Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Digital Debate Keynote & closing blog discussions: The economies and ecologies of Big Data

Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths University of London, is next up at the Digital Debate.



Join in the discussion on the comment thread below, or on Twitter at #NSMNSS

15 comments:

  1. If you're watching live, add your comments to the thread below or join in on Twitter #NSMNSS

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  2. We'll be starting our discussions very shortly: please join in!

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  3. "Data is simply a record of events that took place... it is also the 21st century's new raw material". Evelyn suggested that with 'big data' the rules and practices of data collection and storage are becoming 'black boxed' and the lack of documentation & understanding of how big data is compiled and organised is obstructing or subverting the normal practices/standards of social research. What do you all think? Do we need to shift our gaze and our methodological perspectives to understand and fully utilise big data effectively. Do we need to find a set of concepts, tools and ethical practices which we are comfortable with and which work with big data and new social medai platforms?

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    1. One of the things that I really took away from her talk and have kept thinking about is this point about whether any data is really ever 'raw'. The act of cleaning, organising and applying statistical tests to any dataset does something to data, as does the way in which you interpret your stats. Combine that with the fact that the data has been generated on non-neutral corporate platforms and you've got lots of methodological layers to this...

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  4. As we wrap up with today's events I wanted to share some of the thoughts that people had at the end of the live conference about the future of the network. We also want your feedback so let us know what activities or topics the network should focus on in the future.

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  5. Really great day, thanks for the reflections and thoughtful questions!
    I think the work of the network over the year, and this final event show that the Network needs a concerted effort on ethics of SM research. Also, unpacking different types of innovative methods and modes of SM research would be interesting to focus on. - kelsey

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    1. Thanks for your contributions throughout the day,and we agree both are really important future areas for the network.

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  6. The big issues that conference delegates thought needed continued reflection (and action) from the research community included:
    - ethical issues and provision of practical ethical guidance for researchers
    - engaging with commercial organisations using social media data and with commercial platforms hosting and owning social media data (i.e. Google, Twitter, Facebook)

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  7. I was really struck by the conversation about whether we need an entirely new paradigm for social media research methods, rather than trying to box it into existing brackets. What do others think?

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  8. And:

    - Making sure we continue to share our practice with one another so that we can start to develop a sense of what best practice might look like (bearing in mind that there are many different approaches to SM research and one 'best practice' might not fit all)
    - sharing knowledge and skills with each other, with research funders, with research supervisors and peer reviewers and ethics panels

    We also discussed how the research community needs to become more confident in defending these methods and that to do that we will need to continue to discuss thorny issues such as sampling on social media, the veracity of social media data and what do we do about representativeness...

    Do share other thoughts with us here or via Twitter using #NSMNSS

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  9. Thank you all for joining us here. Don't forget to stay in touch you can videos from our series of events on our You Tube Channel, you can join our Methodspace forum and you can always catch us on Twitter @NSMNSS use the hashtag to contact other network members #NSMNSS. All the links are here: http://www.natcen.ac.uk/nsmnss/

    If you have views about what the network should be doing in the future please share these in our survey: www.research.net/s/NSMNSSFuture

    Thanks everyone

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