Past Meetup

The Beating Heart of Kim Kardashian

This Meetup is past

218 people went


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 Abstract

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.