A workshop offered by the Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at University of Zurich, supported by the Crisis Communication Section of ECREA
Communication scholars are increasingly confronted with the need of including social media data in their studies. But fast evolving research techniques and the restrictions from the providers of big social media platforms make it an especially challenging area for research. The ability to access and analyze social media data directly and autonomously therefore has become an important skill. However, a lot of scholars are lacking these capabilities due to missing training or a lack of confidence to start with basic coding. The workshop is aimed at PhD students and postdocs who want to start with social media analysis. It will focus on the teaching of basic skills for accessing and analyzing social media data from a very practical point of view in the R studio environment. The focus will lie on the most important social networks Facebook and Twitter. We will learn how to connect to the API of both networks, download data and process and analyze the data in the R studio environment. We will use predefined pieces of code and learn how to adapt it for individual needs. Besides looking at teaching examples we will try to find solutions for specific steps concerning the research projects of the participants. The 2‐day workshop takes place at Zurich University in Oerlikon (10 mins from airport) from May 17 to 18. The first sessions on Thursday starts around midday. We will have a short social event followed by a dinner in the evening. On Friday, the program consists of two main sessions (see preliminary program below).
Scholars who want to apply for participation write an e‐mail with a short letter of motivation (no longer than one page) to Florian Meissner (firstname.lastname@example.org). The letter should make a clear statement about why you want to attend the workshop and in how far you have familiarized yourself with social media analysis so far. This will allow the organizers to prepare adequately for the workshop. Please submit your application until February 28 at the latest. The maximum number of participants is 15. Applicants will be informed until March 15 at the latest.
Please note that the attendance fee is still to be determined. However, the organizing committee is currently applying for funding in order to keep the costs for participants low.
Local organization and teaching of the modules:
Daniel Vogler: Head of Research at the Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich, PhD candidate at the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research of the University of Zurich. Main research fields: organizational communication and PR research, crisis communication.
Andrea Häuptli: PhD candidate at the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research of the University of Zurich.
Lisa Schwaiger: PhD candidate at the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research of the University of Zurich.
Communication and coordination
Florian Meissner: Young Scholars Representative of the ECREA Section “Crisis Communication”, Ph.D. Fellow at the School of International and Intercultural Communication (SIIC), Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism, Dortmund Univ. of Technology. Main work areas: journalism research, risk communication, crisis communication.
Thursday, May 17
12:00‐13:00: Reception and lunch
13:00‐14:00: Introduction. Possibilities and limitations for Facebook and Twitter data
14:00‐15:00: Short presentations of research projects of participants
15:00‐18:00: Accessing and analyzing Twitter
19:00‐22:00: Short social event followed by a dinner
Friday, May 18
08:30‐09:00: Reception and coffee
09:00‐12:00: Accessing and analyzing Facebook
13:00‐14:00: Introduction to network visualization in Gephi
14:00‐16:00: Elaboration of next steps for research projects of participants
16:30‐18:00: Wrap‐up, discussion and farewell