Tag Archives: social network

How a hedge fund’s social network reacts to market swings

ANN ARBOR — When an organization experiences stressful or unexpected news, does it use its social networks to reach out or to hunker down?

To answer that question, a University of Michigan researcher and colleagues analyzed more than 22 million instant messages exchanged in 2010 and 2011 among decision-makers at a large hedge fund and their network of hundreds of outside contacts. (more…)

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Facebook memes can evolve like genes

ANN ARBOR — What started as a politically liberal Facebook meme in support of health care reform morphed as it spread across the social network into hundreds of thousands of variations—some just a few words from the original, but others centered on taxes, beer, or Star Wars’ villain Jabba the Hutt.

The twists on the original text over time in many ways mirrored the evolution of biological genes, researchers from the University of Michigan and Facebook have found. (more…)

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Smartphone as mentor: How tech could change behavior

ANN ARBOR — Funneling a steady stream of diversions straight to your pocket, smartphones are often cast as the ultimate distractors. But a University of Michigan engineering professor sees potential for them to be something quite the opposite.

What if they could act as mentors in mindfulness, helping users stay attentive in order to achieve particular goals? (more…)

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UA Sociologist Studies Resiliency in Communities Devastated by Hurricane Sandy

Sociology professor Brian Mayer’s research is part of an $8 million Health and Human Services project focused on long-term recovery.

The disastrous flooding Hurricane Sandy brought to Maryland’s coastal communities left a long road to recovery.

An expert in how communities rebound from large-scale disasters, University of Arizona sociology professor Brian Mayer is working to model the relationship between the resiliency of communities and individuals. (more…)

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Teenagers Avoid Early Alcohol Misuse Through Personality Management

In a study published in the very first issue of the new journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, University of Montreal and King’s College London have shown that personality-targeted school interventions delivered to high risk adolescents manage to reduce and postpone problem drinking, which is responsible for 9% of the deaths in young people between the ages of 15 and 29 in developed countries. Furthermore, by delaying alcohol uptake in at-risk youth, low-risk youth apparently gain group immunity due to reduced drinking within their social network.

“Two factors determine problem drinking: personality and peer pressure,” explains Dr. Patricia Conrod, the study’s first author, who supports the assumption that approaching at-risk youth from the angle of mental health rather than information on the dangers of alcohol is more effective at preventing early-onset alcohol misuse. “Teaching young people how to better manage their personality traits or vulnerabilities helps them make the right decisions in given situations,” she explained, “whether it is a matter of overcoming their fears, managing thoughts that make them very emotional, controlling their compulsions, analyzing objectively the intentions of others or improving their self-perception.” (more…)

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Keep on Truckin’?

Friends may help reduce package delivery costs

Every day trucks ply the neighborhoods of America, driving “the last mile” of the delivery chain for goods ordered through Amazon, eBay, and other online retailers.

But this last mile produces about half the fossil fuel consumption and emissions of the total retail system, according to studies.

What if somebody designed a system of drop-off points where people who regularly pass nearby could pick up packages for friends? (more…)

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IBM and Oxford Survey: Getting Closer to Customers Tops Big Data Agenda

Less than half of organizations analyzing external data; only 43 percent looking at social media for deeper understanding about consumer preferences
Lack of advanced analytics skills for tackling unstructured data biggest challenge

ARMONK, N.Y. and OXFORD – 17 Oct 2012: A new global report released today by IBM and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford reveals that most Big Data initiatives currently being deployed by organizations are aimed at improving the customer experience. Yet, despite the strong focus on the customer, less than half of the organizations engaged in active Big Data initiatives are currently collecting and analyzing external sources of data, like social media.

One reason is that many organizations are struggling to address and manage the uncertainty inherent within certain types of data, such as the weather, the economy, or the sentiment and truthfulness of people expressed on social networks. In the survey, respondents questioned their ability to trust comments, reviews, tweets and other forms of freely offered opinions online. While uncertain, social media data still contains valuable information. Organizations need to embrace and manage data uncertainty and determine how to use it to their advantage. (more…)

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The Original Twitter? Tiny Electronic Tags Monitor Birds’ Social Networks

If two birds meet deep in the forest, does anybody hear? Until now, nobody did, unless an intrepid biologist was hiding underneath a bush and watching their behavior, or the birds happened to meet near a research monitoring station. But an electronic tag designed at the University of Washington can for the first time see when birds meet in the wild.

A new study led by a biologist at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews used the UW tags to see whether crows might learn to use tools from one another. The findings, published last week in Current Biology, supported the theory by showing an unexpected amount of social mobility, with the crows often spending time near birds outside their immediate family. (more…)

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