Russia, MOOCs, Elections, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, March 2, 2016


Have you seen this new guide featured on Global Voices? It’s an extensive guide to conducting open source resource on the Russian Internet. “This research project by Aric Toler, a contributor at RuNet Echo and Bellingcat, will create a series of guides, tutorials, and walkthroughs on understanding and conducting open-source research on the Russian-language Internet (RuNet). The primary focus of the project will be providing instruction on the nuances of Russia.” These guides are intended for users who have little or no Russian. There are seven so far, the earliest being published in October and the most recent published yesterday.

Canvas has released a large dataset pertaining to MOOCs (PRESS RELEASE). “Canvas, the leading learning management system … today announced it has opened Canvas Network data to researchers. The de-identified data comes from more than 230 massive open online courses (MOOCs) hosted on Canvas Network and represents thousands of learning experiences from around the world.”


For years I used Speedtest when I wanted to check Internet speeds at work. Eventually I had to stop using it because we uninstalled Flash on all our computers and Flash was necessary to use Speedtest. But great news! Speedtest will start using HTML5. Yay!


Do I need this. From WIRED: 6 Chrome Extensions That’ll Keep You Sane This Election Year. “The Internet is filled with junk any given year, but election years are especially overrun with political flotsam, whether it’s your cousin’s Facebook rantings or a surprise Google result. You can’t (and probably shouldn’t, given the social contract and all) tune it out entirely, but you can at least have a little fun with it.”

If you’ve ever needed to explain the Dark Web, Cartwright King has an extensive infographic. With sources! There’s also just a bit about the Deep Web.

Buffer has a blog post on getting started with audio social search network Anchor. “Anchor is a free iOS app that makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips in seconds. Listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations. In this post, I’d love dive into how Anchor works and how you can get started with social audio.” Even if you don’t want to use it long-term, I urge you to try Anchor just once to experience its ridiculously good onboarding.


Is Facebook going to pay celebrities to use its livestreaming service? “This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried recruiting famous people to use some part of its service, but it is the first time it has used money as an incentive. It isn’t promising huge sums. But it’s still a big deal, conceptually, for a company that has previously shied away from licensing content or paying creators.”

Oh boy. Katie Couric’s Tumblr really is sad. “Katie Couric’s Tumblr page is one of the saddest goddamn places on the Internet, a distinction made all the more remarkable when you consider that it’s competing with Jeb!’s campaign eulogy and this place. It’s full of half-hearted reblogs and sappy inspirational slogans, but it’s removed of any personality or audience. What’s left is a carcass of a social media presence that not even $10 million a year can salvage.” Should have paid her $9M and hired a Tumblr squad to keep up her site.

Google has invested $30 million on European news tech projects. “Pouring gas on the bonfire of news tech, Google recently announced that it has invested more than €27 million ($30 million) into projects spanning the European news tech scene. The fund’s goal is to ‘help stimulate innovation in digital journalism’ over the next three years, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said at an event in Paris last week.” A small, cynical part of me wonders if this is something Google’s doing to influence news coverage of the increasing calls across the EU for Google to pay more corporate taxes….


Wow: using Instagram to compare food deserts and non food deserts. “In a recent study, [Munmun] De Choudhury and her colleagues propose another method: mining Instagram. All those artfully arranged plates, all that latte art, just waiting for someone to analyze it! So they did, looking at 3 million public food-related Instagrams that were tagged with food words (‘chocolate,’ ‘tofu,’) and geotagged by location. Using United States Census data, they divided areas into food deserts and non-food deserts, and compared each desert to a non-desert with similar demographics and socioeconomic status in the same region. That way, differences in what people were eating based on culture would hopefully be minimized.” Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

1 reply »


    Reference to Cart Wright’s infographic on dark web in recent newsletter is “not linked” (Or at least I am unable to click!)

    Here’s the link.

    Thanks for indispensable info you are pushing to us.

    Dr P Vyasamoorthy 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony, Secunderabad 500015 Telangana LL 040-27846631 / Mobile: 9490804278

    A 70+ senior, being tried for sexual abuse, revealed that it was a case relating to an attempt when he was 14.

    On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 12:42 AM, ResearchBuzz wrote:

    > ResearchBuzz posted: “NEW RESOURCES Have you seen this new guide featured > on Global Voices? It’s an extensive guide to conducting open source > resource on the Russian Internet. “This research project by Aric Toler, a > contributor at RuNet Echo and Bellingcat, will create a se” >

Leave a Reply