About the author

Yuheng Hu

View all posts


  • This is very interesting research. Whoo.ly seems a useful tool that meets a need for local information-sharing that is not adequately met by existing social media tools. What are your plans for future development of this tool? And what are the limitations of Whool.y? It seems that it would require a critical mass of existing social media users to work well. Can it be adopted in communities where people don’t make extensive use of Twitter? And are there any concerns about privacy or potential misuse?

  • Great questions, Jenny!

    We’re hoping to do a real deployment in Seattle. The limitations are many. The main one, as you imply, is that Twitter it tends to have young/urban bias. We hope to leverage this by using those neighborhoods as exemplars of what is possible and think about the opportunities and challenges that a future like that might look like.

    Whooly will focuses on already public data, but we do put the reflector on certain people and content. Empowerment comes from visibility and opacity. The challenge is how to allow people to achieve both when needed. Part of the vision is that aggregating content across many users bring visibility to the issues while giving opacity to the individuals.

    This is something we would like to explore in the context of some neighborhoods.