Book review of “Mining the Social Web” | By Matthew Russell

Mining the Social Web

Hot off the press this month, this book combines techniques and methods for aggregating and mining data from the most popular Social Networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Written as a cookbook, the author does not hide the fact that the reader will have to get ‘knee-deep’ in Python development, and to be a bit savvy in Javascript/HTML5 is also advisable. But yeah, something I am hesitant to do quite frankly, but appreciate the need for a robust scripting language like this for expeditious development.

Kudos to the organisation of the book, with chapter ‘encapsulation’, allowing for each chapter to be read independently, for each social web network. The e-book is enjoyable because it has a lot of hyperlinks, which is quite convenient, and Matthew Russell did discuss what and where to mind API’s, but failed in portraying an understanding for the reasons for mining this. Perhaps this book would be good in conjunction with a more theoretical book, but if you are after a practical book, this is a good bet. You will get advanced techniques on not just literal analysis but relative and similarity analysis, actually understanding the context of the feeds being returned. 
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