Thursday, July 31, 2008
You can see a complete slide show of results here. (Warning: It's very colorful, and people with a sensitivity to circles should not consume.) It should be useful for citing whenever a convincing intro to a SM research paper is needed.
One advantage to studying Usenet is that since it's been around for so long, it's easy to get historical data and say something about its evolution. Furthermore, it's easier to call what we know of it a "community" (although we're still forced to sample it, for our purposes), whereas we never really know if we've crawled*all* the blogs.
What we have done so far is obtained data since 2003 for 200 newsgroups with "polit" somewhere in the newsgroup name. Here's some over-time behavior, a plot of number of posts per day, and number of hyperlinks (in original, non-quoted content) per day:
Here's the same data for a small subset, can.politics:
Predictably, the "USA Election bump" doesn't hold for all the groups. For uncultured folks like me who had to look it up, the last election in Canada was January 23, 2006. We do still notice an increasing tendency to link, per post. Perhaps people on Usenet are going more to outside sources. Or, as another intern put it, "They're getting lazy."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Top 10 links on memeorandum according to most number of 'discussion' links-- that is, number of discussions (usually blogged) that are related to a parent story (usually news).
"For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses its Own Risk" [McCain and scandals] 219
"Embattled Attorney General Resigns" [Gonzales and scandals] 170
"The Long Run-Up" [McCain and scandal] 119
"US Web Primer Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer" [Iraq and Nukes] 115
"Digging Out More CNN/Youtube Plants" [Youtube politics and staged debates] 115
"Dark Suspicions About the NIE" [Iran and Nukes] 107