DIMACS Workshop on Building Communities for Transforming Social Media Research Through New Approaches for Collecting, Analyzing, and Exploring Social Media Data
April 10 - 11, 2014
DIMACS Center, CoRE Building, Rutgers University
Presented under the auspices of the DIMACS Special Focus
on Information Sharing and Dynamic Data Analysis.
- Chirag Shah, Rutgers University, chirags at rutgers.edu
- Mor Naaman, Cornell Tech, mor. naaman at cornell.edu
- Winter Mason, Stevens Institute, winter.mason at stevens.edu
Social media platforms and services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare, Flickr, WordPress, and Tumblr make more data available regarding people's lives, intentions, thoughts, activities, and attitudes than ever before. As these services are shifting the social and communication infrastructure of our society, having proper tools and techniques to study these platforms becomes ever more critical for understanding social activities, public opinion, political action, and more. At the same time, while new social media have been seized upon by researchers in marketing, advertising, and information science researchers, many fields still lack the tools and expertise to use these new social media in their research. Meanwhile, transformative social and political norms are emerging in online social practices and their off-line corollaries. The pace of change and innovation is a significant challenge for researchers armed only with traditional tools and techniques (e.g., spreadsheets). These researchers currently lack the tools to collect and analyze social media at scale.
This workshop is aimed to bring together researchers and practitioners working on various social media problems across multiple disciplines to better understand various issues experienced while working with social media data. Specifically, the workshop will be concerned with three broad topics covering collection, analysis, and exploration of social media data.
- Collection: What types of social media sites interest researchers (e.g., Twitter, YouTube, blogs)? What kind of coverage is sufficient from these sources (e.g., all Twitter messages on a topic, or a sample)? What kind of content is needed for the various tasks (e.g., social network data, social interactions, user data, or just content items and metadata)? How do researchers define and specify crawling tasks and destinations? Is keyword-based specification enough? Can researchers understand and properly manipulate keyword-based query systems? Can the crawling tasks specified by researchers be satisfied by a completely automated system, or is there a need for "humans in the loop" for crawling tasks?
- Analysis: What requirements for the coding and analysis of the data must be met to satisfy researchers? What elements will contribute to trust between the researchers and coders? Do researchers need to know who coders are, or what are their credentials? If so, what credentials matter (e.g., education, other background)? How would researchers want to specify coding tasks? Is there a need to train the coders for each task? What are the requirements of quality, and what processes could satisfy these requirements (e.g., multiple coders for each item)? What requirements for speed and accuracy exist for researchers?
- Exploration: What are the key dimensions along which the researchers want to explore the collected data? What are the requirements and needs for this exploration in terms of visualization, search, and summarization of data? How important is access to individual content items during the exploration process, and, conversely, what are the key aggregate metrics that would be useful for researchers to examine (e.g., by person, or by day/time).
Next: Call for Participation
Contacting the Center
Document last modified on November 15, 2012.