Stuff in the news 6/18/2013 – Communication

Vintage Telephone

Image courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre /

  • Researchers in the UK used AI algorithms to model online reading preferences, using machine learning. The results are somewhat disappointing for my public affairs friends.
    • “The research, led by Nello Cristianini, Professor of , identified the most attractive keywords, as well as the least attractive ones, and explained the choices readers made… Professor Cristianini, speaking about the research, said: “We found significant inverse correlations between the appeal to users and the amount of attention devoted to public affairs… …”People are put off by public affairs and attracted by entertainment, crime, and other non-public affairs topics.”
  • Looking for a robust social media management system. It may require some monetary investment but check out Figure 8 in this Slide Share. A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation
  • “In moments of political and military crisis, people want to control their media and connect with family and friends. And ruling elites respond by investing in broadcast media and censoring and surveilling digital networks.” – Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter
    • Note to ruling elites (and PIOs, as well):  You do not control the message on the interwebs. Get used to it. Engage or be overshadowed. Monitoring is a good thing, if you know what to do with the results.
    • Don’t really get this engagement thing? Here’s one place to start: 3 Models of Citizen Engagement – GovLoop
  • 5 (weird) Ways Government is Experimenting with Social Media
  • Do you really want to know what your cat thinks? Will Translation Devices Soon Allow Us To Talk With Animals? 
  • Use it only for good….  NSA-Style Intelligence Comes To Financial Services Communications
  • “Monitoring electronic conversations just got a lot more powerful with the alliance of Digital Reasoning and OP3Nvoice, announced at SIFMA today.

    Digital Reasoning, with roots in defense and intelligence, can search and understand structured and unstructured data and use it to build a view of underlying entities, facts, relationships and discover geospatial and temporal patterns. OP3Nvoice can monitor audio, video and text conversations across channels including fixed lines, mobile and Skype and search and locate conversations very fast.”

  • If the story is being reported accurately, this policy in River Bend, IL makes so much more sense than just banning teachers and students from “friending each other”. The policy prohibits individual contact, including by phone and requires the teachers to go through parents or a mass messaging system for event cancellations. Have a policy and make it consistent. Social media is just a communication tool. School District Limiting Communication Between Staff and Students
  • In another school district in Massachusetts, a teacher is advocating and implementing a comm plan. How about that? I have concerns about the notion of her students e-mailing her individually and probably would have opted for a collaborative space where they can post pictures without doing that but just the notion that she has a plan for everyone to follow is quite impressive:
    • “Communication protocols and systems create an almost seamless structure which leaves room for more responsive student service and coaching.”
    • Indeed.
  • Apparently, there’s a downside to more connectivity. Increased cell phone coverage tied to uptick in African violence: ‘Significantly and substantially increases the probability of violent conflict’

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