The emergence of online social networks opens up unprecedented opportunities to read the collective mind, discovering emergent trends while they are still being hatched by small groups of creative individuals. The Web has become a mirror of the real world, allowing researchers in predictive analytics to study and better understand why some new ideas change our lives, while others never make it from the drawing board of the innovator.
In this seminar we study a wide range of methods for predictive analytics (coolhunting) and online social marketing (coolfarming), mostly based on social network analysis and the emerging science of collaboration. Our methods are based on analysis of large corpora of digital traces of human activity, in particular the Web, Blogs, online forums, social networking sites, e-mail archives, phone logs, and face-to-face interaction through using sociometric badges.
Small student teams with participants from MIT, Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Aalto University Helsinki, and University of Cologne, Germany will work on their own trend analysis, prediction, and viral marketing projects using Web mining and dynamic SNA tools and methods.