whitehouse.gov Redesign

TLDR; By “redesign” I actually mean clusterfuck. As of last Thursday 47% of the 315 whitehouse.gov URLs I’ve collected during 2017 are now 404 Not Found

Web Histories

Rogers (2017) provides a useful introduction of how to use screencasts of archived web content as a method when doing web history. He credits Jon Udell for coming up with the software as movie technique in his screencast of the editing history of the Wikipedia article Heavy Metal Umlaut. The contribution Rogers makes is applying this method to historical work with web archives, which he provides an example of in his Google and the politics of tabs screencast.

Rogers, R. (2017). Doing web history with the internet archive: Screencast documentaries. Internet Histories, 1–13.

Information Flux

Bossewitch & Sinnreich (2012) contains a useful description of information flux which is a conceptual framework for thinking about the flow of information between an individual and a network with respect to knowledge and power. The authors build on well known analyses of surveillance and the panopticon (Foucault, 2012) to provide additional blueprints or strategies of information transfer, and a method for means for generating them.

Bossewitch, J., & Sinnreich, A. (2012). The end of forgetting: Strategic agency beyond the panopticon. New Media & Society.

Foucault, M. (2012). Discipline & punish: The birth of the prison. Vintage.

On Technical Difficulties

I originally posted this on Medium but I’m adding it here too just for posterity. And by posterity I mean if this little blog outlasts a big web publisher like Medium. Hey, it could happen…


I’ve been trying to keep this blog updated as I move through the PhD program at the UMD iSchool. Sometimes it’s difficult to share things here because of fear that the content or ideas are just too rough around the edges. The big assumption being that anybody even finds it, and then finds the time to read the content.

Appraisal Talk

This is a draft of a talk I’m giving at SIGCIS on October 29, 2017. It’s part of a larger article that I will hopefully publish shortly or drop in a pre-print repository.

Analyzing Retweets

Yesterday I got into conversation with Ben Nimmo and Brian Krebs who were the subjects of an intense botnet attack on Twitter. They were experiencing a large number of followers in a short period of time, and a selection of their tweets were getting artificially boosted by retweets of up to 80,000 times. You can read Brian’s detailed writeup here.

Delete Forensics

TL;DR Deleted tweets in a #unitetheright dataset seem to largely be the result of Twitter proactively suspending accounts. Surprisingly, a number of previously identified deletes now appear to be available, which suggests users are temporarily taking their accounts private. Image and video URLs from protected, suspended and deleted accounts/tweets appear to still be available. The same appears to be true of Facebook.


I’ve always intended to use this blog as more of a place for rough working notes as well as somewhat more fully formed writing. So in that spirit here are some rough notes for some digging into a collection of tweets that used the #unitetheright hashtag. Specifically I’ll describe a way of determining what tweets have been deleted.