Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Two quick thesis updates

I finished the second draft of my thesis last Friday and submitted it to my supervisor. It's 64 pages, including 17 pages of "padding" in the form of indexes, glossaries, title pages, etc, which are required in the official template. I think it turned out pretty well, though I'm still waiting on feedback from Dr. Ghosh sometime this month.

If you want to see for yourself, you can take a look at the draft here. Also, you can play around with the data I collected (in a very limited way) by visiting the web interface here. The main point of interest is the graph on page 48 (though it's actually page 36 if you go by the numbers at the bottom of the page). This graph shows the emphasis given to celebrities by news sources, compared directly against the interest shown in the same topics by Digg readers. Not completely surprisingly, people are not as into sensational news as TV and print news seems to think they are, at least not according to the way I interpreted my data.

Yesterday I went to visit a journalism professor at UT, a guy named Maxwell McCombs, who invented the "agenda setting theory" of journalism that I referenced early in my paper. I explained the subject of the thesis and he seemed downright enthusiastic about it. He said "I certainly hope you're planning to publish this!" I said that I don't know how the publishing process works, not being particularly involved in academia. He gave me the names of some journals that might be interested, and then asked me to send the working draft and he would do some reading on the subject and get back to me. So, that's neat... nice to have your work validated. And if I actually get this published, maybe that will open some doors for me.


  1. What will you do if and when your thesis gets mentioned on Google News and/or Digg?

  2. In that case, of course I'll push the topic back into my analysis program, which will then go into an infinite feedback loop and my computer will explode.

  3. Cool! Be sure to post the video on YouTube.