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I was listening to the radio as I was driving home from my parents house tonight and I happened to hear a radio program about Big Data. I was not familiar with the term before, but basically Big Data is the combined data that is pulled from web 2.0. It is called Big Data because the amount of data that is created through web 2.0 and the social actions on the Internet is staggering.

The interviewee was the senior Vice President, John Boswell from the American  data analytics company SAS, and he was explaining the great possibilities of Big Data. According to him a lot can be predicted from what conversations are trending in the social web.

One very nice example was the Google Flu Trends. Google have found out that they can predict a flu epidemic before it happens by the nature of people’s online searches. This can help predict outbreaks of epidemics and therefore hospitals can ensure that there are doctors and medicine available before the real problems start.

= Google Flu Trends estimate  = United States Data

This image is taken directly from Google Flu Trends.

Other examples of use of Big Data from the radio program were how SAS use topics of online conversations to predict growth in unemployment.

 

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As a part of my practical research I have decided to contribute to some of the popular memes and creative co-creation projects online. All the projects will require different levels of engagement from me, and I hope this will give me a better picture of the level of participation I would like for my end project.

I’ve already done a few so I will post them here along with references. Also I have decided to create at least 3 contributions a week the following two weeks.

1. Lol Cats

Since Clay Shirky calls creating Lol Cats the lowest form of creative output in his book Cognitive Surplus – I thought I’d give that task a go. I must admit that I didn’t find it that easy. I know the formular (cute cat + badly spelled headline = Lol Cat). But coming up with a fun headline on commando is difficult. I chose to let my Lol cat reference another famous Lol Cat: Muffin Cat – thinking that it at least might give me some geek points ;)

In true spirit of the medium I found a Lol Cat generator that uses the right outlined font (Impact).

2. One Frame of Fame

I contributed to the One Frame of Fame music video a while ago so this is actually a re-post. The video is for C-Mon & Kypski’s song More is Less. Fans are invited to take part in the video by recreating a single frame with their web cam. So far 36498 people have contributed to the project.

3. Three Dreams of Black

Three Dreams of Black was another co-creation project I discovered on Osiris’ blog. It is created by Chriss Milk for who also is the director on the Johnny Cash Project. It is a Google Crome experiment that shows the possiblities of the WebGL coding language.

From the website:

“3 Dreams of Black” is an interactive film by Chris Milk and some friends at Google that showcases the creative potential of WebGL. WebGL is a context of the HTML5 canvas element that enables hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in the web browser without a plug-in. In other words, it enables your browser to show some really beautiful visuals. On this page, you’ll find a WebGL model viewer featuring several of the “3 Dreams of Black” creatures. You’ll also find 8 demos created by our development team, a link to the code base, and some links to resources on the web that will be useful for getting started in WebGL programming.

The website lets you build elements and add them to one the three “dreams” in the video. I had not planned to do this in advance so I ended up creating a very simple “K”.

Other users contributions:

4. Chubby Bubbles Girl

A friend resently reminded me about the Chubby Bubbles Girl meme. As a big Game of Thrones fan – I have just created a version starring a White Walker (So sorry for the spoiler).

The picture has also been uploaded to the Know your meme website, so I will be looking out for any comments!

 

Future plans:

At this point I know that that during the following weeks I also want to create contributions for Dear Photograph, The Johnny Cash Project  and create a cover for a Gregory Brothers song.

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Wow – cool new possibilities with open API for Google hangout.

This cool little face tracking test from Resn made me jump a little bit!

Read the article here.

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