So I started a project with a colleague of mine, Peter Bearman, which has been ramping up recently. Basically, last year I convinced a website, famegame.com, to give me all their data. That data has information on about 250,000 New Yorkers and the parties they have attended over the last 5 years (think art openings, gala events, fashion week, etc.). It’s who is at the parties, and who is pictured next to whom. So basically network data. Obviously, I’m not doing any of the data analysis. Instead, I’m going to parties. So, provided the data are interesting, it’s part network data, part ethnography on how people construct/negotiate status hierarchies. Over the course of this, I met Tim Schwartz, who has written a really cool program that allows you to gather terms from the NY Times and see how they’ve been used from 1850-2008. It’s totally worth checking out. I’ll warn you (as Tim does), that it’s not totally stable. But it is really cool. You can see when technologies emerge and how they become popular and unpopular (like bikes, or cars). A very cool project could be done here. I’ll also warn you: you can waste a lot of time here. Enjoy!