Blurring the boundaries – New social media, new social science?

By Mithu Lucraft, PR Manager

NSMNSSEarlier this week, SAGE co-hosted the one-year birthday event of the #NSMNSS network, which we blogged about recently here. The aim of the network was to bring together researchers from across disciplines and sectors who have an interest in using social media within social research, and the event this week brought together many of those members along with other researchers both from academia and from public bodies to discuss what we have learned.

Arriving early on Tuesday morning at the Royal Society of Statistics building in London, there was a real buzz from attendees and, as one might well expect of a social media conference, there was a great deal of side-bar conversation taking place on Twitter during the event. You can read the Storify here.

Mike Thelwall_Sentistrength

Mike Thelwall presents “Sentistrength”, a sentiment measurement tool developed at the University of Wolverhampton, UK

The presentations covered a broad range of topics, from what the network itself was composed of and what members had shared were key issues for them; to ethics and defining good quality social media research; to how to actually use Twitter data, sentiment tools, create visual analysis of networks, and much more. It was clear that we’re just at the start of an exciting journey for social science research methods using social media, and we at SAGE are delighted to be participating in these discussions.

With over 500 network members worldwide, the network’s initial funding may have ended but in reality the life of the network is only just beginning! We are looking for your feedback on how the network should continue to evolve, and welcome your comments on the blog or on the NSMNSS website.

Janet Salmons via videolink, photo credit: @iFotini

Janet Salmons via videolink, photo credit: @iFotini

If you missed the event but wish you had been there, it’s not too late to sign up for the virtual #NSMNSS event taking place on April 23rd. Throughout the day there will be the opportunity to engage with poster sessions, watch the keynotes from this week’s event and engage with other attendees live on the comments threads. Sign up now!

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