Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Signal to noise ratio on Linkedin

Made the mistake of joining a few groups on Linkedin.  The topics looked interesting but the content has turned out to be drivel.  Reminds me why I really hate social networks. They are just awash with noise.  I guess this in itself is a kind of signal; at a meta level; but....

I think thats one of the mistakes when looking at a massive noisy data set is to find patterns much easier.  My sanity checker is simply look at the magnitude.  If you find 5000 people talking about a brand name, do you care?  Do you spend time digging into it to understand why? Certainly if your a consultant you try to make something out of it... but as a researcher you simply calcuate the magnitude of the signal in the sample and see if you have something thats statistically unusual.  I have the sneaking suspicion that quite a few consultants would be finding another job if their clients understood this kind of simple acid test. 

Anyway, my video render job has just about finished, so time to go scrape some more malware of a computer and debug a software job.  Just another day at the office.

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