"Not a chance. The promoters of big data would like us to believe that behind the lines of code and vast databases lie objective and universal insights into patterns of human behavior, be it consumer spending, criminal or terrorist acts, healthy habits, or employee productivity. But many big-data evangelists avoid taking a hard look at the weaknesses. Numbers can't speak for themselves, and data sets -- no matter their scale -- are still objects of human design. The tools of big-data science, such as the Apache Hadoop software framework, do not immunize us from skews, gaps, and faulty assumptions. Those factors are particularly significant when big data tries to reflect the social world we live in, yet we can often be fooled into thinking that the results are somehow more objective than human opinions. Biases and blind spots exist in big data as much as they do in individual perceptions and experiences. Yet there is a problematic belief that bigger data is always better data and that correlation is as good as causation."
(Kate Crawford, 12 May 2013, Foreign Policy)
"SAN FRANCISCO - Three weeks after Curtis Kimball opened his crème brûlée cart in San Francisco, he noticed a stranger among the friends in line for his desserts. How had the man discovered the cart? He had read about it on Twitter.
For Mr. Kimball, who conceded that he 'hadn't really understood the purpose of Twitter,' the beauty of digital word-of-mouth marketing was immediately clear. He signed up for an account and has more than 5,400 followers who wait for him to post the current location of his itinerant cart and list the flavors of the day, like lavender and orange creamsicle.
'I would love to say that I just had a really good idea and strategy, but Twitter has been pretty essential to my success,' he said. He has quit his day job as a carpenter to keep up with the demand.
Much has been made of how big companies like Dell, Starbucks and Comcast use Twitter to promote their products and answer customers' questions. But today, small businesses outnumber the big ones on the free microblogging service, and in many ways, Twitter is an even more useful tool for them."
(Claire Cain Miller, 22 July 2009, New York Times)
"This website is designed as a social mirror to show the prevalence of casual homophobia in our society. Words and phrases like 'faggot,' 'dyke,' 'no homo,' and 'so gay' are used casually in everyday language, despite promoting the continued alienation, isolation and - in some tragic cases - suicide of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) youth.
We no longer tolerate racist language, we're getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we're still not actively addressing homophobic and transphobic language in our society.
Let's put an end to casual homophobia. Speak out when you see or hear homophobic or transphobic language from friends, at school,
in the locker room, at work or online. Use #NoHomophobes to show your support. And visit one of our resource websites to get more involved."
"Think of Tumblr as micro-blogging on steroids (technically, it's called 'tumblelogging'). Whereas Twitter and similar services limit posts to 140 characters or less, Tumblr lets you post updates of any length, although it’s best suited to short-format posts. Tumblr bridges the gap between full-blown blog and micro-blog.
Tumblr is also an option for designers and creative people, because it gives you complete control over the look of your tumblelog. It also offers great opportunities for theme designers..."
(Cameron Chapman, 22 July 2010, Smashing Magazine)
Fig. Jenna Anne "What you need to know about Tumblr" Uploaded by JustKidding1026 on 12 Dec 2010.
"As Facebook and Twitter are reaching a saturation point, a new form of social network has begun to capture the people's attention recently. Interest based networks connect you with people whom you share interests/hobbies with. Though interest based networks are not completely new – forums and communities on specific topics have existed for a while – they are building a critical mass just now.
Pinterest, Instagram, Spotfiy, Goodreads, Quora and other interest based networks have grown significantly during the past 18 months. Each of these has built up a few million strong active userbase and provides a more fine grained marketing strategy for businesses. Small businesses and marketers must pay attention to these networks and utilize them in their marketing strategy."
(Merc Strategy Group, LLC)