January 28, 2010

Shorty Awards Audit Part 2: Exception or The Rule?

After discovering previously that @mercola had 64% valid votes (IMHO) where as @DrRachie had 88% valid votes, I wonder if this is an phenomenon is the same in other categories. In other words: is @mercola's valid vote percentage the exception or the rule?


To answer this question, I ran the audit script for 1st and 2nd placers in the #music category. Here is the breakdown for the current leader, @yelyahwilliams:



  • deleted accounts: 449 (13.98%)
  • accounts with 1 tweet: 21 (0.65%)
  • accounts with 2 tweets: 32 (1.00%)
  • other accounts: 2706 (84.27%)
  • total: 3211


There is a discrepancy of 3, from users BenFreemann, ovan10, and YannickBraun. 


Now for @ivetesangalo:

  • deleted accounts: 431 (9.07%)
  • accounts with 1 tweet: 30 (0.63%)
  • accounts with 2 tweet: 92 (1.94%)
  • other accounts: 4190 (88.21%)
  • total: 4750


There is a discrepancy of 7 from andreiaAMO, Brubruna, buguinhaBrito, Erica_nasciment, julianestephany, KEKELZITA, and pedro_PERWAH.


It would seem that @mercola's 64% is an exception not the rule. Granted, I only sampled 4 leaders. I suspect however that when I run the statistics for the leaders in #celebrity, I would see the same results: that the rule is for percentage of valid votes are 80% or higher.


I will update when the #celebrity audit is done. Note that I am auditing those categories where the leaders have vote counts in the thousands. This should reduce anomalies. 


Cheers,
Steve

January 27, 2010

Shorty Awards Audit

After reading the sordid tale of ballot stuffing via twitter over at Bad Astronomy, I wonder if @mercola has the same "problem". Further, I wanted to know if it was also affecting @DrRachie.


To that end I wrote a python script to "audit" shorty award votes. Given a username, the script will scrape shortyawards.com for voters, and hit their twitter.com profile to generate a file containing 2 columns: username and number of updates. Users with deleted accounts will have -1 updates.


I have ran the script for @mercola, and at the time of data collection (UTC 1100) this is the breakdown of where the votes came from:
  • deleted accounts: 348 (12.07%)
  • accounts with 1 tweet: 407 (14.11%)
  • accounts with 2 tweets: 288 (9.98%)
  • other accounts: 1838 (63.71%)
  • total: 2885


The discrepancy of 4 comes from users who somehow managed to have no tweets: I suspect the account was deleted, then recreated. These 4 users were: bugoff48, budsgirl54, tracyaustin, janesperr.


You might wonder why I took an exception to users with 2 tweets. The following screen shots should suffice as an explanation:





I checked at random 10 users with only 2 tweets, and they were all people who created a twitter account for the express purpose of voting in the shorty awards, which is against the rules.


Personally, I would say that only 64% of votes for @mercola are valid. This puts him in the lead still, but only ~300 votes in front.


Feel free to do your own analysis of the data.


I am still running the script for DrRachie, so I will update when that script is done. In case you are wondering why it takes so long, that's because I am been nice and rate limiting my queries :)


Update 1: realised some users were showing up twice. Removed them, recalculated, re-linked data.


Update 2: @DrRachie's data is available! See the following.


OK, here is a break down of where @DrRachie's votes came from:


  • deleted accounts: 113 (6.50%)
  • accounts with 1 tweet: 41 (2.35%)
  • accounts with 2 tweets: 47 (2.70%)
  • other accounts: 1542 (88.42%)
  • total: 1744


Again there is a discrepancy, this time of a single user, Superpositional.


Just as I did for @mercola, I checked random accounts with 2 tweets. They all broke the rule. These accounts contained only tweets voting in the shorty awards.


My personal opinion is that 88% of votes for @DrRachie are valid, a percentage much higher than @mercola's.


Again, the data is available for your own analysis.


What should be done about this, I hear you ask. Personally I am happy if @mercola and @DrRachie both have their vote count adjusted accordingly.


Update 3: I am running the same analysis for 1st and 2nd place for #music, to see if the same pattern holds. Those results will be in a new post.


Update 4: I should point out that I am aware both @mercola and @DrRachie received votes in multiple categories. But seeing as how majority of votes are in #health, I feel it would be Too Much Effort to separate the vote out. Though if enough people complain, I will fix it.


Update 5Part 2 has been posted. It explores the question whether 64% valid votes is the exception or the rule.


Cheers,
Steve



January 10, 2010

An Idea for Personal Domains

Given that we can have purely numeric domains, i.e. 131500.info, why not have domains that map to our mobile phone numbers for personal use?

What's the point? For one, you can give out your public mobile number instead of your website, since it is much easier to communicate numbers than domain names. This can be used to communicate other information that is difficult to convey by voice, e.g. emails, skype names, etc. A simple website at $your_mobile.mob would overcome all these.

This obviously has privacy implications, and as such should be entirely opt-in.

Any such system would need to be regulated, ideally controlled by carriers. A custom TLD like .mob would probably be a good idea too. One must also keep in mind however that such easily predictable domain names will be targeted by spammers.

Cheers,
Steve

January 05, 2010

Introducing GeoNote AR (2.0)

Some of you might know I have been working on a little iPhone app called GeoNote (iTunes link). Its basic goal is to allow you to annotate the real world by allowing you to leave little messages (notes) which are "pinned" to real world locations. These little messages are visible to anyone running GeoNote.

Initially GeoNote had a rather unflattering interface: just a List View of notes. However as the iPhone SDK and the iPhone itself evolved, GeoNote also evolved. First it gained Map view, which was much more intuitive and useful, then with the iPhone 3GS and a bit of time on my hands, GeoNote gained Augmented Reality view:


Cool isn't it :D It is available in GeoNote 2.0, but only for people with iPhone 3GS. GeoNote will run on iPod touch and iPhone 3G, but AR will not be available.

The Augmented Reality View is activated by holding the phone up like you would to take a landscape picture, with the home button on the right. The colour scheme is customisable, since I haven't found a nice set of colours. It looks rather retro'ish with the default green colour scheme:


There are a lot of things that cane be done better, like a nice way to select notes, and more customisation for things like limiting distance, etc. But as they say, release early, release often :-)

For more on the app, visit: http://gtd.pictorii.com. It is rather nasty right now, I will work on that :)

Cheers,
Steve