Web 2.0 4.1.09


Beyond Buzz: On
measuring a conversation

Kate Niederhoffer, Ph.D   Marc A. Smith, Ph.D
Dachis Corporatio...
Why us?




                                       Marc Smith
Kate Niederhoffer
                                       •  ...
Why are we here?

                1. Demonstrating the depth
                   of buzz; ways to think
                   ...
Why are we here?

                3. Highlighting the unique
                   roles individuals play in
                ...
Why now?


5
Blogs were all the rage
In 2005, clients attracted by novelty:


Simple question: What’s my buzz?
- How much?
- Good or ba...
Blogs are now features
       •  Today’s “media” enable richer social interaction-- and, leave a path
         of data wit...
Social networks are all the rage, but
rarely do we think about social metrics




We need to stop blackboxing:
       quot...
Social Network
       Theory
Central tenet:
    Social structure emerges from
       the aggregate of relationships (ties)...
Context of a conversation


                  Relevance
                           Signal
              Where’s the signal...
11
Context of a conversation


              Relevance
           Where’s the signal in the noise?

                 Mindset
...
Relevance today
•  As a user, easy to relate to issues with pre-determined filters.
•  As an enterprise, complexity increa...
Relevance:
Which filters are in place to strengthen the signal?

                                                         ...
Relevance is multi-faceted
                        • Rather than looking at
                         associations with, as...
Relevance - Summary

      • Information can be visualized in so many different
       ways; don’t take it for granted.
  ...
17
Context of a conversation


                  Relevance

                    Mindset
        What else can we know about t...
Says Who?




19
Mindset
    What else can we know about the person in conversation? 

•  By measuring the types of words used, we can
    ...
When people make
recommendations on blogs, is
there something deeper going on?
       “Got the next three PW/GS games for ...
Getting into the Engaged Mind
•    Recommendations have:

      •    More pronouns: intimacy with both the brand/product/ ...
“Invisible” language gives us clues
 about individuals, and groups




23
Changes in work atmosphere,
captured in words



                     Engineers, economists
                     programme...
“Connected Age”: relationships are
 groundwork of work




Social: niceties (lol), affirmations (cool),   Work: economic (p...
Mindset- Summary

      • Language is a good way to go beyond the surface
       and better understand constituents withou...
Beyond thoughts and feelings, who comes to roost?




27
Context of a conversation


               Relevance

                  Mindset

                      Role
          What...
Social
Network
Analysis
with
NodeXL:

Identify
different
roles in
social media
spaces
Identify core groups in the
network
Distinguishing attributes:

              • Answer person
               – Outward ties to local isolates
               –...
Distinguishing attributes:

              • Answer person
               – Outward ties to local isolates
               –...
Answer

  Person

Signatures

Discussion

  People





              33
Discussion


                    Starter

     Spammer





Reply
oriented

  Discussion
          Flame

                ...
Role – Summary




•  Network awareness, like court vision enables strategic play. Know which positions/
      players are...
What is the mix in the
        neighborhood?



36
Context of a conversation


              Relevance

                 Mindset

                    Role

             Ecos...
38
The Ties that Blind?




     Pajek
without
modifica>on
can


some>mes
reveal
structures
of
great
interest.

Darwin
Bell

   40
41
42
Mapping
Newsgroup
  Social
   Ties




Microsoft.public.windowsxp.server.general
                                         ...
Research shows social media
spaces vary and roles are present




                  Adamic
et
al.
WWW

                   ...
Ecosystem- Summary

      •  Social media is about collective action.
        •  A balance of roles and strategies is crit...
Why does this matter?
      •  This is not measurement for the sake of
      measurement; we need to measure conversations...
Thank You

      k.niederhoffer@gmail.com

      marc.smith@telligent.com

            Questions?
47
Additional Resources




48
49
Small
Groups

Individuals
             Uniform
Large
Groups





                                       Heterogeneous


  ...
Social Science Theory and
Method
Interactionist Sociology                        Collective Action Dilemmas
              ...
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Beyond Buzz - Web 2.0 Expo - K.Niederhoffer & M.Smith

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A framework to measure conversation based on social psychological and sociological perspectives.

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Beyond Buzz - Web 2.0 Expo - K.Niederhoffer & M.Smith

  1. 1. Web 2.0 4.1.09 Beyond Buzz: On measuring a conversation Kate Niederhoffer, Ph.D Marc A. Smith, Ph.D Dachis Corporation Telligent Systems Proprietary & Confidential — © 2008 DachisCorporation
  2. 2. Why us? Marc Smith Kate Niederhoffer •  Ph.D UCLA Sociology •  Ph.D UT Social Psychology •  Microsoft Research, Community •  BuzzMetrics/Nielsen Online, Technologies Group Measurement Science •  Telligent Systems – “Harvest” reporting •  Dachis Corporation - Methodology, and analysis tools for social media platforms Social Business Design and systems Note: This is a conceptual address. We’re talking about ideas; each of our companies have distinct methodologies in place related to these concepts. 2
  3. 3. Why are we here? 1. Demonstrating the depth of buzz; ways to think about signal within vast universe. 2. Going beyond buzz; learning more about individuals. 3
  4. 4. Why are we here? 3. Highlighting the unique roles individuals play in communities that afford the conversation. 4. Illustrating that aggregated relationships are network structures. 4
  5. 5. Why now? 5
  6. 6. Blogs were all the rage In 2005, clients attracted by novelty: Simple question: What’s my buzz? - How much? - Good or bad? Incremental improvement: How “important” is it? - Are “Influencers” talking? - How many eyeballs exposed? - Engagement? However, all superficially measured; limited scope of what’s important: what kind of influence? 6
  7. 7. Blogs are now features •  Today’s “media” enable richer social interaction-- and, leave a path of data with more opportunities to capture depth •  Buzz levels, page views, followers, in isolation miss big picture •  Must take advantage context to tell whole story and capture value 7
  8. 8. Social networks are all the rage, but rarely do we think about social metrics We need to stop blackboxing: quot;When a machine runs efficiently, when a matter of fact is settled, one need focus only on its inputs and outputs and not on its internal complexity. Thus, paradoxically, the more science and technology succeed, the more opaque and obscure they become.quot; - Bruno Latour Even if a conversation is running smoothly, we must figure out what makes it tick. 8
  9. 9. Social Network Theory Central tenet: Social structure emerges from the aggregate of relationships (ties) among members of a population Phenomena of interest: Emergence of cliques and clusters Source: Richards, W. (1986). The NEGOPY network from patterns of relationships analysis program. Burnaby, BC: Department of Communication, Simon Fraser University. pp.7-16 Centrality (core), periphery (isolates), betweenness Methods: Surveys, interviews, observations, log file analysis, computational analysis of matrices (Hampton &Wellman, 1999; Paolillo, 2001; Wellman, 2001)
  10. 10. Context of a conversation Relevance Signal Where’s the signal in the noise? Mindset Person What else do we know about the individuals? Role Persona What is the pattern of connections? Ecosystem Environment What is the dynamic, en masse? 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. Context of a conversation Relevance Where’s the signal in the noise? Mindset Role Ecosystem 12
  13. 13. Relevance today •  As a user, easy to relate to issues with pre-determined filters. •  As an enterprise, complexity increases. We don’t always know what we want to know! 13
  14. 14. Relevance: Which filters are in place to strengthen the signal? •  Identifying your filters can be inductive: •  What are people really saying? • Which concepts differentiate the posts that mention you vs. posts that don't? * Source: Nielsen Online, 2008 • All terms on your map have a correlation to the central concept; the closer a word appears to the center, the stronger the association.The groupings of terms indicate the dimensions of discussion: micro-conversations within a broader discussion. 14
  15. 15. Relevance is multi-faceted • Rather than looking at associations with, as compared to without, consider discussion this week as compared to discussion over the past year. • Not what’s being said about her in a more recent timeframe, but instead when you control for what’s said about her in general, what pops? * Source: Nielsen Online, 2008 15
  16. 16. Relevance - Summary • Information can be visualized in so many different ways; don’t take it for granted. • Listening can be limited if you’re exclusively looking for something in particular; broaden your net. Be inductive. Let the data speak for itself. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. Context of a conversation Relevance Mindset What else can we know about the individuals? Role Ecosystem 18
  19. 19. Says Who? 19
  20. 20. Mindset What else can we know about the person in conversation? •  By measuring the types of words used, we can Findings Linguistic Cues tap into how people ‘slice’ their worlds. •  Linguistic style is closely tied to: Are you self-oriented? Pronoun use: I and We •  Demographics (e.g. age, sex, class) Are you living in ‘the Past, Present, Future tense •  Emotion (e.g. depression, deception) now’? •  Cognitive style (e.g. complex thinking) What is your emotional Positive vs. Negative tone? •  Personality (e.g. Neuroticism) Are you abstract or Articles: “a” vs. “the” concrete? Nouns vs. verbs e.g. Pennebaker, Mehl, Niederhoffer, 2003 20
  21. 21. When people make recommendations on blogs, is there something deeper going on? “Got the next three PW/GS games for my birthday. And I am one happy gal, there was some stuff that I absolutely LOVED and I would definitely recommend the game to anyone who owns a PS3 regardless of its flaws -- which really were at their heart personal quibbles of mine so your mileage may vary. Plus, I cried like a b*$$ at the end. That's got to be saying something.” 21
  22. 22. Getting into the Engaged Mind •  Recommendations have: •  More pronouns: intimacy with both the brand/product/ service being recommended, and those to whom they’re recommending. •  More verbs: sharing experience more than discussion of concrete features. * all differences significant at p<.01 level 22
  23. 23. “Invisible” language gives us clues about individuals, and groups 23
  24. 24. Changes in work atmosphere, captured in words Engineers, economists programmers collaborating on economic simulations of disasters •  Complexity of thought (-) •  Cohesion (-) • Work information (-) •  Negative emotion (+) •  Funding lost Tausczik, Scholand, and Pennebaker, 2009 24
  25. 25. “Connected Age”: relationships are groundwork of work Social: niceties (lol), affirmations (cool), Work: economic (production, supply), coordination (call), broad communication analytic (results, problem) (http, thinking) 25
  26. 26. Mindset- Summary • Language is a good way to go beyond the surface and better understand constituents without self- report biases (or effort). •  Metrics in the hands of users (yourselves) are helpful: know thyself, know how you’re perceived. 26
  27. 27. Beyond thoughts and feelings, who comes to roost? 27
  28. 28. Context of a conversation Relevance Mindset Role What is the pattern of connections? Ecosystem 28
  29. 29. Social Network Analysis with NodeXL: Identify different roles in social media spaces
  30. 30. Identify core groups in the network
  31. 31. Distinguishing attributes: • Answer person – Outward ties to local isolates – Relative absence of triangles – Few intense ties • Reply Magnet – Ties from local isolates often inward only – Sparse, few triangles – Few intense ties 31
  32. 32. Distinguishing attributes: • Answer person – Outward ties to local isolates – Relative absence of triangles – Few intense ties • Discussion person – Ties from local isolates often inward only – Dense, many triangles – Numerous intense ties 32
  33. 33. Answer
 Person
 Signatures
 Discussion
 People
 33
  34. 34. Discussion

 Starter
 Spammer
 Reply
oriented
 Discussion
 Flame
 Warrior
 34
  35. 35. Role – Summary •  Network awareness, like court vision enables strategic play. Know which positions/ players are on your team. •  Social media behavior is differentiated. Rare (~.5-2%) roles are critical and must be cultivated. •  E.g. Clear and consistent signatures of an “Answer Person •  Light touch to numerous threads initiated by someone else •  Most ties are outward to local isolates •  Many more ties to small fish than big fish 35
  36. 36. What is the mix in the neighborhood? 36
  37. 37. Context of a conversation Relevance Mindset Role Ecosystem What is the dynamic, en masse? 37
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. The Ties that Blind? Pajek
without
modifica>on
can

 some>mes
reveal
structures
of
great
interest.

  40. 40. Darwin
Bell
 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. Mapping Newsgroup Social Ties Microsoft.public.windowsxp.server.general 43 Two “answer people” with an emerging 3rd.
  44. 44. Research shows social media spaces vary and roles are present Adamic
et
al.
WWW
 2008

  45. 45. Ecosystem- Summary •  Social media is about collective action. •  A balance of roles and strategies is critical for a healthy/ successful collective good. •  Harvesting the common good takes many forms, and is the ultimate goal of social media. 45
  46. 46. Why does this matter? •  This is not measurement for the sake of measurement; we need to measure conversations in order to manage social business. •  Measuring conversations is about measuring the context in which those conversations arise. •  Value is an intermediate step in calculating ROI. Moot to bypass it. •  Techniques from social science help capture “the immeasurable” in social media and the enterprise. •  The future of conversations- the enterprise being one-- is about cultivating ecologies of the right balance of relationships. 46
  47. 47. Thank You k.niederhoffer@gmail.com marc.smith@telligent.com Questions? 47
  48. 48. Additional Resources 48
  49. 49. 49
  50. 50. Small
Groups
 Individuals
 Uniform
Large
Groups
 Heterogeneous

 Variable
Contribu>on
 Variable
Contribu>on

 
Large
Groups
 How uniform are social Large
Groups
 media producing groups?
  51. 51. Social Science Theory and Method Interactionist Sociology Collective Action Dilemmas Central tenet Central tenet Focus on the active effort of Individual rationality leads to collective accomplishing interaction disaster Phenomena of interest Phenomena of interest Presentation of self Provision and/or sustainable consumption of collective resources Claims to membership Juggling multiple (conflicting) roles Public Goods, Common Property, quot;Free Rider” Problems, Tragedies Frontstage/Backstage Strategic interaction Methods Managing one’s own and others’ “face” Surveys, interviews, participant observation, log file analysis, computer Methods modeling Ethnography and participant observation (Axelrod, 1984; Hess, 1995; Kollock & Smith, 1996) (Goffman, 1959; Hall, 1990)

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