Hey. Here’s a bit about me.
Since 1997, I’ve built an extensive career in digital engagement, online research and data science.
I’m not just a senior researcher, but also, I’m a practitioner who has worked his way up the ranks. I ran my first online social marketing campaign in 1998. Then in 1999, I joined the United Nations to run global online campaigns. In 2010, I completed a PhD on the science of online engagement.
Now I run a consulting firm called AlterSpark that provides training on digital psychology, and consulting at the intersection of data science and behavioral science.
I obtained my PhD in Online Social Marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world leading Internet research team that specializes in big data and data science. Since graduating, me and Prof Thelwall, head of our research group, have run numerous data science projects for several global organizations, including a few United Nations agencies.
The world’s top e-health journal has published my research on the science of mass behaviour change technology. A number of organizations have asked me to share my expertise, including the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and several Universities, including MIT, the University of Toronto, and Johns Hopkins. I was truly honoured when the Pentagon invited me to present my research for their Cyber Influence Project.
Some of my former employers and clients include the Government of Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Volunteers, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Millennium Campaign, ActionAid International, Centennial College, Century 21 and Oxfam GB.
My popular workshop on digital psychology has attracted professionals from many of the world’s top technology companies, global organisations and high-level government departments. I’ve trained pros from Microsoft, Samsung, PayPal, Oracle, and many big brands, but also, I’ve given away many spots to students and people doing important work but who wouldn’t otherwise have access to my training. I’m ruled by social conscious and guilt, and feel the need to help many of the small organizations doing great work.
What people don’t know about me is that I’m an equal technician and number crunching scientists. I’m pretty good at working with relational databases, SQL and numerous statistical packages, and I love programming. I’m not the best coder, but I love it. When I was doing the big research jobs for the UN, I was the guy who would tear apart every electronic system available, and pull data out of the thin air. If you give me any system, I’ll mine data out of it that you didn’t’ even know existed.
The only reason why my digital psychology workshop took off, is that four years before “big data” and “data science” were trendy buzz words, I completely failed to attract students to my Internet research methods classes. Nobody was interested in my data science training, but I had lineups out the door for my digital psychology courses. However, now I’m working at re-aligning my company, to focus exclusively on my passion point, where data science meets behavioral science, and I’m now in the midst of the most exciting research project of my life, working to reach deep within the psyche of humanity, through online data.
For fun, I love making music, and I’m thrilled that my grandfather imposed drum lessons on me for so many years. I’m a horrible singer, however, drumming is my true musical calling.
At the age of 82, my grandmother couldn’t give me a straight answer when I asked her: What do you want to be when you grow up? But if you were to ask me, I’d have to say either a scientist or a musician. As long as there are numbers and creativity and people, I’m in.
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