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2021-02-25: Computation + Journalism 2021 Trip Report

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One year ago, I was eagerly anticipating a trip to Boston in mid-March to attend the Computation + Journalism (C+J) Symposium 2020 hosted by Northeastern University.  Our PhD student Alexander Nwala would be presenting a poster on his Storygraph work, and I was especially looking forward to the keynote addresses, in particular one from Amanda Cox, whose work I've highlighted in my Information Visualization courses for several years. Unfortunately, this was the first of several conferences for me to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  So, I was thrilled that the organizers decided to revive the 2020 program as a virtual symposium this year ( program and schedule ). Videos are promised, and I'll update this post when that's available.    Some statistics from Computation+Journalism 2021 - A total of 879 people attended at least some part of the day, with a maximum of 415 people at any one time. The average time an attendee spent at the conference was 2 hours and 17 m

2021-02-20: Creation Time and Published Time Are Not the Same: Estimating the Instagram Epoch

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Figure 01: A capture of an Instagram post highlighting the “shortcode” for a post and its published time.  During the process of examining how the published datetime of a post can be extracted with the use of only the URL of an Instagram (IG) post, we have uncovered a discrepancy between the published time present in the HTML and the time that can be extracted from the shortcode (hereinafter creation time)  of an IG post. During the early stages of this study, we assumed both these values to be the same, similar to Twitter . The time extracted from a Twitter ID is the same as what’s displayed in the JSON object (and HTML) for the tweet.  Instagram is understudied in academic research based on its popularity, as compared to Twitter. By 2021, Twitter has 330 million monthly active users and Instagram has 1 billion active users . As of Feb 11, 2021, Google Scholar returns 7.52 million hits for “twitter” and 1.54 million hits for “instagram”. This results in an “active-users/Google Sch