Thanks to several weeks of fine-tuning our survey, making it relevant to the Taiwan social and political context, and translating it to Traditional Mandarin, me and my Taiwan-based research assistants have launched our newest survey.
The survey, seeks to interview college students (18 and older) in Taiwan about how they are using the Internet and other digital tools to participate politically and interact with their political parties and the larger political system. Through this survey we are interested in learning not only the specific digital and social media tools that students use, but also gauge both their: (a) expectations about their use and (b) their purpose, and (c) how that relates to their view and impression of their government and their political system.
We recently finished this survey among Chilean college students are looking forward to learning what Taiwanese college students have to say.
If you know a college student in Taiwan, please pass on this link to the survey:
(Original post featured on: MyOPP.org)
On Wednesday, 2/19, I attended the workshop “How to Create Meaningful and Compelling Network Drawings,” with Jürgen Pfeffer from the Carnegie Mellon Institute of Social Research.
More about Jürgen below:
Computational analysis of organizations and societies with a special emphasis on large-scale systems.
Jürgen is two parts vibrant and clearly brilliant, with a dash of unapologetic sarcasm and deliberateness in his talk about the common problems in typical network drawings.
Below are notes from the talk, provided by my lovely sister, Dr. Rosalyn Goldbarg.
After that are the slides from his presentation.
Problems with typical network drawings
1) too much information
2) colors – old, clashing with each other, related concepts in different colors
We are good in processing complex things, high bandwidth information. Less so in sequential coding / processing. Key in visualizations is the ability to show more than one variable (4 – 5) in ways that are easy to process.
In network vis - 1) data analysis and explorations and 2) data presentation.
Abstraction – taking away the reality underlying data (real world information), abstracted to make the picture nicer (easier to perceive and understand). This is central to network visualizations
Criteria for Network Visualizations
- show structure (in visualizing of larger networks, a lot of research energy is being spent to create algorithms)
- Visione is an example of a tool that uses more of the space – optimize distribution on surface, which makes it nicer
- your brain is capable is handling information without thinking about what you are seeing too much
- the elements of preattentive perception are variables that we can use in visualizing networks (size, position, shape, color, saturation, texture)
In network data visualization – things that are on top or in the middle are more important
Color hue & Saturation – changing the color does not mean changing the saturation
Texture – visualizations that use different textures are not easy to perceive
What visual elements are good for visualizing what?
- elements and data types must be considered
- relevance of elements
- quantitative information (shape, for example is last in McKinley’s list)
Lines can be used to create texture if, for example, you color the lines and they overlap in such a way that they create a texture that has information.
Think about what is the story? Choose elements to that will bring attention to the story and not take away from it. If substance is more important than the structure, then that should be highlighted.
Perceived and Actual Magnitude - Implications – if you just have small differences, it’s pretty difficult to show the differences. Others say that you should not use a 2D object to visualize a 1D variable/information. One solution is to use the power or the square root of something to highlight the differences.
The Munsell color scheme makes it possible to calculate differences in color – systematically, so that you can get a sense of uniform and non-uniform colors based on their distances / positions on a color scheme. (LAB in Photoshop and other Adobe products are similar to Munsell’s scheme).
Pajek: possible to remove all lines lower than a defined value or remove all but the most important lines for each node
PDF or EPS stores vector graphics (geometrical objects (a square is a square rather than a set of pixels), scales infinitely); PNG and JPG stores raster graphics (pixels, scales infinitely). Post-processing is doable with PDF in Illustrator (for vector graphics)
Difference between CMYK (subtracting – absorbing – wavelengths of light) and RGB (adding wavelengths of light): two different ways of creating colors. They do not overlap necessarily – colors can look different.
Click below for the slides to his presentation.
Woodstock, NY seemed like the ideal choice to escape the city and concentrate on my dissertation and consultant work. However, with the recent snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures, what was a quaint and relaxing escape, has now become a cabin-fever getaway!
Backyard in Woodstock, NY
In timely news, I will be at the 2014 Sunbelt Conference with my big sis, Rosalyn Negron-Goldbarg who is presenting twice in the conference:
(1) Thursday, 2/20: Effects of Resource Competition on Blacks’, Whites’, and Asians’ Spatio-Temporal Interactions, John Tawa, Juergen Pfeffer, Fred Morstatter, and Rosalyn Negron.
(2) Friday, 2/21: Describing Spatio-Temporal Group Activities - A Mixed Methods Approach. Rosalyn Negron, Jown Tawa, and Juergen Pfeffer
Here is a sample of some of the workshops/presentations that Im looking forward to:
- Wednesday, 2/19 - Visualizing Social Networks. How to Create Meaningful and Compelling Network Drawings with Juergen Pfeffer, Carnegie Mellon University, email@example.com.
- Wednesday, 2/19 - A Tale of Two Social Movements: Interaction Dynamics, Roles, and Content with Emma Spiro, Andrés Monroy-Hernández.
- Thursday, 2/20 - Democratization As Relational Events: Coevolutionary Sequences and the Collapse of the USSR by Diliara Valeeva, Benjamin Lind and The Self-Organization of Mass Political Protests in the Absence of Media Freedom Pablo Barberá, Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon.
- Thursday, 2/20 - A Study of Glocalization using Cultural Network Analytics on Twitter: A Case of Kpop Jiyoung Kim, Ho young Yoon, Hanwoo Park and The Structure of Online Activism Kevin Lewis, Kurt Gray, Jens Meierhenric.
- Friday, 2/21 - Awareness of Social Capital during Hurricane Sandy Maria Dwyer, Lora Appel, Punit Dadlani, Keith Hampton, Vanessa Kitzie, Ziad Matni, Rannie Teodoro.
- Saturday, 2/22 - Citizen Participation in Political Communication via Weibo micro blogging: A Case Study of Chief Executive Election of Hong Kong by Yupei Zhao.
You can download the full program here: 2014 Sunbelt Conference.
Are you attending the conference?
The increasingly trendy and luxurious Brooklyn is also one of the poorest. This infographic shows you why.
Its no surprise, that Brooklyn has been blowing up. It shows up on just about every list of the trendiest and most luxurious places in the world. Jumping on the piggy back of these questionable accolades is the New York City real estate industry. They have not hesitated to bring Brooklyn real estate prices to new shocking highs. As an unnamed Brooklyn resident once mentioned to me, “Its actually more expensive to live in Brooklyn now than it is to live in Manhattan.”
Yet the reality of the real estate wunderchild that is Brooklyn, is that its more poorer than you think. A recent Slate article reporting on the new Census data found that, Manhattan’s median annual household income is $66,739, while Brooklyn’s is a mere $44,850. Even the much less trendy, Queens has a higher household income with the median earning $54,373 per year!
In fact, high poverty rates are pretty rampant in Brooklyn. The infographic belows does an excellent job of highlighting this poverty trend.
So, next time you read about Brooklyn, just make note that millions of poor families have their own story to share.
I’ll be spending this Spring working on a short documentary. This project will be supported by a Diversity Videography Fellowship.
Titled, “HackingJustice: Immigrant Dreams and Access in the Electronic Age”, the initial idea for this short is to explorehow immigrant justice groups use technology to increase access to representation, legal assistance, and ultimately justice for immigrants? It also considers the challenges and opportunities that can give us a peak of what e-justice could look like for all of us in 5-10 years?
Below are some of my initial reflections of what the video should cover, but I am open to feedback and open to collaborators! If interested, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video Key Themes
1. Justice Crisis in the US: Constitutional guarantee of a lawyer does not apply to people fighting civil injustices - this disproportionately affects the most poor and marginalized groups, such as immigrant communities. What does this mean for our country as a whole and our priorities when 80% of serious legal needs of the poor are unmet due to grossly insufficient financing. For example, the U.S. ranks 66th out of 98 countries in access to and affordability of civil legal services.
2. The multiple barriers that immigrant communities face: Besides a complicated immigration system, thousands of immigrants face deportation and other legal issues without counsel. The outcome of many of these legal proceedings can have serious and long lasting negative effects on the lives of many immigrants and their families.
3. Beyond the sexy world of Facebook, Twitter, and other social technology innovations, there is an emerging group of social justice advocates working to utilize technology to increase representation and justice for immigrants. These technology innovations are both exciting but raise many questions about usability and limits of technology to promote social good. These innovations also give us a sneak look at what e-justice could look like for all of us in the future.”
5 Things I’ve Learned So far as an American using Weibo (China’s largest social network/microblogging site)
Being that Im learning Mandarin and studying online political participation in Taiwan, I decided it was time for me to get my Weibo account up and running. A cross between Facebook and Twitter, Weibo is a microblogging site which currently has over 350 million users.
It has all the cute elements you would expect from a Asian social network site (case in point, see the official Weibo logo below), yet it packs a mighty punch in terms of functionalities and how wide-spread it is.
1. Most conversations and interactions take place in the many Weibo created sub-communities centered around micro-topics:
Among a general news feed that looks much like Facebook, Weibo also takes all posts/tweets about specific topics and then creates a separate and unique page for all users to view and discuss the particular topic. Therefore, a great percentage of conversations take place within these sub-communities centered around a wide diverse set of micro-topics.
2. More commercially-driven than you may want for your social network:
Although, Weibo is undeniable changing the face of social and political life in China, particularly relations between citizens and public officials, it is still largely commercial-driven. There is a reason for this. Studies have shown that Chinese users are more likely to be influenced by social media and friends’ recommendations to purchase things.
3. Weibo wants you to express yourself in as many mediums as possible:
Surprisingly, I found many more multi-media posting options than seen in Facebook and Twitter. Through the interface you can easily embed images, emoticons, videos, popular hashtags, music, etc., with more ease than in Facebook and Twitter. For example, check out the Weibo set of emoticons via my posting interface.
4. Censorship is alive and well but you’d be surprised by what is allowed to stay:
The Chinese government does keep tabs on certain problematic “keywords” that they deem would lead to a lack of harmony in society. The Chinese government is primarily interested in preventing or stopping collective action and social mobilization and will therefore, censor comments which encourage this. A study recently found that this leads to 13% of Weibo’s social media content being censored or deleted. Although substantial, this still leaves room for a wide assortment of negative comments and risque behavior on display on Weibo.
5. Weibo unleashes creativity and experimentation with wordplay and images in order to escape censorship:
You could honestly spend a lifetime exploring the many puns, wordplays, and imaging that surface from Weibo. Images are not only being used to avoid the monitoring the happens with text, but also to avoid the word limit that Weibo places on posts. Below is an example of one of political images often circulated in Weibo that both include controversial text and is long.
Find me on Weibo now: http://weibo.com/u/3985115616
I have officially launched my Doctoral study website: MyOPP.org. OPP stands for Online Political Participation.
This study explores the impact that information politics and digital activism have on party systems and other political institutions vital to the consolidation of democracies in these regions.
Specifically it seeks to explore the relationship between digital activism and:
- Inter-party competition
- Party roots in society
- Legitimacy of parties and elections
- Party organization
In regards to the process of democratization, our study looks at the utility of mobile and internet-enabled technologies in promoting and supporting democracy in Latin America and East Asia.
Stay tuned for more updates and click here to visit the website.
Do Mobile and Internet-Enabled Technologies Affect People’s Perception and Experience with Democracy?
The 2013 Latino and East Asian Barometer surveys reveal that support for democracy continues to diminish. Since the third wave, “illiberal democracies” (Zakaria, 1997) and economic crises have tainted citizens’ perception and experience with democracy. In East Asia and Latin America, political institutions are being increasingly challenged to address rising inequality, weak economies, and persistent corruption. As witnessed in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Venezuela, citizens’ perceptions and experiences with democracy and its institutions can lead to social unrest which ultimately may hinder democratic consolidation.
East Asia, a region with less democratic culture and historical experiences with democracy than Latin America, provides an insightful look at how citizens’ assessment of government performance not only impacts their support for democracy, but also plays a significant role in how citizens understand democracy. In East Asia, the survey reveals how varying understandings of democracy and democratic conceptions have serious implications for people’s political behavior and attitudes in both democracies societies.
So, whose experiences and perceptions are we talking about to being with?
The 2013 surveys provide additional evidence that an increasingly restless middle class are testing the effectiveness and responsiveness of their political institutions. The World Bank estimates that, since 1990 the middle class tripled in developing countries in Asia and has grown 50% in Latin America (World Bank MIC Forum: The Rise of the Middle Class).
This group are also among the early adopters and most likely to utilize mobile and internet-enabled technologies (MITs). Studies have already shown how MITs provide alternative forms of information and lower the transaction costs for political participation. However, little is known about how they shape democratic practices and experiences. Ultimately, it begs the question: As support for democracy wanes, do MITs speed up or slow down this process?
Understanding these questions will require further analysis into:
1. Ways that MITs shape citizens’ perception and experience with democracy?
2. How citizens’ use MITs to hold their countries accountable? And finally,
3. How governments and political institutions themselves are using MITs to address social demands whether it be: corruption, weak economies, etc.
I created this toolkit in collaboration with the JustPublics@365 team. The purpose of the toolkit is to teach academics how to use digital technologies and social media to bring about social change.
Academic research is often complex and largely confined by traditional methods of publishing scholarly work where specialized audiences of other academics are the only ones privy to this knowledge. Digital technologies have the potential to change this by providing academics with tools to create supporting content and cross-promote their work. In promoting social justice, academics can use digital technologies to:
- Raise awareness and promote advocacy,
- Promote stakeholder engagement,
- Build capacity/instruct, and for
- Reporting and data collection.
We hope you will enjoy this toolkit and most importantly find it useful for your own work.
Download the e-book here.