Friday, May 21, 2010

Valuable Data: Researchers Study Facebook and Linked In User Data

Undoubtedly the most valuable data in the world now is the user data tracked by Facebook, Google, and other social media sites. Where users go, what they do, what they are feeling, companies and people they "like," those they dislike, in short knowing the collective intelligence of the digital world. This is the data these companies possess. And there is a long line of people that would love to get their hands on this data, but alas it is proprietary and not forthcoming, at least in raw format. However, this article gives a brief behind the scenes look at how Facebook and Linked In look mine their data. For example, Facebook has created a "Gross National Happiness Index," by measuring the positive and negative words in status updates. Linked In on the other hand is tracking career paths such as the rise lately in independent contractors or geographic migrations based on the information their users input on job status/location. This is only the proverbial tip of iceberg, expect much, much more to come out on this front in the future.

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