Abstract: As social creatures, our online lives just like our offline lives are intertwined with others within a wide variety of social networks. Each retweet on Twitter, comment on a blog or link to a Youtube video explicitly or implicitly connects one online participant to another and contributes to the formation of various information and social networks. Once discovered, these networks can provide researchers with an effective mechanism for identifying and studying collaborative processes within any online community. However, collecting information about online networks using traditional methods such as surveys can be very time consuming and expensive. This workshop will explore automated ways to discover and analyze communication networks from social media data. As part of the workshop, participants will learn how to use Netlytic (http://netlytic.org), a cloud-based text and social networks analyzer to collect, analyze and visualize publicly available online conversations from social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The workshop will also show how to export communication networks discovered by Netlytic in order to conduct Social Network Analysis (SNA) and create videos showing changes in networks over time using igraph, a popular SNA library in R.
Presenter’s Bio: Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd is an Associate Professor in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He is also the Director of the Social Media Lab and a co-editor of a new, multidisciplinary journal on Big Data and Society published by Sage. Dr. Gruzd’s research initiatives explore how the advent of social media and the growing availability of social big data are changing the ways in which people communicate, collaborate and disseminate information and how these changes impact the social, economic and political norms and structures of modern society. Dr. Gruzd and his lab are also actively developing and evaluating new approaches and tools to support social media data stewardship (the collection, storage, use, reuse, analysis, and preservation of social media data). His research and commentaries have been reported across Canada and internationally in various mass media outlets such as Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times, Nature.com, The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Canadian Press, CBC TV, CBC Radio, CTV and Global TV.