Creating a Basic Function in Python

Continued adventures in learning Python (started here): A function gives you a return value based on an argument that you input.  The function len will give you a return value of the number of elements in an object.  The argument you provide is the name of the object.  In this example the object is called…

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Digital Activism Research Methods: Using API’s for Social Media Research

I am currently at the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference in Seattle.  I’ll be posting what I learn. Facebook Graph API: Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch,  U of Connecticut, USA Create an app (use computer science expertise) Study participants visit study site and are linked to Facebook after disclosure message and consent about data collection On Facebook, participants…

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How to Get Data from Twitter

This tutorial uses Tweepy software to use Python to get data from Twitter.  This tutorial was presented today at the Community Data Science Workshop @UW.  The first tutorial, an introduction to APIs, is here. 1) Get a a Twitter API key & access token First, you need to set up Twitter authentication so Twitter will give…

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TedEd: Terrifying for Grad Students

Grad school is a pyramid scheme.  There are lots of smart students and only a few academic jobs for us when we graduate.  Oh, and then there’s the fucking internet, which promises to to have only a few of the most talented instructors teach all the children on earth.  Which means even fewer academic jobs.…

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Data Section is Open

I’ve just added a new Data section to this site.  I’ll be sharing data files resulting from my research on global digital activism, all of which have a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. The first group of files is related to the second version of the Global Digital Activism Data Set, which I created while working at…

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Open Methods Section is… Open!

I’ve just added a new Open Methods section to this site.  I’ll be sharing research materials related to my current study on digital activism effectiveness, all of which have a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Ch-ch-ch-check it out! Image: Flickr/Kris Krug

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Why do Trolls Troll?

Now that the Republicans trolling American democracy have recently (and temporarily) been vanquished, it seems as good a time as any to think about the nature of trolling. Why people become horrible trolls online, taunting and harassing others for spite, joy, or profit?  John Suler of Rider University has some answers.  In a 2004 article…

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