Wednesday, 21 January 2015

New Year, New #NSMNSS Twitter Chats, Vote Now!

Last year we had a number of successful twitter chats on topics from generating representative online datasets to the changing roles of social media researchers in an increasingly mediated world. Based on topics arising from our previous discussions, and current issues and emerging trends in online research, we have a number of topics for upcoming #NSMNSS twitter chats this year (see below). However, we really want our chats to be led by you - which topic we should discuss first?  Have a read and cast your votes here!  We will announce the winning topic on Twitter.  The first chat is on Tuesday 3rd February at 5pm (UK time. You can time check for your location here).
  1. To blog or not to blog? What a question! Why are we blogging (or not)? What are the opportunities and challenges of blogging for our research? What are the relationships between blogging and traditional forms of publishing? How can we use quantitative metrics to know more about our audiences and what other information do we need? Can blogging improve scholarship? How can we avoid running out of steam?
  2. How can we use social media to reflect participants’ voices?  An experiment in sharing our experiences of representing/reflecting participants voices through different mediums and ideas for how research might make use of social media to co-produce research with participants. How might Pinterest be used to reflect participants’ experiences? How might twitter be used to generate insights on people’s lives?
  3. The first #NSMNSS Research Exchange of Favourite Projects and Fresh Ideas: What social media research and initiatives inspire you? What are your ambitions and aims for social media research projects? An opportunity to pool our resources and links to useful articles/websites/tools too!
  4. Big data discussion!  How can we define ‘big data’? Where do you start in a ‘big data’ project (tips/advice)? What are the strengths and limitations of using ‘big data’? How can we ensure users ethical rights? What about ‘small data’? What does the future hold for social sciences in terms of new forms of data? Not to forget, we will also discuss ethical issues in big data research!
  5. Ways to say ‘I do’ in social media research! How are traditional forms (e.g. print out, sign here) in play for gaining consent in the online world? Which electronic forms work well? Can we record a verbal agreement to participate in research? What about terms and conditions attached to the sites people use? Should we seek permission to quote from social media users?
  6. How to pick a platform in social media research: who is using what and why? Where are our participants? How does the platform shape the research? How should we attend to our online identities as researchers? Sharing our experiences of using different platforms in research.

#NSMNSS chats will run on the first Tuesday of every month at 5pm (UK time). Remember to include #NSMNSS in all your posts to help us capture all of the discussion. We will provide a transcript of the Tweetchat on our blog following the event.

Don’t forget to vote! Suggestions for other topics are also most welcome!


Friday, 9 January 2015

Three years on, how we've grown...

Kandy Woodfield is one of our NSMNSS network leaders, she's based at NatCen Social Research and you can contact her on Twitter @jess1ecat

I was delighted to be able to present the work of the #NSMNSS network to a roundtable event today hosted by the ESRC and the Indian Council of Social Science Research. The event, supported by the Newton Fund, aimed to bring together academics working in social media research in both the UK and India to explore shared interests and opportunities for collaboration. It was a lively discussion and provided an opportunity for me to reflect on how far the network has come in the three years we have been building our community. Here's the presentation: