you NSF! You train & pay students, cross your fingers, and hope the results are valid.
Slide #11 – We decided to take the OBL tweets to an online crowd for an experiment. Over 4 million tweets that mentioned Osama or bin Laden were collected right after he was assassinated.
Slide #12 – A group out of Harvard did their own experiment using the Crimson Hexagon. With unsupervised classification methods, they found that 27% of the bin Laden tweets contained humor.
Slide #14 – About 60 people volunteered and after two days, more than 22,000 tweets had been coded by 26 self-proclaimed funny coders. Some even asserted comedian status. Total project cost: $750.
Slide #15 – Our crowd found only 23% of the bin Laden tweets were attempts at humor. Most were not funny. Only 3% of the tweets were coded as either hilarious or very funny.
Slide #18 – If you like “Brad Pitt leads a group of Jewish soldiers,” tweet #OBLemoticon1. If you like “go through airport security for the rest of his life” tweet #OBLemoticon2, if you like “Only a democrat” tweet #OBLemoticon3.
Slide #19 – If you like “Well done gay people” tweet #OBLemoticon4. If you like “Reaganomics works” tweet #OBLemoticon5 and if you like “blood and rage cocktail” tweet #OBLemoticon6.
Slide #20 – There is very little funny about the legacy of Osama bin Laden. Humor has always been a part of how humanity deals with brutality. This experiment was not about bin Laden or humor. It is about the Internet and the future of research methods. Thanks!