Complaints in the Cloud was the final project for ‘Creative Research’, a course by Maarten Lamers and Bas Haring, as part of the Media Technology MSc. programme’s curriculum, in 2009. Together with Barry Borsboom and René Coenen I tried to find a correlation between complaining behavior on Twitter, and a ‘real word situation’.
Does Twitter represent the state of affairs in the real world? To research this, we created a dataset consisting of user-generated delays gathered from the social network system Twitter, and information on delays acquired through de Nederlandse Spoorwegen's RSS feed on delays of the first two weeks of November. Our approach is motivated by the key observation that when people get bored, they tend to grab their mobile phone to kill time. Certain Twitter search queries show there are a lot of people using twitter in or around a train(station), usually a place were people are either waiting or traveling. The analysis based on our dataset reveals that in general, amount of Twitter-complaints coincide with the duration and number of delays. Where the value of one is high, the other generally is as well. Thus based on the data at hand, we can conclude that there is in fact a correlation between the reported delays and online complaints on Twitter. Unfortunately we didn't succeed in pointing out a specific relation between the trajectories and amount of complaints, but this might well be because of the scope of our research.
Download full paper here: DavidGraus-BarryBorsboom-ReneCoenen_CreativeResearch.pdf [142kb]