Archive for the 'School' Category

Last First Day of School

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

My 19 year journey, leading from kindergarten at William Southern Elementary School in Independence, Missouri through to Masters’ studies at the University of San Francisco is on its last leg.

Today I had the first class of what should be my last semester. I’m amost done. I’m almost a master. You will be calling me Master Ryan.

Anway, I’m taking two interesting, if different courses– Human Computer Interaction and Parallel and Distributed Computing. Two ends of the spectrum in my degree, but both interesting.

European Tour

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

I’m sitting at CTTP right now, preparing for my last exam of the semester, which I have to take earlier than the rest of the class. Though everyone else is taking the exam next week, I have to take it tomorrow. Why? I’m takin’ a little trip.

Sunday, I leave for Amsterdam, where I’ll be attending XTech. Brian and I are giving a tutorial on microformats, and I’m also giving a talk on designing microformats.

After XTech, I’m going to be handing around at BarCamp Amsterdam II.

After BarCamp, I’m flying up to Edinburgh for WWW 2006, where I’m not presenting, but just going as a representative of Technorati and microformats.

After www2006 is done, I’m headed down to London for a few days for some R&R (or something close to that). If you’re gonna be around any of these times/places, let me know, I’d love to meet up.

Men in College

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

In the SF Chronicle today there’s an article about the proportion of men in American colleges. It a pretty good read and especially troubling material.

I’m definitely all for women taking advantage of opportunities presented to them (and creating more opportunities), but I also troubled when men and boys don’t take advantage of all the opportunities presented to them. Our nation needs educated men.

Weblog authority

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

For my Master’s Project, I’m going to be doing some empirical analysis of the weblog data published by Inteliseek. Before I get started though, I need to do some background reading, so that I can at least get a sense of what other research has been done (and I’m taking you with me).

My first stop is Cameron Marlow’s work from MIT. He’s the guy behind Blogdex and has been studying information diffusion in weblogs since around 2001.

Today’s reading is Audience, structure and authority in the weblog community. As you may have guessed by now, I’m writing this mostly as an exercise for my research, a way to collect some notes. I’m not going to give a full summary of the paper, but just hit a few high points that interest me.

Marlow observes that weblogging is a social phenomenon, an assumption that seems to pervade discussions around blogs. This is a convenient observation, as it allows us to use research in (SNA) while studying blogs.

One of the interesting insights is that it seems that information flows are controlled by a two-step process. First the information flows up to the opinion leaders, then back down from opinion leaders, meaning that opinion leaders are very important for studying how information flows through social networks.

Opinion leaders can typically be identified by their location in the social network. The common measure, at least in blogs is the number of inlinks the blog has received (in SNA terminology, degree centrality). The other central measures (as described by Freeman 1978), are betweenness and closeness. These measures require a good deal more data and computation in order to calculate and are therefore not commonly used. I wonder if pursuing them would be worthwhile. My intuition says no, but I’m certainly curious.

Marlow’s paper continues to show some statistical analysis of ranking based on blogroll and permalink links. For the top sites, there’s a correlation between the two, but as you move further down the rankings, there seems to be little correlation between number of blogroll links and number of permalink links.

Alright, on to the next paper…

Masters’ Project

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

School is back in session for the spring and, in addition to taking a class in developing distributed software, I’m starting work on a Masters’ project. I looks like I’ll be working with the Slashpack group on some research around the blog data published by Intelliseek for WWW 2006. I’m really looking forward to it, and will definetly make sure to blog about things as they start to emerge.

Eran‘s also been blogging about his ideas for a project in his posts Distributed Social Anything, wherein he discusses a “distributed version of Tribe.net” and Using a DNS-like model for Distributed Conversations, in which he talks about a hypothetical protocol for tracking distributed conversations.