This past week I read "Detecting Spam in a Twitter Network" by Yardi et. al., which is unsual as I do not normally read supplementary readings. I was intrigued for two reasons.
1) Who isn't tired of receiving Viagara commercials or invites from [insert ethnicity here] girls ready for a good time. I wanted to learn more about how spam originates and ...
2) I wanted to take the opportunity to learn about Twitter.
I do not twitter, so am fairly unfamiliar with it. In relation to my post last week, I think keeping up with the latest online trends/ways to gather information is important. As a librarian, you may have patrons asking you about these social networking sites and their reliability. Librarians need to understand these phenomena and the challenges that may arise in conducting online research. It's no good having younger patrons thinking librarians are 'old' and that they don't know about cool things (as my little sister once accused me of :'( ...)
Their study of the #robotpickuplines hastag was really interesting. I will admit that I found following their research a little difficult as it was very number-oriented (I don't know much about algorithms) but I think this brought forward a positive aspect of their presentation. Yardi et. al provided a lot of great diagrams that helped me understand their numbers/research methods better. If used properly, this seems like a great strategy for presenting your work. I usually stay away from diagrams/visualizations and focus on descriptive text instead, but this article put a little reminder in the back of my brain. Visualizing your work might help people understand your work better and help reinforce its importance. How useful is your research, after all, if nobody understands what you're saying??