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The Beating Heart of Kim Kardashian

For our July event, we're thrilled to have Mike Dewar, PhD, Data Scientist at bitly in New York City, talking about modeling streams of data. And Kim Kardashian.

  • 6:30pm -- Networking and Refreshments
  • 7:00pm -- Introduction
  • 7:10pm -- Dr. Dewar's presentation and Q&A
  • around 8:30pm -- Adjourn for Data Drinks


Kim Kardashian is a dynamic input/output system that maps attention onto revenue. The administrators of this system have a straightforward task: by maximising the attention that flows into the system, they can maximise the revenue that flows out of the system. While it is widely accepted how to measure revenue it is not so clear how to measure attention.

Armed with bitly click data, I will describe a mechanism that creates a continuous signal representative of the attention entering the Kim Kardashian system. I will then discuss the efficacy of the Kardashian administrators in herding attention through the system, by comparing this new signal with signals of a similar nature.

We will look at bitly data, make an argument about why binning event streams is bad, talk about a realtime database, and wonder at the collective browsing behaviour of hundreds of thousands of people. Note: this talk will not deal with the internal mechanics of the Kardashian attention to revenue mapping, which remain a mystery.


Mike has cheerfully refused to provide a bio, so here are some possibly relevant facts from the Internet: Mike Dewar graduated from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth with a BSc Hons in Agriculture in 1983. He has a PhD in modelling dynamic systems from data from the University of Sheffield in the UK, and has worked as a Machine Learning post-doc in The University of Edinburgh and Columbia University. Among other accomplishments, he is Group Management Accountant at South African Fruit Exporters, was briefly famous in the internets for a visualization of the Afghan War Diaries Wikileaks data, and is Canada's Sexiest Election Candidate. At bitly, he builds mathematical models and visualizations of how links are shared. He has a book coming out this summer entitled "Getting Started with D3", and previously wrote several books about the British Army in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed learning about Bitley's origins, their business model and the science behind it. I enjoyed a light hearted theme joined with a technical discussion and the audience participation did a great job of turning this from a presentation into a discussion.

    July 25, 2012

  • Harlan H.

    Mike's slides are at . Download the repo and open index.html in a web browser (Chrome works better than Firefox, it looks like). I've posted recorded audio on the Files page:

    July 25, 2012

  • Francis M.

    Excellent talk. There was good discussion on some of the challenges of analyzing real-time data in an operational environment.

    July 24, 2012

  • lee de c.

    a very nice talk: well illustrated and incorporating important analytical ideas we can all learn more about.

    July 24, 2012

  • Alexandre E.

    The topic was good, the breadth of coverage a bit lower than I expected. But whatever was covered - was covered well. Also, a good (implicit) insight into business problems being solved by presenter's company.

    July 24, 2012

  • Sean Moore G.

    I like how Cookie Monster gave Kim a run for her money!

    July 24, 2012

  • Vlad K.


    July 24, 2012

  • Morgan K.

    Very interesting. It would have been interesting to get a little more of the math (relation to SVMs, etc.) but overall it was an interesting, well-presented idea.

    July 24, 2012

  • Gerhard P.

    Thanks Mike for sharing an innovative approach in such a fun way!

    July 24, 2012

  • Jerome Y.


    June 25, 2012

105 went

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