This week my mentor and I met with the research scientists who are familiar with social media analysis for intelligence purposes. We covered the slide deck that I created the week before with the higher level techniques spliced out of the grand slide deck of all techniques. The team determined there were 15 out of the 52 we wanted to focus on.
Table 1. The Chapters, Section and Title of Highly Relevant Techniques for Social Media Analysis
*Chapter and sections highlighted in green the team has decided should be investigated further in the future
Short descriptions as to why these techniques are applicable to social media were taken and are listed below:
- Process Maps and Gantt Charts: Help intelligence analysts track, understand, and monitor activities of interest
- Issue Redefinition: People think that social media is the end all be all to explain all problems out there in the world, but in fact each problem is a specific and unique case when social media can help answer questions
- Chronologies and Timelines: Have a special case for social media, information hopping between different channels, news versus social media
- Network Analysis: My mentor has subject domain knowledge on this technique so we didn’t focus our discussion on this
- Starbursting: Different ways people represent themselves, locations are different, easier to be masked, another research scientists calls this "conjoinment" analysis, organization versus individual
- Cross-Impact Matrix: You have to consider all variables affecting, rack and stack, how do you compare the relationships and other data sources you are using, source or content matrix, trending up or down, comparison of variable to variable, positive, negative, neutral, this could potentially show an interrelationship of variables, weighing by voracity versus trust
- Indicators: Have a special unique case for different social media methods
- Hypothesis Generation: A new way of thinking for each dataset, every source will have a different question, something that is measurable, testable and falsifiable, written as a definitive statement, things you have to consider with SM, quantifiable, dependent and independent variable, certain threshold
- Diagnostic Reasoning: Helps balance people’s natural tendency to interpret new information as consistent with their existing understanding of what is happening – analysts mental model, how can I find evidence that refutes this hypothesis?
- Deception Detection: Deception Detection Checklists taken from slide deck
- Key Assumptions Check: What are people's assumptions about SM, behavior and adoption in society, people's perceptions versus what is reality, talking with people, "card sorting", get people together and vet out ideas, might not be realistic for a specific domain
- Outside-In Thinking: Take a step back and I've got all this information, understand who is generating the information, what are the biases, coming from certain parts of the population? Who uses this particular method?
- What If? Analysis: It's a way that helps you generate and measure indicators for each potential scenario
- Devil’s Advocate: Cooperative peer critique, if a novice prepares a report, bring in expert for review
- Social Networks and Analytic Teams: This has more to do how to work with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, didn’t focus our discussion on this
At the end of the meeting, we went through Intelligence Community Directive standards and policies the Office of the Director of National Intelligence expects analysts to abide by. They can be found on the website: www.dni.gov
We also looked at some other textbooks one of the scientists had brought to see if there are other techniques we should consider.
I also uploaded the large slide deck of 52 techniques and the spliced out 15 techniques he brought with him to the meeting he had in Washington DC. I also uploaded a Brownbag abstract for his colleagues to look at as well.