On the 23rd of September the Digital Methods Initiative presented project outcomes of the 2010 Summer School.
Prof. Richard Rogers started with situating Digital Methods within the field of Internet Studies as one of the three strands that deals with the computational turn within Humanities. The first project on Facebook activism was presented by PhD candidate Lonneke van der Velden. The project addresses the claim of Facebook as a form of slactivism by looking at what types of activism Facebook enables. The second presentation by Catalina Iorga looks at the myth of data-driven citizen journalism by asking: “Do non-mainstream digital media (e.g. citizen blogs) directly reference Afghan War Diary individual document pages?
The second theme track contained two projects dealing with Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 analysis and multiple times online. PhD candidate Anne Helmond talked about how the social web has new means of recommending that do not rely on the traditional fundamental unit of analysis in Web 1.0, the link. To what extent do we have new web currencies such as the Like or the (re)Tweet and what type of content is being Liked? In Pace Online PhD candidate Esther Weltevrede addressed the multiplicity of time online by looking at how spheres handle time differently by asking: “How is the temporality of content handled by engines and platforms?” It further complicates the notion of multiplicity by looking at both the update cycles of content (freshness) and the update cycle of the engines (relevance).
PhD candidate Sabine Niederer introduced the final session on the web as a problem for content analysis and asks: “What type of content analysis can be done with the Web.” When the method follows the medium the question becomes: “How to let content speak for itself with no coding, or labeling the (sub) discourses?” The research project on ‘Controversy on Twitter,’ presented by Assistant Professor Thomas Poell, asks how controversy is organized on Twitter. The project focusses on the controversy of the Ground Zero Mosque and looked at (1) how much of the activity was organized through labels and hash tags, (2) which labels and hash tags were used when tweeting about the issue and which parties aligned with these labels and hash tags, (3) if hash tags organize different accounts of the controversy.
Finally, teacher and Digital Methods Initiative’s lead tool developer Erik Borra talked about repurposing Google’s related search for research. This new tool can provide: an overview of the organization of a content space, insights into query design, starting points, identification of programs and anti-programs and classification and organization.
Cross-posted from the Digital Methods Initiative blog.