The event gathered 50 speakers from around the world and more than 300 participants to focus on the role of digital and social technologies for civic needs. The summit focused on bringing people from many communities into a discussion of how technology can be used for:
“…enabling a better society and an empowered community? How can various stakeholders, including Government, Private Sector and Civil Society gain more momentum for their core mandates by leveraging the use of digital technology enabled solutions? Can Digital Technology create a platform for better collaboration and cooperation amongst various stakeholders?”
I spoke about the role social network analysis can play in understanding the emerging world of social media and computer mediated collective action.
Best Practice in Data Journalism Workshop
29-30 September 2014
Terrace Lounge, Level 1, Walter Boas Building, Parkville Campus
(Campus map at http://maps.unimelb.edu.au/parkville)
MONDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
|9-9.30AM||REGISTRATION AND WELCOME|
|9.30-9.45am||WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS- DR MARGARET SIMONS AND CARLTON CONNECT|
|9.45am-11||Presentations and Q and A from journalists: Marc Moncrieff and Craig Butt – Fairfax Media; Lisa Cornish – Red Cross (formerly News Corp); Harrison Polites – Business Spectator.|
|11.30-12.30||Presentations by Journalists (continued): Ed Tadros – Australian Financial Review; Matt Liddy, ABC; Nick Evershed – The Guardian in Australia.|
|12.30-1PM||ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION AND IDENTIFICATION OF COMMON THEMES AND CHALLENGES|
|2PM-2.30pm||AURIN – Exploring the potential – Presentation by Professor Richard Sinnott, University of Melbourne.|
|2.30-3pm||NodeXL – Exploring the potential – Presentation by Marc Smith, Director, Social Media Research Foundation|
|3.30PM-5PM||Panel Session – Big Data. What Next? With Craig Thomler (Delib), Professor Paul Jensen (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne); Jodie McVernon, (School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne), Scott Ewing, (World Internet Project, Swinburne Institute for Social Research.)|
There will be a 3 hour session introducing NodeXL on Tuesday from 2-5pm 30th September at the main Parkville campus of UniMelb. The event is open to the public and is free.
It will be in the Old Arts Building Lecture Theatre B.
The main session will run from 2-4pm and there will be an additional hour for those that want to stop on for further training, finishing at 5pm
If you want to use NodeXL in the session, you will need a Windows laptop, and the Windows version of Excel (2007/2010/2013).
You can download NodeXL in advance from: http://nodexl.codeplex.com/.
Map and Building:
Upcoming talks, workshops and training for social media network analysis and NodeXL.
March 16, 2014: Predictive Analytics World, San Francisco.
Track 1: Social Media Analysis Think Link! Network Insights with No Programming Skills
May 1-2, 2014: The Social Media & Web Analytics Summit
May 8th, 2014: 2014 SQL PASS Business Analytics Conference in San Jose.
May 19-23, 2014: International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota
I will present a tutorial on social media network analysis at the 2014 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction (SBP14)
April 2 – April 4, 2014
Washington DC, USA
The 2014 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction (SBP14) is a multidisciplinary conference with a single paper track and poster session. SBP invites a small number of high quality tutorials and nationally recognized keynote speakers.
The SBP conference provides a forum for researchers and practitioners from academia, industry, and government agencies to exchange ideas on current challenges in social computing, behavioral modeling and prediction, and on state-of-the-art methods and best practices being adopted to tackle these challenges. Interactive events at the conference are designed to promote cross-disciplinary contact.
Social Computing harnesses the power of computational methods to study social behavior within a social context. Behavioral Cultural modeling refers to representing behavior and culture in the abstract, and is a convenient and powerful way to conduct virtual experiments and scenario analysis. Both social computing and behavioral cultural modeling are techniques designed to achieve a better understanding of complex behaviors, patterns, and associated outcomes of interest. Moreover, these approaches are inherently interdisciplinary; subsystems and system components exist at multiple levels of analysis (i.e., “cells to societies”) and across multiple disciplines, from engineering and the computational sciences to the social and health sciences.
There will be NodeXL related talks at the conference.
NodeXL: Network Analysis Made Simple
Tuesday February 18, 8:00am – 11:00am & 11:30am – 2:30pm
Marc Smith, Social Media Research Foundation
Twitter Conversations as Network Structures: Typology and Measurements
Saturday February 22,
Itai Himelboim, Marc Smith, Ben Shneiderman, Lee Rainie
The conference schedule is available.
I hope to see you at the conference!
The 5th episode of the Social Media Clarity Podcast is now out:
We conclude that pixels, not pennies, may be the best currency to create incentives to create quality content.
I spend a lot of my time studying social media and the networks that form in them. But I have growing doubts about the time I spend on commercial services. Despite seeming like public spaces, these services are really not public.
Social media is increasingly the space in which public life takes place. News, debates and discussions are more likely to take place now in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media services than in public squares, civic buildings, or community centers. Virtual public spaces fill the void created by the lack of public spaces and places in our cities and towns that allow for public mixing and interaction. But virtual public spaces are just that: virtual. They are not real public spaces, and the “virtual” public space they provide is not “as if” or even better than the real thing. Virtual public space lacks many of the features of real public space and is not an upgrade over the real thing.
Virtual public spaces try to seem like public spaces, but they are like shopping malls: commercial spaces that encourage only a subset of public behaviors. Raised in commercial spaces that have replaced public spaces, many people no longer even imagine behaviors that are not welcome in a mall. Protest, petitions, organizing, and protected speech have no place in a shopping mall. Some property owners allow some forms of speech, but no one but the owners have a “right” to speech in a mall. Shoppers, consumers, guests, customers, and visitors are not citizens while they are in a commercial space.
Virtual public spaces are not public spaces, but as we spend our public time in them, we drain the life from alternative public spaces. Our collective chatter in social media becomes the intellectual property of a company not a commonly owned public asset. Our history is not our history.
Social media services vary in terms of how open or restrictive they provide data generated by their users.
Some services, like Wikipedia, are very open, offering many methods to access large and small amounts of data from recent or historical times.
Some services, like LinkedIn, are very closed, offering almost no access to any data from their service.
Twitter is becoming more restrictive while Facebook is relatively open.
For many services, the lack of access to data is not an ideological choice, rather it is a practical issue related to the costs associated with storing and serving large volumes of data. These companies are well within their rights to do as they like with their data and business plans.
However, their data is actually my data (and your data). We may soon realize that we prefer to commit our bits to repositories that hold and redistribute our content on terms that support civic goals of open access. What we need are credible alternatives to these services, with alternative funding models: perhaps a “Public Bit Service” or “National Public Retweet”?
This week long program has for many years provided intensive training in network methods, research, and tools.
I am excited to attend some of the program and meet researchers and students working on networks of all sorts. I will do a short hands-on talk about NodeXL and a longer day devoted to the broader ways networks are useful for the study of social media.
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