Andreas Weigend | Social Data Revolution | Fall 2012
School of Information | University of California at Berkeley | INFO 290A-3

PB: Photobook

Assigned October 13, due November 4
Create a photobook showing your interpretation of the Social Data Revolution with visuals (photos, graphs, graphics, infographics, words, wordles, metrics, etc.).
Prompt: What does SDR mean to you? Think about the people who matter to you, and what aspects of their lives serves as a “hooks” with respect to you. E.g., what is it about FB or LinkedIn updates that engages you? How can you visualize this? What other examples of social data, such as geo-location, that draw you back in, again and again?
  • When: Sun Nov 4 (vouchers expire then). Select shipping speed so that it you will have it by Fri Nov 9.
  • Where: After creating your photobook, ship it to yourself and share it with the class by putting its url on the course wiki (in order to do this, share the photobook url with yourself through email, and then copy this and paste it to the wiki page)
  • Bring physical copy to last class: Mon Nov 12 (for show and tell)
  • Vouchers: Coupon codes are provided for you to create your photobook (email Lulu LIN if you still need a code:

DF 7: One Insight

Assigned September 15, due 5pm the day before Class8
Seth Goldstein, founder of Majestic Research, Root Networks,, and most recently will join us in Class8. Read up a bit about him, and how he has shaped the field of social data. Then add one clear idea you got out of this course that you believe Seth will find interesting to Insights.

DF 6: Influence the influencers

Assigned October 13, due 5pm the day before Class7
The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think about what Influence means, and how you can measure and predict it. DF2

DF 5: Take off with jetpac!

Assigned October 4, due 5pm the day before Class6
To prepare for "Mr. iPhone-spyPhone" coming to class, @petewarden, play with jetpac (, also iPad app) and reflect on what is going on.
Deliverable: Please post on one crisp insight related to jetpac, inspired by jetpac, or at least somehow related to a recent class :) Or comment on something that’s there already.

DF 4: Define Social Data

Due at the beginning of Class5
In class, we shall co-create the definition of what social data really is. The goal is to get to an entry up on Please come prepared with what you want to be in the definition. The sketchpad for class is at

DF 3: Dr. Evil

Assigned September 20, due 5pm the day before Class4
To prepare for “Geolocation: Possibilities, Problems and Privacy”, consider this:
  • If a group of sketchy characters had all of the world’s geo-location data at their fingertips, what can you imagine would be the most shady thing they could do with it?
Once you have come up with a creative answer (discuss it with your friends), go to Quora, which sports Jeremy Carr’s rewrite of the question.
  • If Dr. Evil had the entire world's geo data at his fingertips, how would he maximize havoc/personal gain?"
Please read the responses that are already there, and then contribute your idea highlighting what others have not said yet. Please include your name (anonymous comments obviously don’t count towards grade!).

DF 2: Play with Astrid

Assigned September 14, due at the beginning of Class3
In preparation for the discussion with the CEO of Astrid in Class3, please
  • Create an account at using your class email at (Astrid has greenlighted your email address for the private beta.)
  • Add a few task (errands, chores, etc.) you should do in the next couple weeks. These might be things you've been putting off for a while or just things you need to get done this week (e.g., call the mobile phone company to reduce minutes, sell those old books you're never going to use, schedule a meeting for your student group, write up your ideas for the class and send them to Andreas).
Deliverable: Please post on your observations, or comment on those by other students. E.g.,
  • On the one hand, what are their properties of the tasks that can be socialized and possibly “outsourced”?
  • On the other hand, what would you need to know in order to do a task for someone else? What of the data sources discussed in Class2 would be useful for matching?
To avoid repeating what other have posted already, sure you read what's there and share your thoughts.

DF 1: Identity and Social Data

Assigned in Class1, due 5pm the day before Class2
Identity of social data -- knowing who created a piece of data, who modified it, who distributed it, and who might be described by that piece of data, is important.
Andreas gives his perspectives on identity in a recent video. Towards the end of Class1, Quentin Hardy (New York Times) joined the conversation, criticizing and broadening the important notion of identity, of who we are.
Assignment: Summarize, compare and contrast in the context of social data the two perspectives on identity given in class. Where do you agree, disagree? What is missing? Introduce, if appropriate, related work and crisply describing its main points.
Deliverable: After reading on what other students have posted on this topic before you, either add a thoughtful comment to post, or create a new post with your perspective. In addition, sharpen up the notes at the end of the Class1 wiki page.

Potential DF (not assigned yet, and don't get in trouble with you bf/gf!)

Data and Dating:

Assigned / Due...
Background: To get some ideas on analysis on social data, spend half an hour to an hour reading some of the entries in . This is the blog of the online dating site OkCupid (that was acquired last year for USD 50M by To get some variety in what students in Classread, please focus on entries posted on the month of your birthday. Say, if you were born in March, make sure you read the March posts. When you do the reading, create some analysis ideas and hypotheses in your mind that you are curious about.
Assignment: If you had all the data of a dating app available, what is the ONE IDEA you would you like to explore? What analysis would you do that would result in a popular blog post? (If of genuine interest to you and of interest to one of the dating sites I have worked with, this could be a course project.) To understand a dating a bit better, you can (optionally) download an app (e.g., Badoo, BoyAhoy, Grindr, Jack'd, OkCupid, Skout, Zoosk etc.) relevant to you and your operating system and/or register on the corresponding website. Playing on the platform gives you a better sense of what potential metrics are actually available to you and helps you start formulate genuinely interesting questions and hypothesis.
Deliverable: Submit the your idea in PHAMEwork
  1. P - What is the question and why is it interesting to you?
  2. H - What is your hypotheses for this question?
  3. A - What actions could a dating app take based on this idea?
  4. M - How would you measure whether the effect? Be specific.
  5. E - What experiment would you do to test your hypothesis, and how would you evaluate the results of this experiment?
to the google form:

See also