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Hunting for Hip, Hipsters, and Happenings on YouTube

Chirag Shah and Gary Marchionini

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The changing nature of information and evolving role of information sources have made it possible for almost anyone to be a consumer as well as a producer of information. Thus, many information services are focused on user participation and support different user roles. It has become essential for information scientists, social analysts, and digital library curators to recognize and study these social factors while analyzing the content of these information sources. In this paper we present these ideas in the light of our work with collecting and analyzing election videos from YouTube. Over the course of more than 8 months and 200 passes of data collection, we have gathered about 15000 videos along with nearly two dozen attributes for each video relating to US presidential elections 2008 from YouTube. Using this collection, we demonstrate how various social attributes such as tags, ratings, and comments can be used to detect significant trends, people, and events. This detection can help us gaining a better understanding of not only the content, but also the population that produces and consumes it.

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