Hi I’m Gilad

I love data, analysis and visualization. Chief data scientist at betaworks.

Harlem Shake: anatomy of a viral meme

This entry is cross-posted on Huffington Post.

If you still have not heard of the Harlem Shake you must be living in a cave. Much has been written about the rapid and global spread of this catchy internet meme, yet little is understood about how it spread. In the following post, we look at the […]

The Promise of Realtime / Behavioral Economics & Social Media @Harvard

I had the honor to participate in Harvard Law School’s behavioral economics and social media conference, organized by Cass Sunstein last week. Scholars from across Harvard along with folks from Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft Research and SocialFlow discussed important trends around social media, theory and practice and its potential to help us assess behavioral change. As […]

#Sandy: Social Media Mapping

Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, devastating parts of the Caribbean as well as the US East Coast. The loss of human life, displacements of families and damage to homes and businesses on the East Coast was unprecedented. During the storm and its aftermath, social media has been critical in spreading important […]

Social Media and the Presidential Debate

Earlier this week I was invited to participate in Bloomberg TV’s Market Makers to talk about data from last week’s presidential debate. The segment was shot the following morning after the debate. Even with such short notice, we managed to show a few interesting views of the data:

1. Even though Romney is said to […]

Weibo, China’s Twitter, Abuzz with Sentiment Over Liu Xiang’s Olympic Fail

Liu Xiang’s 110m hurdles race was one of the most anticipated Olympic races for audiences across Mainland China. Shanghai born Liu Xiang has emerged as one of China’s most visible cultural icons, being the first Chinese athlete to achieve the “triple crown” of athletics: World Record Holder, World Champion and Olympic Champion. During the 2008 […]

Big Data for Breaking News: Lessons from #Aurora, Colorado

On July 20th we were glued to our computer screens obsessively tracking information coming out of Aurora, Colorado about the terrible shooting that took place. When breaking news events occur, we try to grab as much data as we can, to see what we can learn about the event. One of the simplest plots that […]

Analyzing UNICEF’s #SahelNow Campaign

A couple of weeks ago we were pleased to spend some time with the folks from UNICEF, analyzing and discussing their #SahelNow campaign. The campaign is focused on drawing attention towards the food crisis unfolding in the Sahel region in West and Central Africa. The campaign’s goal is to rush food, nutrition and other emergency […]

[Data Viz] KONY2012: See How Invisible Networks Helped a Campaign Capture the World’s Attention

If you’ve spent any time at all on Twitter and Facebook over the last week or so, you’ve undoubtably heard about KONY2012. The campaign by the nonprofit advocacy group Invisible Children centered around Joseph Kony, the Uganda warlord and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerrilla group with a long and violent history that […]

Timing, Network and Topicality: A Revealing Look at How Whitney Houston Death News Spread on Twitter

If someone posts an incredibly important message–that a cultural icon has passed away–in a densely active stream, will anyone listen? The answer is…it’s complicated.

We saw again this week how essential networks like Twitter and Facebook were in disseminating the news of beloved pop singer Whitney Houston’s death. But the question of who “broke” the […]

Hashing Out the GOP Race: Decoding Perceptions of Party Politics on Twitter

Hashtags have emerged as a way to mark keywords, topics, commentary or even add snark to content posted on Twitter. Adding the hash character (#) to the beginning of any word attaches the posted text to a wider conversation. For example, using the #immigration hashtag in the midst of a post on the topic of […]