Sunday, May 31, 2009

For my roommate (cont'd)

FYI:

Upon reviewing the methodology of the analysis, we found two major problems:
1) Data did not contain all the dates with 0 entries
2) Plotting trendline over individual dates is not right, since there could be trends within each 2 periods (i.e. positive/negative trend within the month of april, and positive/negative trends within the month of may) which skew the result

New methodology: Calculate the average twitter post per month for the past couple of months. This way, trends within each month will not affect the result. The aggregation period is chosen to be one month for convenience - esp since i've been here for one month. If aggregation is done for period less than one month, we will need to keep in mind the potential negative/positive trend within each month.

Result:
Jan - 4.258065
Feb -4.214286
March - 5.354839
April - 3.733333
May - 3.310345

Conclusion (Pending Raj reproducing the same result): May average is lower than Jan-April averages. My intuition through normal observation was right: there is a negative correlation between my being here and Raj's daily twitter posts.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Why I don't use Twitter

[NOTE: I changed my mind. Please refer to a newer post.]

I thought that the video titled "Twitter in Plain English" was explanation enough, but some argued that the video had done no justice at all to the real value of Twitter. I don't disagree - the mayor of Toronto uses Twitter as a channel of communication. Certain police departments are using Twitter to provide up to the minute details as to what's going on. Twitter can be used well, sure, but that doesn't mean that I will use Twitter well. (Though it begs the question of why they couldn't post something on their own website that's easily updatable and 140 chars long...)

So for one thing, having Twitter is like talking to everyone and talking to no one at the same time. Exactly what blogging is like. It's like you're just casting information out to nowhere - information about your daily lives. It's exactly like bad blogging (i.e. what I used to do, and still do to an extent): there's no audience to consider, it's just you... except there is the pretense that the fact that you're on top of emails or gmail is sending your email twice is important to someone else. Sure, other people can and do read it, but ... what's the point? I'm mowing the lawn. So what? Twitter, then, has the potential to creating pretenous people who thinks that mowing the lawn might be big news for someone else.

And guess what? I'm really suseptible to that. Blogging sortaf swayed me to that direction. At first, it was used like a journal/diary type thing - just put all the thoughts down so I don't have to think about them anymore. Not a bad idea. Until it really grows and consumes you: if you're like me, you will probably consciously think about blogging or twittering or what not, and be really conscious of the fact that it needs to be up to date. Blogging isn't so bad, because blog entries can be made thoughtful. But Twitter? I don't want to think "I should Twitter this!" every time I have a late night chess game. It's true that not everyone will have the same problems, but based on past experience, I know that I will.

So there you have it: Twitter may be used well by certain people, but I see it as another wormhole that can suck me in if I started using it, and I would be moving backwards.

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