Hello, how are you? Would you like to engage meaningfully with me? How do you feel about this as-personal-as-you-want-it-to-be, non-threatening, question? Those are the hallmarks of a good ice-breaker, and these are the best ones I’ve created or pilfered in the past three years.
1. Describe your ideal burger, layer by layer.
At the SOAK festival in 2016 I suffered back spasms from an extended Butoh session, and in order not to spoil that last night I made a game of laying still in one public location from dusk to dawn. As I needed to entice people to keep me company among the night’s many attractive options, this little ditty came to me.… Read the rest
You’ll probably find that laying on your back or stomach are the least painful positions, less than standing, and much less than sitting—and research agrees (see graphic 1). However sitting is really import in a society whose greatest challenge is a sedentary lifestyle. For instance, you can’t work in a default desk-centric setting. While the price point for a standing desk is relatively low, it’ll be a while until you heal enough to be able to stand all day.… Read the rest
I have been investigating profiles of users of Airbnb and Couchsurfing this year as research into personality differences between users of market- and socially-based network hospitality websites. Along the way I have uncovered some suggestive data supporting a rumor that Couchsurfing may have been manipulating the size of its user-base through fake profiles.
After I had assembled datasets of these user’s publicly viewable data, I started to take a look at the sign-up dates of each profile to gauge the ages of the user bases. In inspecting the Couchsurfing set, I found an usual spike in sign-ups in 2013.
Conducting a web search for reasons why this would be I queried the web “what happened to Couchsurfing in 2013”.… Read the rest
Note: This post is quite old. In fact Wikidata can now be accessed “properly” via the Wikidata Query Service (WDQS). However the techniques outlined below still have their advantages.
The inaugural Wiki Research Hackathon went very well, and I’m affirmed that I feel best when I’m conducting Wiki Research. I was asked to give one of the tech talks of the day about accessing Wikidata data programmatically. Here is an outline of the talk
We’ll be viewing Wikidata as file in its own right for research, not as it’s canonical use case of being used in various Wikipedias.
Wikidata is a mostly standard Mediawiki instance except that pages don’t store “Wikitext”, they store JSON blobs.… Read the rest
In my early software education, I’d been taught about how untested software could result in deadly radiation-therapy machines. But since I never planned to be in the medical devices industry, these sort of warnings didn’t apply to me – after all I was only writing Wikipedia bots. But this week I was proved wrong when another Wikipedian messaged me with a query unlike any I’d received before (empahsis mine):
Hi Max, I’ve pinged you a couple of times, but in case you’re not getting them, would you mind commenting?
It’s about an edit your bot made to Wikidata that changed the infobox of a featured article about a book about the Holocaust, Night.
While Ceephax has exposed me to a hyperactive, ultrajoyful side of myself, Why? has shown me how to cope with inexorable loss of impermanent identities. Just today I was going to go to an event I’d been looking forward to for over a year; the Stupor Bowl is a 50 mile bike ride in Minneapolis, stopping at 9 bars, and on the coldest day of the year. But after ceding a pool table yesterday to a man who my friends told me looked very much like myself, due to his moustache and cycling jacket, I became paralyzed by the self-awareness of my new identity.… Read the rest
This is my final project from my Machine Learning course this past semester. My collaborators and I attempted to find out when, and why users at English Wikipedia’s article for deletion forum, voted against their tendencies. That is, what makes an “deletionist” vote “keep” and when an “inclusionist” votes “delete”? In the end we found that basic machine learning techniques could not perform much better than random, but the intelligence that did emerge came from using information about group herding behaviour, and appeals to the local bureaucratic process.
Against the Grain: Influencing Factors of Opinion Change in Wikipedia’s Article for Deletion Process
Zhiyi Li, Cheng Peng, and Max Klein
On 1 November 2015, English Wikipedia hit 5,000,000 articles; but while article creation is much celebrated, deleting an article is a lesser known process.… Read the rest
Since the beta version of wigi.wmflabs.org, our site dedicated to the biography gender gap on WIkipedia is progressing on the technical side, we decided conducting usability study on to help improve interaction aspects. We conducted a usability study to find out more. It was fantastic to here people say ”this is the tool we’ve been waiting for,” and we also want to address issues that lead people to describe their experience as “burdensome”. Thanks to Masssly for compiling the report. I repost his summary here, and the full report can be read on wikimedia commons:
During the week of November 17 – December 1, 2015, WIGI was tested among participants pulled from the Wikimedia community, loosely described as anyone who edits Wikipedia-the-encyclopedia, or is a potential reader of any of its language versions.… Read the rest
Perhaps because it’s not something I would have done on my own, thanks to the prodding of Daniel Mietchen, I have created a data management plan for my open-PhD adventure. What is a data management plan (DMP), you might ask? Now that I’m up to speed, I can tell you that it’s a document in which you set out the parameters for how you will create, share, and store the outcomes of a project. It’s also the sort of thing you go through in order to pose detail questions to yourself and make rigorous your otherwise slightly sloppy thinking.… Read the rest