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The Social Media Lab ( at the University of
Washington will be running a workshop at HICSS
( in January of 2013 — come join us in
sunny Hawaii and learn the ins and outs of social media research using
a hands-on approach to skill building.  Bring a laptop and some

HICSS 46 (January 7-10, 2013)
Research on Social Media
One-half day tutorial
January 7, 1013

Format:  tutorial, but with elements of symposium in which
participants can share their experiences
 -  Ethical and human factors considerations and technical approaches
and methods
 -  Data collection from social media platforms such as Twitter,
Facebook, YouTube, and blogs
 -  Methods for collecting and processing data
 -  Use of APIs, Python, MongoDB, etc.
 -  Demonstration and hands on experience with downloading and processing data
 -  Preparing data for storage and access
 -  Estimating storage and processing requirements
 -  Tradeoffs among use of cloud services compared with local resources
 -  Reporting findings and visualization of results

This tutorial discusses the approaches and methods for doing research
on social media and user generated information.  We will present
conceptual and empirical findings on the ethical and technical
considerations of collecting, processing, and analyzing data from
multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and
YouTube.  The tutorial will include presentations from members of a
team (see that has been conducting research in this arena
who will share lessons learned from their studies.  The tutorial also
will offer, for those participants who bring their laptops, the
opportunity for hands on downloading and processing of data from, for
example, a Twitter data stream.

Joe Eckert is a PhD student in Geography at the University of
Washington.  He examines social media as a critical geographer,
looking at data flows between locations and at the relationship of
geolocated social media data with social activity.

Jeff Hemsley is a PhD candidate in the Information School at the
University of Washington.  He studies virality and the influence of
viral events on social change.  His background includes software
development and technical management.

Robert M. Mason is professor in the Information School at the
University of Washington.  He served as co-organizer/co-chair of the
mini-track on knowledge management and social media at HICSS45.  He
previously served as associated dean for research at the UW iSchool.
His research interests include the ethical and cultural aspects of
information science and the organizational impact of social media.

Karine Nahon is associate professor in the Information School at the
University of Washington, currently on leave in Israel but maintaining
her research with the other members of the team.  In addition to her
work on social communities, she is an active voice on issues of
privacy and ethical issues in information practice and government

Shawn Walker is a PhD candidate in the Information School at the
University of Washington.  His research interest is in the process by
which social media affects political participation.  His experience
includes the use of the technical tools to capture data from different
social media platforms and prepare this data for analysis.

Jeff Hemsley
Doctoral Candidate
The Information School
University of Washington
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