"The Past and Future of Systems for Current Events"
We have worked since 2008, in both research and startup settings, to tackle key challenges in making social media information about events accessible and usable. These challenges include detecting new events in a stream of content, identifying content related to events and organizing event content to be presented in a ways that get better when new content is added. Indeed, several recent commercial services (Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat) attempt to better present "moments" and other trending events. Still, I argue that there are no current systems that provide a coherent summary or narrative representation of event content from social media at scale using automated or semi-automated tools. My own startup that addressed this very problem moved away from it despite initial success. I will discuss our early research, show how it led to the startup, comment on what the startup (which recently pivoted away from events) did well and where it failed to deliver on this promise, and highlight open challenges and directions for the future work and research in this area.
Mor Naaman is an associate professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, where he is the founder of the Connective Media hub, and leads a research group focused on social technologies. His research applies multidisciplinary methods to 1) gain a better understanding of people and their use of social tech; 2) extract insights about people, technology and society from social media and other sources of social data, and 3) develop new social technologies as well as novel tools to make social data more accessible and usable in various settings. Previously, Mor was on the faculty at Rutgers SC&I, led a research team at Yahoo! Research Berkeley, received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, and played professional basketball for Hapoel Tel Aviv. He is a recipient of a NSF Early Faculty CAREER Award, research awards and grants from numerous corporations including AOL and Google, and multiple best paper awards. Find out more about Mor at http://mornaaman.com.
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Heidi Moore is a media consultant advising newsrooms and organizations on better ways to reach and engage readers. She's a former financial editor and columnist at Mashable, where she directed a team of reporters and editors in covering a range of topics, including technology, media, startups, and advertising. She is a regular guest on various TV and radio programs, including MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR. Previously, Ms. Moore was finance and economics editor at the U.S. edition of The Guardian, where she launched the site’s Money and Business sections. She was also New York Bureau Chief and Wall Street correspondent at American Public Media’s Marketplace radio program. Ms. Moore received her B.A. from Barnard College.
Mike Murphy is the Technology Reporter at Quartz where he covers everything from startups to big-name tech companies. He likes to write about the future, and how we'll get there from today's technology, and thinks of his reporting subjects as "machines with brains"—whether he's talking about robots, drones, artificial intelligence, or self-driving cars. His work has also been published in The Atlantic, National Journal, DefenseOne, CityLab, MSN news, Yahoo Finance, SBS Australia, and NextGov.
Quartz is a digitally native news outlet that focuses on covering the “new global economy.” The outlet’s core topics include technology, business, politics, innovation, and current major world events. It has over 5 million unique monthly visitors with over 8 million repeat site visits.