The extensive use of social media for protest purposes was a distinctive feature of the recent protest events in Spain, Greece, and the United States. Like the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the United States, the indignant activists of Spain and Greece protested against unjust, unequal, and corrupt political and economic institutions marked by the arrogance of those in power. Social media can potentially change or contribute to the political communication, mobilization, and organization of social movements. To what extent did these three movements use social media in such ways? To answer this question a comparative content analysis of tweets sent during the heydays of each of the campaigns is conducted. The results indicate that, although Twitter was used significantly for political discussion and to communicate protest information, calls for participation were not predominant. Only a very small minority of tweets referred to protest organization and coordination issues. Furthermore, comparing the actual content of the Twitter information exchanges reveals similarities as well as differences among the three movements, which can be explained by the different national contexts.
Nice clear take on the mid-terms, by Ezra Klein at vox.com (via Ben Wikler)
Gannett Company this week previewed its first project that allows readers to experience a news story in virtual reality. The project – produced by Gannett’s digital division and the Des Moines Register — requires users to wear a futuristic headset called the Oculus Rift, a small goggles-style video device that responds to the wearer’s head movements. While the Rift is primarily marketed for gaming – allowing users to flee blood-thirsty aliens or control a 250-story fighting robot, Gannett’s project is significantly less harrowing. Part of a Register special report on Iowa agriculture, the company’s first virtual reality presentation is a 3-D immersive walking tour of a southwest Iowa family farm. Headset-clad users can watch a tractor being repaired, tag along as a child walks a baby calf, and see a variety of other farm activities depicted in computer animation, videos, and photographs.
We’ve done a lot of work here at Adweek on ROI data, and a few readers have asked that we explain what on earth we’re talking about, because it’s a somewhat scary phenomenon to consumers—especially in an age when surveillance is such a hot topic—and a thrilling opportunity to advertisers.
Here’s the short version: Everyone in advertising is buying exhaustive records of your purchases—all your purchases—and comparing them to your viewing habits so that they know which ads you saw and whether or not they changed your behavior.
“We have five orders of magnitude more data about you than Google has,” he says in the video. “We literally have more data about our students than any company has about anybody else about anything, and it’s not even close.” Five orders of magnitude more data than Google is a whole lot of data. The promise is that all that data can be used to tailor lessons to individual kids, to their strengths and weaknesses. They will become better learners, and that will lead to higher grades and better graduation rates. Ferreira imagines a day when “you tell us what you had for breakfast every morning at the beginning of the semester, by the end of the semester, we should be able to tell you what you had for breakfast. Because you always did better on the days you had scrambled eggs.” (via A day in the life of a data mined kid | Marketplace.org)