The Story on Snapchat Stories

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While most social media focus on feeds of content from your friends, Snapchat Stories let you control more of what’s “fed” to you. With powerful algorithms figuring out what you like and auto-play videos catching your attention as you scroll, it’s hard to imagine the appeal of Stories’ simple list of contacts with temporary videos or slideshow updates. Yet Facebook and Instagram are starting to roll out Story features of their own. What is so compelling about Stories that the stadiums are adding private studios? (more…)

How can we #sciencethenews?

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[Cross-posted from Estelle’s Blog]

Mainstream media are most adults’ primary source of new information about science. Yet even when mainstream media outlets cover science (which they rarely do), the coverage contains errors approximately 20-30% of the time. Consequently, a hefty majority of Americans (over 70%!) lack adequate literacy to reason about scientific evidence as it relates to civic life. As scientists, how can we bridge the gap between the ivory tower and the general public? (more…)

Love Online in Saudi Arabia … It’s Complicated

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Finding love online is complicated and usually comes with a side of  social stigma. Sure, true love might exist on the inter-webs, but you also might struggle with skeptical family and friends who believe otherwise. Now just imagine replicating the scenario in the conservative culture of Saudi Arabia. Our new DIS paper shows just how complicated things become. (more…)

Different Strokes for Different Folks: The Value of Personality Type in Recommender Systems and Social Computing

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Did you know that your personality type can be used to predict your behavior on an online recommender site (how long you stay, what you do, whether and how much you are likely to rate)  and even what to recommend to you? That’s what we found in our latest research using the MovieLens recommender system and the Big Five Personality scale for modeling user personality. To learn more, read on!

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Take Your Medicine: Write Online!

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Decades of research have shown that writing about our deepest, darkest emotions makes us feel better. But what happens when we write about those feelings online?

Patients with life-threatening illnesses must regularly process heavy emotions. Many patients and their caregivers turn to online health communities to get support and share their journeys. We partnered with CaringBridge.org – a large journaling platform that lets patients write about their health journey – to explore how expressive writing affects people’s engagement with their online community.

Haiwei demonstrates posting a journal update on CaringBridge.

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