Date: 13 November 2014
Supported by the School of Media and Performing Arts and the Centre for Ideas
Facilitated by Professor Jane Arthurs. Administered by Mita Vaghji
Developed by the Social Media Research Group.
The day was a great success. Experts Carl Miller from the think tank Demos and Farida Vis from Sheffield University were described as ‘fascinating’ and ‘inspiring’ by attendees. There was a strong sense of the exciting potential for computer and social scientists to collaborate in view of what Carl described as ‘the datafication of the social world’ as he went on to explain research in the field of politics and civic life being developed at Demos. While Farida offered insights into how the increasingly visual nature of social media is being studied in her ESRC funded Picturing the Social research.
Carl and Farida drew on their extensive experience to offer advice on experimental methods for researching social media and pointed to some of the pitfalls to avoid when working in a fast developing and interdisciplinary field that is still in the process of formation. They also pointed to the future and the kind of issues that are likely to find funding for further research, emphasising the need for academics from across the disciplines to get involved rather than leaving commercial companies to mine this data for their own purposes without any external scrutiny, disinterested ethical debate, or open source development of new research tools and techniques.
The afternoon workshop used a structured sand-pit process to generate fundable research projects for further development. Carl and Farida offered invaluable advice throughout the afternoon and in the final stages selected a number of ideas to form three broad thematic groups, namely: Anti-Social Media; Doing Politics with Social Media; and Social Media in the HE Curriculum. Follow-up meetings for these project groups are taking place on December 11th at 10.0, 12.0 and 16.0 respectively.
Please find the presentation links below:
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