News Update :

Can Twitter Predict the Iowa Caucus?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Can Twitter predict the outcome of the Iowa Caucus better than national polls? Mashable has partnered with Global Point Research to answer that question.

According to the latest NBC News-Marist national poll, ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has a slight edge over Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent surge has subsided, but he remains in third. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s campaign is getting hot right before the caucus.

On Twitter, a similar pattern is unfolding. However, Santorum’s sudden boost in the polls is much more pronounced on the microblogging service. Rick Perry also has a better showing online than in the NBC poll.

The graph below compares the NBC poll with positive sentiment on Twitter. The data was collected between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30.

In research Global Point has done in the past, its data tends to be about two weeks ahead of polls. This doesn’t necessarily mean Santorum is about to run away with a blowout win in Iowa. What it does signal is that the former senator is experiencing a dramatic upswing in positive sentiment online just before the caucus.

Do these results mean we’ll see a better-than-expected showing for Santorum and Perry Tuesday? We’ll be watching the results very closely to find out.

Source from : Mashable

Facebook Releases Top 10 Global Topics for 2011

Monday, January 2, 2012

Facebook is starting to publish results of what was popular for the year 2011. The company started with the most shared articles in 2011, and now it’s expanding on that with a new section of a special tab on its own Facebook Page called Memology 2011.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 global topics on Facebook for 2011, courtesy of the Facebook Data Team :  Death of Osama bin Laden, Packers win the Super Bowl, Casey Anthony found not guilty, Charlie Sheen, Death of Steve Jobs, The Royal Wedding, Death of Amy Winehouse, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Military operations begin in Libya and Hurricane Irene.

If you were paying attention this year, you’ll notice these are by no means in chronological order: they’re clearly listed in order of popularity. The picture above should give you an overview of what happened when. For a more detailed summary, see below.

If we’re going to talk about just these 10 topics, we’ll have to skip the first month of the year: January just wasn’t that important. We’ll go straight into February and look at the year’s biggest sports event: when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV. The spikes on the chart show the reaction of Packers fans around each post-season match but the real big one represents their victory on February 6.

Next up, we have Charlie Sheen and his antics in March. That’s when his trademark memes (winning, tiger blood, and goddesses) took off. It’s also when the scams using his name started to go viral.

Later in March, the United Nations military operations started in Libya, prompting a surge in status updates mentioning both Libya and Gaddafi. Less than a month before that, Libya’s government blocked access to Facebook and various news websites before eventually turning off the whole Internet in the country.

In April, the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William dominated the conversation. Mentions of the phrase Royal Wedding increased nearly 600-fold in the days running up to their wedding day.

It wasn’t long after that the death of Osama bin Laden became the most talked about event on Facebook for 2011. On May 1, almost 10 percent of all status updates in English mentioned news of his death and what it meant. After that, the scams started coming in.

June was rather uneventful. In July, however, talk of the trial of Casey Anthony, a Florida woman who was accused of murdering her daughter Caylee Anthony, reached fever pitch. Status updates mentioning Caylee Anthony peaked on July 5, the day her mother was acquitted. Amy Winehouse’s death received a lot of outpouring of sadness also that month. The scams followed for both events.

In August, Hurricane Irene struck the east coast of the US. Americans used Facebook to get the latest emergency warnings and the rest of the world used the social network to make sure their friends and family were safe.

Steve Jobs’ death in October was also a huge event of mourning and reminiscence. We covered every angle, as you can see in this roundup.

Finally in November, the launch of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (mw3) was the biggest headline. It was marked as the biggest entertainment launch of all time, and of course cheaters took advantage.

We’re in December now, meaning Facebook has released its list early. Unless something major happens, I’m pretty sure people are going to be mainly talking about one thing: the holidays!

Source from :

Take the time to curate Facebook Timeline

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Timeline is Facebook's new way of presenting you to the world. It replaces your traditional profile page the one with your headshot and a smorgasbord of personal musings, photos and other items to share with friends. Instead of just a snapshot of you today, Timeline is supposed to be a scrapbook of your whole life.

But these highlights are culled from what Facebook sees as important the stuff you and your friends have chosen to write or post photos about over the years. So it's crucial to spend time curating it, so your life doesn't come across as vain. If you're not careful, you also might reveal skeletons from your past to more recent friends.

Once you're ready for Timeline, you have a week to airbrush your life before it replaces your current profile. That's not a lot of time when you have (cough, cough) years of your life to go through. I suggest focusing on the years since you joined Facebook. You can always add photos from childhood later.

To set up Timeline, visit . Facebook will force you to switch within a few weeks, so don't procrastinate.


Start by choosing a cover photo, the image that will splash across the top. You can choose a sunset, your dog, a hobby, anything that reflects who you are. Keep in mind the dimensions are more like a movie screen than a traditional photo. A close-up portrait of your face won't work well, but one of you lying horizontally will.

Your old profile photo will still be there, but it'll be smaller.

If you haven't done so already, you can add where you've worked, lived and went to school. If you specify years — such as when you started a job — those items will be added to Timeline's stream of life events, even if they took place before Facebook's founding in 2004.

You can also add other life events to the stream, such as when you broke your arm and whom you were with then, or when you spoke your first word or got a tattoo. By adding them to Facebook, you signal that those things really did happen.


The timeline stream is your life on Facebook in reverse chronological order.

At the top are your recent status updates, comments from family and friends, photos you're in and events you've attended. As you scroll down, you'll get highlights from last month, then earlier in the year. Scroll down even further for last year, the year before that and so on. Click one of the "Show" links to get all posts from a particular month or year.

Posts will be more sporadic the further you go back. You'll see when you joined Facebook and the first post you ever made — mine was "Anick Jesdanun is wasting a lot of time on facebook."

Beyond that, you may see details about high school or college. A colleague even saw the birth of her younger brother listed, after having told Facebook which of her friends were her siblings.

The bottom simply says "Born" with your birth date and birthplace, if you've chosen to share that.

This may come across as a big privacy breach, but keep in mind that people could have seen many of those posts before by continually hitting "Older Posts." The difference is most people wouldn't bother. With Timeline, you can jump more quickly to older posts.

Another thing to consider: Although your privacy settings remain the same, your list of friends has likely grown over the years, and your definition of friends has probably broadened to include parents, bosses and random flings at weddings. Someone you didn't know in 2008 would suddenly have easier access to something you posted then.


You can change who has access to which posts. Perhaps you'd want to narrow an embarrassing photo from Thanksgiving to family members who were there. You might want to delete other posts completely or hide them so that only you can see them.

You can change the date on a post. For example, if you had waited a week to tell the Facebook world that you broke up with someone, you can change the date to reflect when all the screaming and crying took place. You can also add where you were, retroactively using a location feature that Facebook hadn't offered until recently.

For major events in your life, you can click on a star to feature them more prominently.

You'll likely feel overwhelmed when you see your Timeline for the first time. Years-old posts made by people you're no longer friends with are still there. Musings on a trip or a long-forgotten event suddenly lack context. Your life may also come across as duplicative, such as when multiple friends post similar photos from the same party.

Here are a few tips :

— Start with your older posts. You were probably experimenting with Facebook then, and most of those could go into hiding. Plus, those are the ones you'd need to be most careful about because you had reason to believe only a few friends would see them.

— Find the button for Activity Log. Click that to see all of your posts at a glance and make changes to them one by one. Open Facebook in a new browser tab first, though. Every time you switch between the log and the timeline stream, Facebook resets to a default view rather than let you return to where you were. So have one tab for the log and the other for the stream.

— Think carefully about what you want to highlight when people scroll through your past. Facebook has a secret formula for determining which items are included in your highlights, using such factors as how many friends commented on a post. That may not necessarily be what you want to showcase.

Unfortunately, getting the stream to look right is difficult.

There's no easy way to highlight something Facebook's formula didn't pick, without starring it such that it gets splashed across the page. I also couldn't find a good way to remove something from the highlights without hiding or deleting it completely. There are events I wouldn't consider major, but would want people to see if they took the time to browse through my past.

There also ought to be a way to star or hide posts in batches.

And oddly, Facebook includes stuff posted by others, but it doesn't include items you've posted on other profiles. Older posts come across as one-sided without the back and forth for context.


Overall, I like the concept behind Timeline. I got a nice stroll down memory lane, and I enjoyed stalking my friends and uncovering their pasts, too.

I just wish it were easier to customize, and I don't appreciate being rushed. Facebook spent months developing Timeline and rolling it out to its 800 million users. Why give us just seven days?

If you're not ready to start Timeline, you can still view Timelines your friends have already activated. Just keep in mind that Facebook eventually will force you to switch, so you might as well do it now if you have the time.

You might also want to take this as an opportunity to clean up your presence on Facebook. Review your privacy settings and get rid of friends who don't need to be there.

Source from : USA Today
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