I just got the following email from Google Ad Planner, and it sounds like some disappointing changes are afoot. I use Google AdPlanner for research for social media campaigns – to identify potential partners, to understand audience behaviours online in terms of what their top websites are etc., and lots of related research projects. OK, so I’m not using it for what it’s supposed to be used for, and it’s free, so I shouldn’t complain, right? But there you go, I’m complaining. It’s an essential tool for me to understand user behaviour!
The biggest change which will affect me is that they aren’t going to show data for sites not on the Google Ad Network. This means sites like Facebook. So I’ll lose the data which tells me what % of my audience visit Facebook. OK, that particular stat I can wrangle out of total online audience volume from Google Ad Planner and then use Facebook Marketplace Ad planner to get my audience volume, and get the % from that… but for other sites without their own DIY ad platform, who aren’t on Google Display Network, I’ll have no data.
Main bit of the email from Google Ad Planner:
Starting September 5th, 2012, the new version of Ad Planner will be dedicated to supporting research on placements on the Google Display Network, which comprises more than 2 million sites from across the web. As part of this change, certain information and filters will no longer be available within Ad Planner, for example Household Education and Education.
What does this change mean for you?
- The product name will now be Google Display Network Ad Planner
- You can no longer research domains or ad placements that are not part of the Google Display Network
- Some demographic data will not be available including Keywords Searched For, Videos Also Watched, HouseHold Income and Education
- Adjustments to a few of the traffic columns like Unique Users and Reach, removal of PageViews
- Publisher Center, the feature that allows publishers to claim their own sites, list relevant ad placement availability & pricing, will be deprecated
In my series of posts about registration forms and user interface design, and how you need to understand the basics of identity politics when you’re designing a form to collect identity data, Channel 4 is the latest to fail the test. Not only does it only offer binary gender options of Male and Female, it also makes choosing one of them compulsory. If you haven’t read my previous posts on the topic (see Related Posts below), there are plenty of examples of a better way to do this.
First, allow an alternative to Male and Female, typically ‘Other’ is used.
Second, don’t make selecting a gender compulsory.
It’s not that hard. Google manages it as well as plenty of other large sites. It’s just another database field. Sort it out Channel 4! Stop excluding people who aren’t Male or Female, and those who might not want to tell you how they define!
p.s. of course I’m not born in 1994, I just did this for the screenshot!
I’m reposting this article because I found it quite hard to find when I searched for it, yet it has critical information for anyone commenting about the Assange wikileaks case and his rape allegations.
In the article below the defence lawyer describes non-consensual acts i.e. rapes, and says he is not disputing that Assange ‘pushed at the boundaries of what they felt comfortable with’. Although the defence lawyer doesn’t consider it rape, he effectively describes rape then uses subsequent consent to suggest the earlier rape didn’t count.
Here, his defence lawyer clearly doesn’t understand UK law. In UK law, if there is penetration by a penis and the penetrator does not reasonably believe consent has been given, then it is rape. The onus is on the penetrator to gain consent. Consent is not given if there is emotional or physical coercion. If the victim is asleep then it is assumed in law that no consent is given. So if Assange admits to sex with a sleeping person who previously refused sex, it is not reasonable to imagine he believed consent was given.
Yet, here Assange’s defence lawyer describes and does not contest part of the victims’ experience of being penetrated by Assange, clearly without their consent. Their lack of consent is explicit. Assange’s defence lawyer goes on to say that because it appeared that they consented (i.e. they continued to have sex) then it was not rape. That is bollocks. Firstly there is nothing described here that indicates consent. Not fighting someone off does not indicate consent. Secondly, even if they had changed their minds and decided they were up for it, the bit where they didn’t consent was still rape. Someone might get raped and then decide to have sex with their rapist, particularly if they didn’t recognise it as rape at the time. It is very common for rape victims to not recognise their experience as rape until a while after the event when they have had time to reflect on it.
I wonder if all those lefty celebrities, politicians, ‘feminists’ who made a statement supporting him are going to make a statement about this? I haven’t heard anything from them, and this article is over a year old!
Anyway, here’s the article by Angus Johnson in full and I highly recommend reading the update with the definition of consent discussion:
Assange Lawyer Concedes “Disrespectful,” “Disturbing” Sexual Acts: July 12, 2011
Wednesday Update | A representative of the Swedish prosecution team is forcefully rebutting the Assange defense’s definition of consent in today’s hearing. Click here for ongoing coverage.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is in a London court today, contesting an order that he be extradited to Sweden to face allegations that he raped two women there last year.
Assange’s attorneys are contending that the extradition order is invalid because the actions alleged are not criminal under English law. In doing so, they appear to be conceding the truth of at least some of those allegations. “Nothing I say,” Assange lawyer Ben Emmerson told the court this morning, “should be taken as denigrating the complainants” or to “trivialize their experience.” His arguments should not be construed as disputing that they honestly consider Assange’s behavior “disrespectful” or “disturbing,” he said, or that Assange “push[ed] at the boundaries of what they felt comfortable with.”
Emmerson went on to provide accounts of the two encounters in question which granted — at least for the purposes of today’s hearing — the validity of Assange’s accusers’ central claims. He described Assange as penetrating one woman while she slept without a condom, in defiance of her previously expressed wishes, before arguing that because she subsequently “consented to … continuation” of the act of intercourse, the incident as a whole must be taken as consensual.
In the other incident, in which Assange is alleged to have held a woman down against her will during a sexual encounter, Emmerson offered this summary: “[The complainant] was lying on her back and Assange was on top of her … [she] felt that Assange wanted to insert his penis into her vagina directly, which she did not want since he was not wearing a condom … she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. [She] says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.”
As in the case of the first incident, Emmerson argues that subsequent consent renders the entire encounter consensual, and legal.
Even assuming that Emmerson is not vouching for the accuracy of these accounts but merely offering them as summaries of the charges against his client, his introductory statement, excerpted above, is striking in its tone and approach:
“Nothing I say should be taken as denigrating the complainants, the genuineness of their feelings of regret, to trivialise their experience or to challenge whether they felt Assange’s conduct was disrespectful, discourteous, disturbing or even pushing at the boundaries of what they felt comfortable with.”
At a minimum, such language would seem to preclude two of the defenses that have previously been offered by Assange defenders — that the complainants were merely spurned lovers or government plants concocting fantastical stories for their own purposes.
This is a re-post of my work blog: Are we happy in the UK? Twitter data infographic
A couple of months ago we were briefed by our client Kuoni, to use social media to promote their Holiday Health Experiment competition and research project. To support the theme of investigation into the UK public’s health, and their need for a holiday, we decided to investigate this based on what people were tweeting about. From our findings we created an infographic to visually explain the data in an engaging way. This was offered as an asset to those promoting the campaign, to add an additional layer of insight into how people feel and talk about holidays and health.
So, we discovered the following:
The method in more detail is below, and here’s the infographic designed by Ollie Aplin (click to enlarge):
We designed a list of possible investigative questions, which were refined based on what data was actually available, and what we could possibly interpret from people’s tweets. For example, we could derive that people are saying they are happy, but we couldn’t really derive that that meant they were truly happy.
Then we designed queries to bring up relevant conversations. Some of these ended up being extremely long and complex to ensure relevance. For example, most people saying “I’m sad” were saying it in the context of being a loser rather than being unhappy, so we had to exclude that. We chose common positive and negative feelings about health and happiness and designed around those.
Then we found a buzz monitoring tool which would provide us with historical tweets, going back a year (to account for seasonal variation), restricted to UK accounts. We used Radian6 which was the only tool available which would provide 100% of historical tweets. All other tools would at best provide historical (more than a month that is) tweets that happened to overlap with their other clients’ queries, which would add bias. However, it turned out that a single data dump was limited to a certain volume of tweets, so we ended up doing a lot of manual exports (due to a volume limitation on data export) and choosing a representative sample for the geographical stuff.
Steve then assigned each geocoded tweet to its nearest city, from the top 20 biggest cities in the UK. Then he got population data for each city and normalised the tweet data per city. (Otherwise London would come out top for everything). He was then able to create a ratio of happy/sad category tweets, and see how they mapped to cities.
Overall we analysed 2,907,099 tweets, all from UK accounts, over a period of 12 months.
But over the past year, the volume of accounts and therefore tweets on Twitter has been increasing, which would affect seasonal trend data. Don’t worry, we accounted for that by normalising the data based on the varying UK Twitter traffic as an indicative ratio, which we got from Google Trends for Websites.
It was very interesting doing this project, particularly looking at people’s (expressed) feelings as data. Reminded me of the old We Feel Fine project which I used to love (and still do). What’s also great is that we now have a wealth of tweets about feelings from people in the UK, which we could do more data analysis of, if we get the chance.