"...Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.."
Abdur's presentation primarily focused on Twitter Trends. It was a series of questions and illustrations to provoke discussion. You needed to be there or watch it to experience it. This post is a bit disorganized because it was hard to capture the discussion dynamics.
Last thanksgiving he built Twitter Trends. The word Mumbai popped up and he thought it was a bug.
What is a trend?
examples: Mumbai Bombing, the NY plane crash in the hudson, the Jakarta bombings.
The ability to share information quickly and easily:
It changes our awareness of the world and causes new emerging behaviors not fully understood:
- What social, technological & research questions emerge from this?
- What happens when it's not one reporter, but millions of all of us talking?
Lowering the barrier for all of us to share information and allowing it to propagate quickly.
- He presented a movie of Twitter chatter during the super bowl.
(It's cool. I wonder what the bias is towards those who tweet. The midwest is very underrepresented considering the interest in football and the Super Bowl.)
"More interesting than query logs, you can drill in and read the tweets; what people are actually saying."
- What will the emerging behavior and benefits from sharin events with the world?
- What does it mean when the water cooler is the size of the planet?
- Hackers band together and try and game twitter. If you have 10k people sitting in basements, they can create a trend. It's getting harder as the traffic volume grows.
Location based trends.
There was a good question about looking do trends in a sub-community instead of just in a location... it's possible, but it just hasn't been done yet.
One of the big uses of Twitter is shared events: when you want to share an experience.
- Shared events make it in the trends list: SIGIR, Apple developer conference
Fun examples: near: searches (e.g. near: queries)
Go Marti! She brought up a very important missing topic, food! Despite the fact that people are talking about it, it's not a "trend" according to Abdur. It's background "chatter". (I disagree. You need to look at trends in a lower level in the hierarchy.)
Emergence: Interesting things happen:
FollowFriday -- a recommendation engine that emerged.
"What's it like working somewhere that simultaneously matters, and complete doesn't matter?"
- What is the interesting research?
(Personally, I would have liked some more depth on how Twitter and Search interact more heavily, e.g. the use of hash tags).