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My talk from Carnegie Mellon's HCII Seminar on April 24, 2013.
On some social media platforms, such as Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and tumblr, much of the content generated by users is publicly accessible and communication can be easily initiated between strangers who have never previously communicated before. The communities that have risen up around these platforms, particularly on Twitter, can also be inclusive and supportive of interactions between strangers. The public and open nature of these communities creates an opportunity to create a new kind of crowdsourcing system, where individuals are identified who may be good candidates to complete various tasks based on their published content. We explore the potential of such a system through several information collection tasks, examining the response rate and information quality that can be obtained through such a system. We also explore a means of leveraging users' previous social media content to predict their likelihood of response and optimize our system's collection behavior. At IBM Research - Almaden, we are now looking to extend these ideas to additional domains, including proactive and reactive customer support, and precision marketing campaigns.