If you're watching right now, join in with our live discussion on the comment thread or on Twitter #NSMNSS
Can the public benefit from social media - yes and no. It is still very much being used as a marketing outreach tool, I think, to promote what people are doing. We are increasingly moving towards more engaging conversations, but you do face the challenge of what is trustworthy and therefore useful knowledge?
It will be interesting to hear what others think at the end of the presentation. I agree that you're probably right with where we are right now in terms of the main use of social media data (commercial, marketing) but I also think that we're moving quite swiftly to a place where policymakers will have to engage with it, serious inroads are being made to use these methods for robust social policy research.
We've just finished watching Jason Leavey and Jonathan Breckon's presentation on the use of social media research as evidence to inform public policy. What are your thoughts, is there a future in this? Lots of commentators at the event broadened this out, what about all the commercial firms that are accessing and analysing our social media behaviour? At some point government will have to start taking notice of this data...
We had great attendance on Tuesday's live event from Government social researchers. There's a definite interest in using social media research for evidence, the questions were primarily about how, and best practice
I was interested in what he was saying about Gov having to be more proactive in shaping emerging technologies and can see why he would say this as an antidote to commercial/private interests. But Gov has its problems too? Where might open source type communities fit in?
I was particularly interested in the point about placement of 'authority‘ across social media as more people engage with debates around policy. What did everyone else think? Does social media jeopardise this?
Yes I agree it's an interesting point but I think it's happening anyway with the open data movement and citizen journalism/ citizen data collection I think a loss of their authority (and that of research organisations) holding the only 'evidence' is inevitable. Personally I embrace a wider discussion of what data means for society.
Good point Gillian there could well be a role for them in mediating the discussions that govt might be fearful to have itself. I wonder do we have any civil servants tuning in who might have thoughts on this?
I wonder whether there's a role for intermediaries in this discussion? To bridge that gap. Actually, that's potentially one future requirement for the network itself?
How can social scientists in academia and other research sectors engage effectively with government social researchers, analysts and policy makers around social media research methods? What will it take for it to be seen as a robust and important complementary set of evidence to other datasets?
Have you tried to include social media methods in your research bids for government, how's that been received?
We're about to set our next session going but please feel free to post here if you have thoughts on anything from jason and Jonathan's talks. This is a debate which we think the network will continue to have in coming months.
We''re about to start our fantastic keynote from Evelyn Ruppert on the economies of big data http://nsmnss.blogspot.com/2013/04/digital-debate-keynote-economies-and.html
Comment from @KokkasKostas 'social media and government social policy: social media promotes a fairer citizen participation' on Twitter.
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