Tag: twitter

This Week in Research: Flu-Tracking on Twitter and Saying “God”

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Darker red indicates higher reports of flu cases culled from Twitter data. Clearly, 2013 (lower map) is having a more intense flu season that 2012 (upper map).
Darker red indicates higher reports of flu cases culled from Twitter data. Clearly, 2013 (lower map) is having a more intense flu season that 2012 (upper map).

I’m lucky enough to be flu-free as I write this blog post; not so much pretty everyone else in America. (Sorry! Take the Tamiflu, it really works!) Public health researchers at John Hopkins have found a surprisingly useful tool to help them track the disease as it spreads throughout the country, one that works even better than the traditional method of compiling medical information in government databases:  Twitter.

Debating Gun Violence with Martin O’Malley, Mike Bloomberg, and All of Twitter

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Yesterday was day one of Johns Hopkins’ big-deal gun policy summit (and also the one-month anniversary of the Newtown shootings), and it was marked by some big-deal events:  Michael Bloomberg calling for gun trafficking to be made a felony, and Governor O’Malley announcing his plan for sweeping new gun control laws for Maryland. The summit’s attendees (as well as those watching from home via the live webcast) had strong reactions to the various expert opinions about how to reduce gun violence in the United States. Some of the most intriguing reactions are below. Did you watch? What did you think?

These Hilarious Twitter Feeds Exploit The Strangeness of Web 2.0 — But in a Good Way

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Even more so than Facebook, Twitter can feel like the Web 2.0 version of a police scanner — not so much a conversion as a blitz of brief, unrelated broadcasts. And often it seems there’s more noise than signal. But there are some, like the person who collected every racist Hunger Games tweet in a blog, who have found ways to exploit the Twitter’s eminent indexability to create funny conceptual projects.

Here are three worth checking out, via the Washington Post:

Which Orioles do you Follow on Twitter?

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Outfielder Xavier Avery, posted the above picture on his Twitter account.

Courtesy Citybizlist – Let’s explain that picture before we do anything else. (Yes, it was a devastating loss last night that we will not speak of.) This is what you’re missing out on if you’re not following  Baltimore Orioles outfielder Xavier Avery. He posted it back in September with the heading “Rookie Hazing…lol.”

Baltimore Woman Responsible for Offensive Torrey Smith Tweet Apologizes

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You think you know how offensive Twitter can get, and then you see the now infamous pair of micro-missives from Baltimore-residing Patriots fan Katie Moody sent after Raven Torrey Smith helped his team deliver a narrow victory over New England on Sunday, hours after learning of his brother’s death in a motorcycle accident.

Should Student Athletes Be Banned from Twitter?

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After the NCAA suspended a college football player for a controversial tweet (a Lehigh player reposted a friend’s tweet that used a racial slur to disparage the Towson football team), so the Towson Tigers’s head coach, Rob Ambrose decided to take matters into his own hands. He told his players they had to get off Twitter until further notice.

While it’s hard not to see this as an imposition on the players’ rights, Ambrose is just trying to keep his team on the up-and-up. ““I watched about seven or eight players from Thanksgiving until Jan. 1,” Ambrose told the Towson Towerlight. “If I were to have adhered to the letter of the law, I bet we would have suspended 50 percent of my team and at least 50 percent of the athletic department.” He pointed out that players may not yet understand how social media can take only a second to post, but can have lasting consequences: “If these kids put something out there that is misinterpreted by the wrong person and blown up in the media, they are ruined for life.” The Tigers follow in the footsteps of the University of North Carolina, which banned its football team from Twitter after an NCAA investigation. At other schools, assistant coaches are charged with monitoring students’ Twitter accounts; tracking software can also keep track of student athletes’ online presence.

Ambrose himself has a Twitter account, and has tweeted more than a thousand times. But nothing that would rankle the NCAA, we’re sure.

The #1 Social Media School in the U.S. is….

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It’s not the same as being the nation’s best school according to the US News & World Report, or the #1 ranked Division I lacrosse team, but hey! it’s something:  Johns Hopkins was named the nation’s top social media college, according to StudentAdvisor.com.

Yep, the Blue Jays stomped all over Harvard, the previous top school, now miserably demoted to #2. As the rankings noted, their school’s social media Twitter group hasn’t posted anything since April 15 — which is eons in internet time. Nice try, Harvard. Hopkins has a wealth of bloggy info out there, including (school-sanctioned) blogs by a bunch of different undergrads, and the supremely helpful Hopkins Insider site run by the admissions office, which does some excellent, virtual hand-holding as prospective students navigate the application process. As of today, the school’s been tweeting for 3 years, 4 months, and 6 days, and has 13,961 followers.

So, what does this mean? According to the site, “StudentAdvisor.com’s Top Social Media Colleges ranking compares more than 6,000 federally recognized colleges and universities and post-secondary schools in the United States in terms of their mastery of public social media methods, tools and websites.” You hear that, Harvard? Mastery!

Ahem, anyway. The rankings are a little weird — tech powerhouse MIT lingers at #68, for example. And no other Baltimore-area schools make the list, while less-well-known universities (Transylvania University? Wafford College?) are up there. Still, who’s going to nitpick a #1 victory?

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