Social Media Research with Digital Methods

Presenter(s): Richard Rogers

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This resource introduces the study of different kinds of techniques to study social media platforms, broadly known as digital methods. It considers social media research in the broader context of internet history and, in particular, studying social media as a comment space, a space of discussion and debate. It looks at Facebook, Google Web Search, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, 4Chan, Telegram, and TikTok, discussing the research taking place about conversations that are happening online. It looks at leaving comments in posts or making online contributions, whether they're authentic, toxic, sincere, insincere and how to understand particular platforms' features to identify the recommendations.

Social Media Research with Digital Methods

In this video, Richard Rogers talks about several techniques to study social media platforms. These techniques, broadly known as digital methods, are tool based but also research question-based. This video gives insight into the kinds of research questions typically posed in digital methods, techniques used, outcomes, and how productive these methods can be.

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About the author

Richard Rogers is University Professor and holds the Chair in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. He is also Director of the Foundation (Amsterdam) and the Digital Methods Initiative. Previously, Rogers worked as Senior Advisor to Infodrome, the Dutch Governmental Information Society initiative. He also has worked as a Researcher and Tutor in Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art (London), Research Fellow in Design and Media at the Jan van Eyck Academy (Maastricht), and Researcher in Technology Assessment at the Science Center Berlin (WZB) and in Strategic Computing in the Public Sector at Harvard University (JFK School). He earned his PhD and MSc in Science Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and his B.A. in Government and German at Cornell University. Over the past decade, Rogers and the Foundation have received research grants from the Dutch Government, Soros Foundation, Open Society Institute, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Mondriaan Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and the Gates Foundation. Recently, he was Annenberg Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and Visiting Scholar in Comparative Media Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rogers is author of Technological Landscapes (Royal College of Art, London, 1999), editor of Preferred Placement: Knowledge Politics on the Web (Jan van Eyck Press, 2000), and author of Information Politics on the Web (MIT Press, 2004/2005), "the 2005 Best Information Science Book of the Year Award presented by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST)." He is also author of The End of the Virtual (Amsterdam University Press, 2009). His book Digital Methods (with MIT Press, 2013) was awarded the best book of the year by the International Communication Association (ICA) in 2014. Rogers co-authored Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe (Amsterdam University Press, 2015) with Natalia Sanchez and Aleksandra Kil. His most recent book, Doing Digital Methods, is with Sage (2019).

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