Tracking Influence and Opinions in Social Media
by Akshay Java
Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 11:15am - Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 12:30pm
In this talk we present some ideas on modeling influence in social media, based on our experience with this year's TREC opinion extraction task. In particular, we describe techniques to automatically identify key individuals who play an important role in propagating information. We propose extensions to incorporate topical and readership-based measures of influence. An important component in understanding influence is to detect sentiment and opinions. Aggregated opinions over many users is a predictor for an interesting trend in a community. Sufficient adoption of this trend could lead to a 'tipping point' and consequently influencing the rest of the community. By considering influence as a temporal phenomenon, we propose to find the 'buzz generators' and 'early adopters' in such communities.
Detecting influence and understanding its role in how people perceive and adopt a product or service provides a powerful tool for marketing, advertising and business intelligence. This requires new algorithms that build on social network analysis, community detection and opinion extraction.