Methodologies for Web and Social Media Data Analysis in Social Science and Policy Research
November 9th 9.00 am – 5.30 pm.
Course Summary: Networks are everywhere in the natural and social world. New tools are making the task of getting, processing, measuring, visualizing and gaining insights from network data sets easier than ever before. The rise of social media offers a new and abundant source of network data. The NodeXL project (http://www.codeplex.com/nodexl) from the Social Media Research Foundation (http://www.smrfoundation.org) offers a free and open path to network overview, discovery and exploration within the context of the familiar Excel spreadsheet. In this short course we will introduce the NodeXL application and review the landscape of networks, social networks, and social media networks. Using the tool, non-programmers can quickly select a network of interest from various social media and other data sources. Twitter, flickr, YouTube, email, the World Wide Web, and Facebook data can be quickly imported into NodeXL. Networks can then be analyzed and visualized using tools similar to those used to create a pie chart or line graph . As the challenge and cost of network acquisition and analysis drops, abundant data sets are being generated that document the range of variation of diverse sources of social media. How many different kinds of Twitter hashtags exist? Using snapshots of hundreds of hashtags collected over a year, it is now possible to build rough taxonomies of this kind of social media. NodeXL provides access to a web gallery of data , allowing users to browse existing data sets and upload their own as well. Borrowing the vision of telescope arrays that create composite images far better than any individual instrument could, the Social Media Research Foundation envisions an user generated archive that provides a research asset that supports the collective effort to understand the structures and dynamics of network data.
 NodeXL Image Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marc_smith/sets/72157622437066929/
 NodeXL Graph Gallery: http://nodexlgraphgallery.org
After this course, participants will:
(1) Be familiar with the basic concepts of networks, social networks and social media networks
(2) Understand the core features of the NodeXL network analysis and visualization tool
(3) Review images and data sets for dozens of different social media networks
(4) Learn to identify general types of social media networks along with the key people and groups within them
This course is suitable for people with some experience or interest in social media, social science, or social network analysis. It is particularly appropriate for those who are involved in studying social structures and their change over time.
Laboratory and IT requirements:
Participants will need access to a computer connected to the Internet and will be supplied with the free NodeXL software.
Analyzing social media networks with NodeXL: Insights from a connected world
Discussion catalysts in online political discussions: Content importers and conversation starters