ASA 2011 – Las Vegas, NV: August 20-23 – Sociologists present on the social uses and effects of information technology

2011 ASA meetings are being held in Las Vega, Nevada.  Several sessions are related to the study of the social uses and effects of information technology are hosted by the Communications and Information Technology Section of the American Sociological Association (CITASA).

These are the connections among the people who recently tweeted the term “ASA2011” on 18 August 2011.

Several papers and panels related to the sociology of the internet will take place:

Saturday, Aug 20 – 2:30pm – 4:10pm

 124. Section on Sociology of Law Paper Session. Privacy in the Digital Age: Law, Culture, and Contention I (co-sponsored with the Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements and Section on Communication and Information Technology)

Monday, Aug 22 – 8:30-9:30AM Roundtables

338. Section on Communication and Information Technology Roundtable Session

Monday, Aug 22 – 9:30-10:10AM Business and Awards Ceremony

(immediately follows roundtables)

Monday, Aug 22 – 10:30AM – 12:10PM 

376. Section on Communication and Information Technology Invited Session. Social Media in Community Action and Social Change

Monday, Aug 22 – 2:30pm – 4:10pm

419. Section on Communication and Information Technology Paper Session. New Media Frontiers: Youth and New Media

Monday, Aug 22 – 5:00-7:00PM, Section Reception, hotel suite, Caesars Palace

Location to be announced at all CITASA sessions and meetings.

Tuesday has the main day of panels and talks:

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Talk on Social Media at the University of Porto, Portugal, March 26th, 2010

Along with my colleague Eduarda Mendes-Rodriguez I will be speaking at the University of Porto next Friday, March 26th.

Hands-on Workshop – Social Media Network Analysis in NodeXL

This workshop provides an overview of Social Network Analysis (SNA) and its application to social media. The network or directed graph is a common structure in a wide range of different kinds of social media. Social Network Analysis is a set of tools, concepts, and techniques that can help measure a graph and the location and connection pattern of each component part.

Using NodeXL, workshop participants will learn how to take data from common social media sources (including enterprise discussions and online communities, Twitter, Flickr, your own email) and perform various types of analysis. Through this workshop, participants will:

· be able to understand the basics of SNA, its terminology and background.
· be able to transform communication data (e.g. Twitter, email, Flickr, message boards etc.) into network data.
· understand the different possible presentations of social networks, e.g. in a matrix or a sociogram.
· apply network metrics and visualizations to find clusters and key contributors in real world social media data.
· get familiar with the use of standard SNA tools and software in general and the NodeXL social network analysis add-in for Excel in particular.
· be able to derive practical and useful information through SNA analysis that would help design an innovative and successful online community.

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Book: Communities in Cyberspace – Ten Years Later

When the late Peter Kollock and I published Communities in Cyberspace with Routledge in 1999 there were few broadband connections, no iPhones, and little WiFi.  Today, there is an ebook version of the book and Amazon sells a version for the Kindle, a device it was hard to even imagine when the book was written.  Google lets you browse most of it and search all of it.  But the key ideas of the volume:  identity, interaction, collective action and emergent order remain relevant in a wireless broadband netbook mobile social network real-time web world.  The book is now ten years old.

I. Introduction

Introduction to Communities in Cyberspace, Peter Kollock and Marc Smith

“Since 1993, computer networks have grabbed enormous public attention. The major news and entertainment media have been filled with stories about the “information superhighway” and of the financial and political fortunes to be made on it. Computer sales continue to rise and more and more people are getting connected to “the Net”. Computer networks, once an obscure and arcane set of technologies used by a small elite, are now widely used and the subject of political debate, public interest, and popular culture. The “information superhighway” competes with a collection of metaphors that attempt to label and define these technologies. Others, like “cyberspace,” “the Net,” “online,” and “the web,” highlight different aspects of network technology and its meaning, role and impact. Whichever term is used, it is clear that computer networks allow people to create a range of new social spaces in which to meet and interact with one another.”

More details from the book…

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2009 Sociological Association Meetings – Internet Sociologists Meet (CITASA @ ASA09)

CITASA Logo @     

The 2009 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting was held in San Francisco, California, August 8-11.

The ASA attracts thousands of sociologists, a subsection of whom have  a passion for the study of the Internet and its many forms of social impacts and uses.  The Communications and Information Technology Section of the American Sociological Association (CITASA) is the group that gathers many forms of social science research on the creation and uses of information technology.  This year’s meeting included two CITASA panels, round tables, a business meeting with awards, and a (windy!) boat ride through San Francisco Bay and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

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The CITASA sponsored papers at the conference are listed below.  The range of work illustrates the continued interest in social science studies of the impacts of information technology.

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2009 Group Processes Meeting: Panel in memory of Peter Kollock (Also, details about Yi-Tan Call on 9/14)

On August 7, 2009 at the American Sociological Association Group Processes meeting, a memorial for Professor Peter Kollock was held.  Several of Peter’s colleagues were in attendance and spoke about Peter’s life and work.  (Further below are some details about a conference call held on September 14th that focused on Peter’s work and impact.)

Prof. Karen Cook, Stanford University, Department of Sociology
Dr. Karen Cook, Stanford University

Prof. Toshio Yamagishi, Hokkaido University, Department of Behavioral Science
Dr. Toshio Yamagishi, Hokkaido University

Prof. Jodi O'Brien, Seattle University, Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work
Dr. Jodi O’Brien, Seattle University

2009 - 08 - 07 - ASA - Peter Kollock Memorial - Marc Smith
and myself.

Earlier in the year, in March 2009, many people gathered at De Neve Plaza at UCLA to remember Peter Kollock.

Peter Kollock Memorial Service at UCLA

On Monday, September 14th, at 10:30 PST, I met on the phone with Jerry Michalski and other participants for one of his regular weekly Yi-tan conference calls to discuss the scholarship and personal legacy of Peter Kollock.  In this podcast, I spoke about my years of working with Peter to apply the models of collective action dilemmas, common pool resources, cooperation, and conflict to the creation of Internet social institutions and resources. I discussed Peter’s work with his colleague Jodi O’Brien, and the lasting impact of his research into studies of cooperation, collective action, and common goods as well as his impact on students, business, and the field of social science.  Jodi and Peter were colleagues and co-authors for many years, creating a widely used text The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings in Social Psychology as well as several other publications.  I worked with Peter while studying for my Ph.D. at UCLA in Sociology.  Peter and I wrote about the sociology of the Internet together and co-edited a book Communities in Cyberspace.

I will post a few links to some of Peter’s work that has had the most impact on me in upcoming posts.

Listen here!

Sociology of the Internet Awards from CITASA – The Communications and Information Technology section of the American Sociological Association


This year’s CITASA awards have been announced!  CITASA is the Communications and Information Technology section of the American Sociological Association.  It gathers together more than 300 sociologists interested in the ways groups of people make use of computation and networks. This year the line up is uniformly high quality scholarship about the nature of societies that increasingly rely upon information technology.

You are welcome to join the CITASA Business Meeting on Aug 8 from 9:30-10:10am at the Parc 55 Hotel where the recipients will be presented with their awards. A description of the awards and list of past recipients can be found on the CITASA website:

2009 CITASA Student Paper Award

Daniel A. Menchik and Xiaoli Tian (University of Chicago)

Putting Social Context into Text: The Semiotics of E-mail Interaction. American Journal of Sociology 114(2): 332-370. (2008).

Committee members: Zeynep Tufekci (Chair), Lori Kendall, and Anabel Quan-Haase

2009 CITASA Award for Public Sociology

Peter Kollock (University of California at Los Angeles)

Committee members: Michael Macy (Chair), Marc Smith, Keith Hampton

2009 CITASA Paper Award

Eszter Hargitta, Jason Gallo, and Matthew Kane (Northwestern University)

Cross-ideological discussions among conservative and liberal bloggers. Public Choice 134: 67-86. (2008).

Honorable mention:

Lori Kendall (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

How do issues of gender and sexuality influence the structures and process of qualitative internet research? pp. 99-118. In Internet Inquiry: Conversations about method, Annette Markham and Nancy Baym (eds). Los Angeles: Sage (2008).

Committee members: Hiroshi Ono (Chair), Rich Ling, and Bernie Hogan

2009 CITASA Book Award

Tarleton Gillespie (Cornell University). (MIT Press, 2007).

Committee members: Leslie Shade (Chair), Marc Smith, and Alison Powell

2009 CITASA William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award

Elihu Katz (University of Pennsylvania)

Committee members: Anabel Quan-Haase (Co-Chair), Barry Wellman (Co-Chair), and Keith Hampton