Text and Tie Strength


April 9, 2010


Karrie Karahalios


University of Illinois


Relationships make social media social. Yet, different relationships play different roles. For example, one’s Facebook friend list may include their college professor, their grandmother, and an acquaintance from the dentist’s office. In this talk, I begin by discussing the presentation of relationships in social media. I emphasize how text is used and how it can be used to shape identity and to infer relationships from this presentation.

Using such textual cues, I will present an approach to predict relationship strength from Facebook pages and discuss how this may generalize to other social media sites. I conclude with a discussion of what this means for the design of social media – in particular, new interaction techniques for social zooming.


Karrie Karahalios

Karrie Karahalios is an assistant professor in computer science at the University of Illinois where she heads the Social Spaces Group. Her work focuses on the interaction between people and the social cues they emit and perceive in networked electronic spaces. Her work is informed by studies and visualizations of social communities. Of particular interest are interfaces for pubic online and physical gathering spaces such as twitter, chatrooms, cafes, parks, etc. One goal is to create interfaces that enable users to perceive conversational patterns that are present, but not obvious, in traditional communication interfaces.

Karrie is currently a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She completed a S.B. in electrical engineering, an M.Eng. in electrical engineering and computer science, and an S.M. and Ph.D in media arts and science at MIT.