The week long intensive program will focus on new quantitative, qualitative and data-driven digital methods and their research applications in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular focus on media, communication and cultural studies and their applications in the creative industries.

The program will be conceptually grounded in the problems of public communication and privacy, digital media production and consumption, and the ethical issues associated with big data and digital methods in the context of digital media environments. There will be talks on these topics in addition to the workshops.

Participants will work with leading researchers and engage in hands-on workshops.

Full Program #cciss16 program


Social media analytics
Axel Bruns
Especially when working with large social media datasets, data visualisation is now an indispensable part of the scholarly research and publication process. This data visualisation session will focus on a number of emerging standard tools for large-scale analysis, including Tableau for processing and visualising large datasets.

Software and app studies
Jean Burgess, Ben Light and Stefanie Duguay
In order to study the social media platforms and software applications that populate the digital media environment, we need to take into account not only content and user practices, but also socio-technical features, interface design elements, and business models ­but doing this empirically is a challenge. In this session, you will be introduced to a novel approach to critical and qualitative digital methods: the App Walkthrough, which borrows from vernacular digital media culture, User Experience research and STS to undertake an “ethnography of affordances”, as part of a broader software and app studies approach to mobile dating and hook-up applications.

Issue Mapping
Jean Burgess and Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez
Issue Mapping is an advanced method for making sense of the social media conversation around topics where there is a lot of uncertainty or disagreement—from science and the environment to popular culture and gender. In this workshop, you will use a variety of tools (including Tableau, Gephi, and the DMI Tumblr and YouTube tools) for tracking hashtags and media objects across platforms in order to build an inventory and map of the issue network associated with a key
online controversy.

Instagrammatics – analysing visual social media
Tim Highfield and Tama Leaver
This session’s exploration of visual social media uses Instagram as a focus but with applications beyond this specific platform. The session provides a hands-on means for approaching visual social media, giving participants the opportunity to interrogate what they might do with such data and what visual media and methods might contribute to research.

Patrik Wikström
In digital media research it is often necessary to collect large amounts of data (text, images) from one or a set of web sites that do not offer a structured Web API. During this workshop you will learn how to build simple tools that allow you to efficiently collect and store such data for subsequent analysis. We will use two different approaches to build these tools based on off-the-shelf online services and we will look at how it is possible to build a bespoke webscraper for your project using a programming language called “Python”. This workshop does not require any previous knowledge of computer programming, but you will find it easier to follow the exercises if you have some knowledge of basic web technology, such as HTML.

Using agent-based simulation methods to analyse complex dynamic systems
Patrik Wikström
Many phenomena in our field are inherently complex and dynamic: They change over time; everything is connected to everything else; they have “tipping points” or “virtuous” (or “vicious”) circles; and so on. Our traditional methods are often lacking in the analysis of such systems. This workshop you will be introduced to agent-based modelling (ABM), which is a method that has proven to be a useful alternative for unpacking complex and dynamic phenomena. During the hands-on workshop you will learn how to build a model and run simulations with NetLogo. Prerequisites: Basic coding experience is not a requirement, but might be useful.

Camera phone ethnographies
Edgar Gomez Cruz (presenting) and Larissa Hjorth
How do we study camera phone practices as they move in and out of everyday life? How do camera phones re-enact earlier photographic practices while also signalling new ways in which to imagine and experience moving through the world? And how can we think about camera phone practices as not just a tool but also as its own field of inquiry? In this session Larissa Hjorth and Edgar Gomez Cruz explore some of the ways in which we might study ethnographically the movement of camera phones as part of broader visual cultures.

Peta Mitchell and Ben Light
The rise of geodata in society offers new ways of approaching sociocultural conditions. In this workshop you will be introduced to Cartodb. Cartodb is a geo-visualisation that allows for the transformation of layers of geospatial information into maps that enable visual discovery of data. During this hand-on workshop you will learn how to create and prepare data from a variety of sources, including social media and institutions that offer publicly available data, import data and engage in geovisual analysis. The ethics and limitations of dealing with geovisual data will also be explored.

Introducing version control with Git
Brenda Moon
Move beyond ‘undo’, renaming and email. Keep a history of your changes to documents, images, files and code. Git version control lets you compare, recover or reuse content from earlier versions of your documents and data. At the same time it supports collaboration through attribution and advanced merging of different versions, facilitating team-work on complex documents. This workshop introduces you to git version control for your research.