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Understanding the Cuban Blogosphere: Retrospective and Perspectives based on the First Bloggers Survey

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Invited talk at the Interdisciplinary Workshop “UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Analyzing Postcolonial Weblogs with Literary and Computational Methods”, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Invited talk at the Interdisciplinary Workshop “UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Analyzing Postcolonial Weblogs with Literary and Computational Methods”, University of Heidelberg, Germany

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Understanding the Cuban Blogosphere: Retrospective and Perspectives based on the First Bloggers Survey

  1. 1. Prof. Dr. Dagmar Monett Díaz Talk at the Interdisciplinary Workshop “UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Analyzing Postcolonial Weblogs with Literary and Computational Methods” Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Retrospective and Perspectives based on the First Bloggers Survey Understanding the Cuban Blogosphere monettdiaz @dmonett http://www.monettdiaz.com
  2. 2. 2 Definition of the Cuban blogosphere by Garrincha June 13th 2008 Image  http://losmickeysdemiami.blogspot.de/2008/06/de-los-amigos.html
  3. 3. 3Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Image © Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ What is a blog?
  4. 4. 4Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 What is a Cuban blog? Image © Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ ?
  5. 5. 5Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014  Previous work  The first survey to Cuban bloggers  Collecting and processing data - Open source technologies  Analyzing and visualizing data  Live demo  Results with comments on both future perspectives and practical research Agenda
  6. 6. 6Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 - Blogger since 2007 - Chair and organizer of Blogging Cuba: The first Cuban Bloggers Meeting August 14th-16th, 2009, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Main topic: “The Cuban Blogosphere and its impact in culture, society, politics and media” Background
  7. 7. 7Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 D. Monett State of the Cuban blogosphere. Results of the first survey to Cuban bloggers In B. Calvo Peña (Ed.) Buena Vista Social Blog. Internet and freedom of expression in Cuba pp. 59–83, Aduana Vieja, Valencia, Spain, 2010 ISBN: 978-84-96846-41-8 (In Spanish) Previous work
  8. 8. 8Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 D. Monett, B. Calvo A Portrait of the Cuban Bloggers based on the First Survey of the Cuban Blogosphere In Proceedings of the Participatory Communication Research Section 28th IAMCR International Conference on Communication and Citizenship - Rethinking Crisis and Change Braga, Portugal, July 18th-22th, 2010 Previous work
  9. 9.  Word cloud: www.wordle.net The content with Wordle 9Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014
  10. 10. The first bloggers survey
  11. 11. 11Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 1st survey to Cuban bloggers Chapters, topics: 1. Internet connection and electronic devices 2. Blogs and blogging in general 3. Blogging platforms, tools and technical features 4. Cuba as topic on the blogs and bloggers’ interactions 5. Identity construction through blogging 6. Some other demographic data for general statistics (More than 100 questions - to gather as much information as possible) online/offline, June 2009
  12. 12. Image © Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ Collecting and processing…
  13. 13. 13Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Notifications Image © photoraidz at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ • 5 bloggers, about 2 hours each
  14. 14. 14Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Notifications • List with more than 1000 URLs of alphabetically ordered Cuban blogs Image © photoraidz at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ • 5 bloggers, about 2 hours each
  15. 15. 15Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014
  16. 16. 16Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Notifications • List with more than 1000 URLs of alphabetically ordered Cuban blogs Image © photoraidz at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ • Contact to bloggers: manual process • 5 bloggers, about 2 hours each
  17. 17. 17Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014
  18. 18. 18Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Logos © http://www.phpmyadmin.net/, http://blog.monitor.us/2012/04/how-to-improve-html-performance/, http://inspiredtalents.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/javascript.png, http://www.mysql.com, http://goodlogo.com/extended.info/apache-software-foundation-logo-3074, http://www.php.net Managing data - open source tech
  19. 19. 19Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Managing data - open source tech Images © Double-J Design, Oxygen Team, Hopstarter, Treetog ArtWork at http://www.iconarchive.com/ 1 50+ 10+ www.lahuelladelblog.com v4.0.10 DB client v5.5.35 PHP extension for MySQL v4.1+ Database server Percona v5.0.92
  20. 20. 128 tables 4,3 MB (structure & data) 20 The database
  21. 21. 21Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Data processing  95% online answers; 5% email or hard copy  5 questionnaires discarded (no ethics and common sense hold)  Data cleansing & organization  84.49% response rate (roughly estimated): %100 rBloggerAvgBlogsPe logsContactedB ysValidSurve ionParticipat  %49.84%100 3 838 236 
  22. 22. 22Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Image © adamr at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ Data analysis and visualization
  23. 23. 23Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Data analysis  Which primary and secondary questions?  Which filters?  Which charts?  How to visualize results?  How to draw conclusions?  How to prepare communication of results?
  24. 24. 24Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Data analysis  Which primary and secondary questions?  Which filters?  Which charts?  How to visualize results?  How to draw conclusions?  How to prepare communication of results? I wish I could attend the Google MOOC “Making Sense of Data”, April 2014, before… ;-)
  25. 25. 25Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014  Product: Website or Intranet App for 1 Webserver, 1 non-commercial Website, 1 developer  Version 3.1.1, April 10th 2009  More than 40 chart types  66,64 € by August 2009 (current version: about 300,- €) Data visualization Image © and more at http://www.fusioncharts.com/ CEO and founder Pallav Nadhani
  26. 26. 27Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Data visualization process See more at http://www.fusioncharts.com/dev-resources/javascript-charts-in-php/ Connect to data source and query prepare and execute MySQL query data, rows Produce chart data convert rows into XML (or JSON) data string Generate HTML and JS code to embed on the Website render chart HTML by including PHP script
  27. 27. Image © Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ Some…
  28. 28. 29Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Processing and visualizing results Images © Double-J Design, Oxygen Team, Hopstarter, Treetog ArtWork at http://www.iconarchive.com/ www.lahuelladelblog.com/ 128 tables, 4,3 MB (structure & data)
  29. 29. 30Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Dilbert  Scott Adams at http://dilbert.com/fast/2008-05-08/ (Educational/Classroom usage permission is granted by Universal Uclick. All Rights Reserved) How “intelligent” can Artificial Intelligence be? Take care! Analysis of results
  30. 30. 31Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Live demo http://www.lahuelladelblog.com/Resultados/Index.php  Live, interactive 2D/3D charts with survey results  Column and bar charts  Stacked and multi-series charts  Pie charts  …
  31. 31. 32Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Type of connection
  32. 32. 33Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Type of connection Internet usage in Cuba is controlled by the Government. Discrepancy is penalized. Private access is almost nonexistent.
  33. 33. 34Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Online activities (in Cuba)
  34. 34. 35Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Online activities (in Cuba) Commenting Reading news Photo sharing Emails Chats Social networks For many Cubans: main source of “alternative, non-official” information and its sharing (spreading opinions)
  35. 35. 36Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Online activities (outside)
  36. 36. 37Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Online activities (outside) Commenting Reading news Listening music Emails Video watching Social networks
  37. 37. 38Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Online activities (outside) 88,1% Almost all topics are highly polarized and politicized… Comments analysis would drive semantic-based algorithms for sure! Commenting
  38. 38. 39Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Motivations for blogging… Why do the Cuban bloggers blog? What are their motivations?
  39. 39. Document personal experiences Knowledge & experience sharing Search for information & up to date For a fair cause Therapy, relief/freedom Freedom of expression Sharing non-censored information Networking
  40. 40. Document personal experiences Knowledge & experience sharing Search for information & up to date For a fair cause Therapy, relief/freedom Freedom of expression Sharing non-censored information Networking How to consider this when using Machine Learning (ML) algorithms? How a semantic analysis? Image © renjith krishnan at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
  41. 41. Document personal experiences Knowledge & experience sharing Search for information & up to date For a fair cause Therapy, relief/freedom Freedom of expression Sharing non-censored information Networking
  42. 42. 44Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Blogging “for a fair cause”  Word cloud: www.wordle.net Cuba, freedom, democracy, freedom of expression
  43. 43. 45Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Blogging for a fair cause  Word cloud: www.wordle.net. Image © renjith krishnan at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ Cuba, freedom, democracy, freedom of expression Over 60% answered they are “citizens of the world”. Over 85% of are 30+ years old ( 42+). How does this relate to their motivations for blogging? How ML?
  44. 44. 46Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Topics to write about - Personal - Politics - Art - News - …
  45. 45. 47Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 68% of the bloggers emigrated from Cuba. (In the Cuban case, not only) the country of residence might add a strong bias when mining and analysing the data! Topics to write about
  46. 46. 48Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Storage platform/service
  47. 47. 49Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Storage platform/service Data Mining, Machine Learning, Sentiment Analysis, and so on? Consider e.g. Blogger API v3 and don’t forget to analyze comments to posts!
  48. 48. “The Cuban blogger is a man but there is more than one woman for every three of them. He writes from inside and outside Cuba on blogs of a personal nature but rather he reads about politics. He is more than 40 years old, has finished university studies, is married, has at least one child, and his main motivation for blogging is to express himself freely. He connects via modem to the Internet and has been accessing the Internet for more than five years but less than 10. Once logged in from his home or work, he prefers reading news and sending emails, while he authors an average of three blogs that are hosted on Blogger.com. He does not like to moderate comments because he prefers freedom of expression but sometimes he applies censorship. He was born in Cuba, is a citizen of the world, and lives abroad. He welcomes anonymity, has made many new friends through blogging, and publishes his posts at night. He believes that blogging is a form of journalism, would continue to blog in the future, and believes in blogs as a meeting point for the Cuban nation, which for him is ‘everything’.” 50 What we got… Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Monett & Calvo 2010
  49. 49. “The Cuban blogger is a man but there is more than one woman for every three of them. He writes from inside and outside Cuba on blogs of a personal nature but rather he reads about politics. He is more than 40 years old, has finished university studies, is married, has at least one child, and his main motivation for blogging is to express himself freely. He connects via modem to the Internet and has been accessing the Internet for more than five years but less than 10. Once logged in from his home or work, he prefers reading news and sending emails, while he authors an average of three blogs that are hosted on Blogger.com. He does not like to moderate comments because he prefers freedom of expression but sometimes he applies censorship. He was born in Cuba, is a citizen of the world, and lives abroad. He welcomes anonymity, has made many new friends through blogging, and publishes his posts at night. He believes that blogging is a form of journalism, would continue to blog in the future, and believes in blogs as a meeting point for the Cuban nation, which for him is ‘everything’.” 51 What we got… What would computational methods get? How much do you trust (your) “intelligent” algorithms? Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Monett & Calvo 2010 Interdisciplinary research needed!
  50. 50. 52 Definition of the Cuban blogosphere by Garrincha June 13th 2008 Image  http://losmickeysdemiami.blogspot.de/2008/06/de-los-amigos.html Yes, we can partially understand why... It remains a really big challenge (not only) for current computational methods!
  51. 51. Prof. Dr. Dagmar Monett Díaz Heidelberg University, Germany, July 11, 2014 Retrospective and Perspectives based on the First Bloggers Survey Understanding the Cuban Blogosphere monettdiaz @dmonett http://www.monettdiaz.com

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