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Two new publications, new research project, looking to hire

Published on
26 Feb 2012
Written by
Scott A. Hale

A lot has happened since my last post, and the selected publications page has been updated to reflect this. I am very pleased to announce that my work looking at cross-language linking in the blogosphere following the 2010 Haitian earthquake, which I have blogged about previously, is now published and freely available to all in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. The abstract for this publication follows:

This research analyzes linguistic barriers and cross-lingual interaction through link analysis of more than 100,000 blogs discussing the 2010 Haitian earthquake in English, Spanish, and Japanese. In addition, cross-lingual hyperlinks are qualitatively coded. This study finds English-language blogs are significantly less likely to link cross-lingually than Spanish or Japanese blogs. However, bloggers’ awareness of foreign language content increases over time. Personal blogs contain most cross-lingual links, and these links point to (primarily English-language) media. Finally, most cross-lingual links in the dataset signal a citation or reference relationship while a smaller number of cross-lingual links signal a translation. Although most bloggers link to other blogs in the same language, the dataset reveals a surprising level of human translation in the blogosphere.

Full paper…

In addition, a new publication examining the sharing of off-site links in Twitter and Wikipedia following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku, Japan, has just been accepted to International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI ’12, ACM, which will be held in Austin, Texas, in May. I’ll be blogging more about this research in the future in order to expand upon data and details that did not fit within the page limit.

This paper describes two case studies examining the impact of platform design on cross-language communications. The sharing of off-site hyperlinks between language editions of Wikipedia and between users on Twitter with different languages in their user descriptions are analyzed and compared in the context of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The paper finds that a greater number of links are shared across languages on Twitter, while a higher percentage of links are shared between Wikipedia articles. The higher percentage of links being shared on Wikipedia is attributed to the persistence of links and the ability for users to link articles on the same topic together across languages.

Pre-print copy of the paper…

Finally, I am very excited to announce I have written my first grant proposal and that the proposal was funded. The resulting project, Big Data: Demonstrating the Value of the UK Web Domain Dataset for Social Science Research, will perform research with a 30TB achieve of Web data of the .uk country-code top-level domain collected from 1996 to 2010. We are now looking to hire a Big Data Research Officer, who will contribute to this new project and to two other large-scale data projects (Leaders and Followers in Online Activism and The Internet, Political Science and Public Policy). If you have strong computer science skills and an interest in the social aspects of online technologies, please consider applying or sharing this announcement with others who might be interested. Applications close 16 March, and further information, contact details, and application information are available on the University of Oxford’s Job Search website.

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