2017 Workshops

2017 Conference Workshops – Focused, in-depth learning sessions

Each year the #SMSociety conference feature a variety of half-day workshop sessions designed to give attendees with an opportunity to learn, network, and take home valuable tools and knowledge to enhance their own research.

Morning Workshops (Fri, July 28, 2017)

Workshop 1A: Augmenting Social Media through Data Linkage with Dr. Luke Sloan, Cardiff University (UK), Dr. Anabel Quan-Haase, Western University (Canada), Dr. Dhiraj Murthy, University of Texas at Austin (USA), Dr. Frauke Zeller, Ryerson University (Canada).
Abstract: Linking data allows us to triangulate and cross-reference what we think we can know from social media with another data source. Linkages can be established between social media platforms, with survey or interviews data, or even within platforms between different data types (qualitative and quantitative). In this workshop we explore the opportunities afforded through linking social media with other data sources; evaluate the benefits of linking data against ethical concerns; identify hurdles around informed consent for data linkage; and engage participants in discussion around these issues.

Workshop 1B: Networks for Newbies with Dr. Barry Wellman, NetLab Network (Canada)
Abstract: This is a non-technical introduction to social network analysis. It describes the development for social network analysis, key concepts, and key substantive methods and findings. It is aimed at newcomers to the field, and those who have only seen social network analysis as a method.

Workshop 1C: Text Analytics for Social Data Using DiscoverText & Sifter with Dr. Stu Shulman, Texifter (USA)
Abstract: Participate in this workshop to learn how to build custom machine classifiers for sifting social media data. The topics covered include how to: construct precise social data fetch queries, use Boolean search on resulting archives, filter on metadata or other project attributes, count and set aside duplicates, cluster near-duplicates, crowd source human coding, measure inter-rater reliability, adjudicate coder disagreements, and build high quality word sense and topic disambiguation engines.

Workshop 1D: Tracing mobile connections with digital traces: a multi-method approach with Dr. Jeffrey Boase, University of Toronto (Canada)
Abstract: The first part of this workshop will review arguments and empirical findings regarding the role of mobile phone use in personal networks. The second part of the workshop will focus on discussing a newly developed multi-method approach to combining mobile calling and texting log data with traditional survey and interview techniques. This approach involves a system in which an online portal is used to customize the actions of a smartphone based data collection application. These actions include the collection of non-identifying calling and texting log data, on-screen survey questions, and dynamically drawing on log data to generate questions and stimuli for use during in-person interviews. After discussing this method we will have a hands-on exercise with the online portal and app. Respondents are encouraged to bring an Android phone to the workshop in order to fully participate in this exercise.

Afternoon Workshops (Fri, July 28, 2017)


Workshop  2A: Uncovering deep context in social media preferences: Analyzing social media use using free pile sort and UX methodologies with Dr. Jaigris Hodson, Royal Roads University; Dr. Brian Traynor, Mount Royal University; Dr. Gilbert Wilkes, Mount Royal University (Canada)
Abstract: User-Centered Design (UCD) places strong emphasis on feedback from users early and often within the product development cycle. Having users of a product or service be involved with helping organize content, particularly navigational and labeling structures, early in the process is crucial for success. One UX tool used to collect information on the mental models of how users ‘see’ their content is Card Sorting. This hands-on workshop is designed to give you an understanding of the method and data analysis of this simple yet powerful research application.

Workshop 2B: Charting Collections of Connections in Social Media: Creating
Maps and Measures with NodeXL
with Dr. Marc Smith, Social Media Research Foundation (USA)
Abstract: Networks are a data structure commonly found in any social media service that allows populations to author collections of connections. The Social Media Research Foundation‘s NodeXL project makes analysis of social media networks accessible to most users of the Excel spreadsheet application. With NodeXL, network charts become as easy to create as pie charts. Recent research created by applying the tool to a range of social media networks has already revealed the variations in network structures present in online social spaces. A review of the tool and images of Twitter, flickr, YouTube, Facebook and email networks will be presented.

Workshop  2C: Trust of News, Information and Users in the Digital Age – #smtrust with Dr. Elizabeth Dubois, University of Ottawa (Canada), Dr. William H. Dutton, Michigan State University (USA), Ed Greenspon, Public Policy Forum (Canada), Dr. Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, University of Connecticut ‪(USA), Craig Robertson, Michigan State University (USA).
Abstract: This workshop will begin a discussion about news and democracy in the digital age. A quick review of a report from Public Policy Forum serves as a spark for coordinated group brainstorming around research and policy needs. Focus will then turn to debate over studies that address aspects of these concerns, beginning with a cross-national online survey of Internet users and how they use search and social media to access information about politics. The discussion will then turn to a related study looks at how individuals access and learn from news on social media. These studies will be discussed individually and together – over Twitter (at #smtrust) and in the workshop – before turning to issues for policy and practice in Canada and worldwide, such as around social media, search, and digital media literacy. Breakout groups will formulate proposals for policy and practice that will be presented to the workshop in a final discussion section.

Workshop 2D: Hypothesis Testing with Online Network Data: Introduction to Exponential Random Graph Modelling (ERGM) with Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd, Ryerson University (Canada) and Dr. Deena Abul Fottouh, McMaster University, Canada
Abstract: Participants will learn how to use SNA to analyze online communication networks. This part will also focus on how to use R package called statnet to perform hypothesis testing using Exponential Random Graph Modelling (ERGM). In particular, participants will learn how to use ERMG to test whether there is a tendency of online participants to connect to other users based on a common characteristic such as gender or their location.

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