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Call for participation in the Digital Methods Winter School, Amsterdam,
January 2014

Dear all,

We are very pleased to announce the 6th annual Digital Methods Winter
School, Mini-conference as well as International Workshop and Data Sprint
to take place 13-17 January 2014 at the University of Amsterdam. The Winter
School this year is dedicated to online data analysis, and has as its
workshop and data sprint theme the study of hate violence as well as
extremism, using software tools for social media data collection and

This yearís Winter School brings together motivated scholars, PhD
candidates as well advanced Masterís students (together with groups of
information designers and programmers) for a full week beginning with an
opening day event with subject matter expert talks, followed by a parallel
mini-conference and sprint on the second day, and finally further data
sprinting for the remainder of the week, culminating in final

We have sentiment analysts on hand, together with Facebook and Twitter data
extraction experts. We also have extremism and hate monitoring
professionals from governmental and non-governmental organisations, who
will provide us with the state of the art of online monitoring, and their
current analytical interests and needs. We have asked them to speak about
what else the Internet may add to the analysis. Thereafter, in the data
sprint, the participants will seek to meet these needs (or others arising
from the group work), outputting analyses and graphics, working in tandem
with the information designers and programmers.

For PhD candidates and scholars attending there is also an opportunity to
present a paper, and/or be a respondent, during the mini-conference.
(Presenting papers is not a requirement for participating in the Winter
School.) Each paper is shortly introduced, and two respondents provide 5-7
minute responses followed by authorís retort and general Q&A.

For all questions please consult the co-organizers, Natalia Sanchez
(N.SanchezQuerubin at and Liliana Bounegru (liliana.bounegru at The call for participation to this yearís Digital
Methods Winter School is below. I hope to be able to welcome you to
Amsterdam in the new year!


Richard Rogers
Digital Methods Initiative
University of Amsterdam

My Sentiments Exactly: On Methods of Early Warning, Detection and
Monitoring through Online and Social Media Digital Methods Winter School
2014, Mini-Conference and International Workshop and Data Sprint 13-17
January 2014 Digital Methods Initiative
New Media & Digital Culture
University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
the Netherlands

The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), Amsterdam, is pleased to announce its
6th annual Winter School, entitled "My Sentiments Exactly: On Methods of
Early Warning, Detection and Monitoring through Online and Social Media."
The Digital Methods Winter School provides the opportunity for PhD
candidates, advanced MA students and motivated scholars to work on timely
research methods as well as present a short paper on digital methods and
new media related topics, with feedback from the Amsterdam group of DMI
researchers and international participants, often drawn from previous
Digital Methods Summer and Winter Schools. This year's Winter School is
five days, with one day devoted to the Mini-conference, where the papers
are presented and participants also serve as respondents, and four days to
the workshop. The theme of the workshop is "methods of early warning," and
includes a data sprint. This year's edition will feature, among other
interventions, guest lectures by eminent scholars and practitioners.
Participants do not have to present a paper to take part in the workshop.

Digital Methods Winter School Workshop

The 2014 Digital Methods Winter School is devoted to methods of early
warning, detection and monitoring with social media data. Animal spirits in
the stock market, the mood of the people before the elections, the buzz
leading up to the Oscars. Emmys and Grammys - these are some of the common
use cases, and for some analysts "data fantasies", put forward for
deploying digital detection programs. Occasionally expressed as
opportunities in big data, early warning systems and other societal
monitoring devices using social media data are of interest as an
alternative social research arena even competing with the more conventional
social scientific instrumentarium. Google Flu Trends and Dengue Fever
Trends signalled the use of engine queries to study incidence of ailment
and its geography. The work using Twitter as anticipatory space has been
less effective, perhaps summarised in the academic paper entitled, "I
Wanted to Predict Elections with Twitter and all I got was this Lousy
Paper." The 2014 Digital Methods Summer School takes stock but also applies
software techniques to study resonance, salience as well as sentiment using
online data. Where are the fruitful realms of application for such
monitoring techniques? Are the techniques well suited to the comment and
review spaces online? May we characterise hashtags as polemical, comical,
highly substantive or nonsensical? How to geo-locate hate speech? Whilst
disparate the list of questions seeks to invite application of monitoring
software to wide-ranging online data sets, and experimentation. How to
determine the spaces and derive metrics for unrest, collective nervousness,
and other such constructions. May we derive signatures of affective states?

Data Sprint: Hate Violence As Object of Online Study

Traditionally, victim studies have relied on two main sources of data:
police reports and self-reporting aka victimisation data. Another way to
gather instances of hate violence is to conduct press monitoring. More
recently, projects have attempted to crowd-source hate crime reports but
without great success. This workshop aims to fill in the gaps of these
traditional forms of gathering victimisation data by building an apparatus
that uses Facebook and Twitter to monitor instances that may lead to hate
violence. In doing so we ask: Is there a link between incitements of
violence on social media and wider violence? How can we find social media
hate activity measures that correlate with violence acts? Could social
media give us early warning tool for hate violence? Extremist sympathiser
networks, activists as well as victim spaces online will be monitored. An
activity measure that will be explored on both Facebook and Twitter is the
content (images, URLs, videos) that is most circulated and that animates
particular groups. Another approach takes selected events at its core and
investigates hate incitement activity around these events on social media
retrospectively, and correlates these online activities with violent acts.

Digital Methods Winter School Mini-Conference

The data sprint is the Winter School workshop. There is also the annual
Digital Methods Winter School Mini-Conference. The mini-conference provides
the opportunity for digital methods and allied researchers to present short
yet complete papers (5,000-7,500 words) and serve as respondents, providing
feedback. Often the work presented follows from previous Digital Methods
Summer Schools. The mini-conference accepts papers in the general digital
methods and allied areas: the hyperlink and other natively digital objects,
the website as archived object, web historiographies, search engine
critique, Google as globalizing machine, cross-spherical analysis and other
approaches to comparative media studies, device cultures, national web
studies, Wikipedia as cultural reference, the technicity of (networked)
content, post-demographics, platform studies, crawling and scraping,
graphing and clouding, and similar.

Winter School Schedule

13 January 9.30-17.00 Sentiments and extremism. Subject matter experts and
sentiment analysts present. Location: TBA
14 January 9.30-17.00 Mini-conference, per paper: 5-minute paper
presentations, two 5-minute responses, 5-minute author response, 5-minute
Q&A.Location: Media Studies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, rooms 0.12, 0.13 and 0.04.
15 January 9.30-17.00 Workshop. Location: Media Studies, Turfdraagsterpad
9, rooms 0.12, 0.13 and 0.04.
16 January 9.30-17.00 Workshop. Location: Media Studies, Turfdraagsterpad
9, rooms 0.12, 0.13 and 0.04.
17 January 9.30-17.00 Workshop and afternoon presentations. Location: Media
Studies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, rooms 0.12, 0.13 and 0.04. Afternoon
presentations: Universiteitstheater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, room 3.01.


How to get to/from Schiphol Airport, a
We recommend taking the train.
How to get to the University of Amsterdam, Media Studies, Turfdraagsterpad
9, 1012 XT, Amsterdam. Take tram 4, 9, 14, 16, 24, 25 and get of at
Spui/Rokin then walk to Oude Turfmarkt, enter the passage and it's the
first building on your left.

Map for the different locations:,4.895498&spn=0.002447,0.006282
A) Media Studies. Turfdraagsterpad 9, 1012 XT, Amsterdam. Rooms: 0.13 and
B) Universiteitstheater/University Theatre, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, 1012
CP, Amsterdam. Room 3.01
C) Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, 1012 CN Amsterdam
Also, Google Maps with all locations of the University of

Sharing content

We will have an open Skype channel for all participants.
Twitter: #dmiwinter14 Application, Fees & Logistics
Application deadline is 18 December 2013. To apply please send along a
letter of motivation as well as your CV to info at The
fee for the Digital Methods Winter School 2014 is EUR 245. Bank transfer
information will be sent along with the notification on 19 December 2013.
The Winter School is self-catered. The venue is in the center of Amsterdam
with abundant coffee houses and lunch places. The Winter School closes with
a festive event, after the final presentations. Participants are expected
to find their own housing (airbnb and other short-stay sites are helpful).
The DMI organisers are happy to provide tips. Here is a guide to the
Amsterdam new media scene<>
About DMI The Digital Methods Winter School is part of the Digital Methods
Initiative, Amsterdam, dedicated to reworking method for Internet-related
research. The Digital Methods Initiative holds the annual Digital Methods
Summer Schools (six to date), which are intensive and full time 2-week
undertakings in the Summertime. The 2014 Summer School will take place 23
June - 4 July 2014. The coordinators of the Digital Methods Initiative are
Sabine Niederer and Esther Weltevrede (PhD candidates in New Media &
Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam), and the director is Richard
Rogers, Professor of New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam.
Digital methods are online at The DMI about
page includes a substantive introduction, and there is also a list of
Digital Methods people, with bios. DMI holds occasional Autumn and Spring
workshops, such as Mapping Populism in
 and Climate Change and
There is also a Digital Methods

Liliana Bounegru | Researcher | @bb_liliana <>
Electronic Maps to Assist Public Science | Digital Methods Initiative |
University of Amsterdam | |

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