Workshop: Networks, Hashtags, Memes: A Quali-Quantitative Approach for Exploring Social Media Engagement
The workshop “Networks, Hashtags, Memes: A quali-quantitative approach for exploring social media engagement” with Janna Joceli Omena and Elena Pilipets addresses the complex issues of circulation, appropriation and transformation of user-generated content in networked environments of social media platforms. To do so, it combines digital methods of data extraction, network visualisation and engagement analysis with qualitative approaches of situational mapping and internet ethnography focusing on searchable visual content.
14:00 – 16:30 Uhr //Janna Joceli Omena
1. Studying Hashtag Engagement through Digital Networks (and methods!)
The first part of the workshop introduces a medium-research perspective with focus on digital networks and the study of circulation, appropriation and transformation of hashtagging activity. Undertaken as socio-technical representational schemes of trackable-retrievable actions, digital networks offer ways of understanding social and cultural phenomena. Rather than relying on the common use of statistics, the workshop brings a theoretical, practical and technical reflection that combines the knowledge of platform grammatisation with the praxis of data capture and data analysis. With the aim of exploring hashtagging engagement through the visual affordances of digital networks, we will first discuss a framework for interpreting digital networks. This will be followed by a step-by-step walk through a case study on the circulation of image content about Brazilian presidential elections in 2018.
16:45 – 18:00 Uhr //Dr. Elena Pilipets
2. Situating Internet Memes as Mediators & Techno-Social Multiplicities
In the second part of the workshop, we will experiment with some qualitative approaches to contextualising/analysing/conceptualising the circulation of user-generated content (viral images, memes, gifs) on social media platforms. Our focus will be on addressing the networked formations of internet memes, which are ephemeral and contextually situated as much as they are spreadable/durational. Beyond looking at how memetic adaptations reproduce and shift networked relations of visibility/affectivity, we will explore the highly ambiguous alliances of platform recommendation and subcultural stance in users’ practices of content appropriation. With the emphasis on understanding the digital circuits of visual social exchange through a combination of mediated thick descriptions and situational mapping, we will discuss the concepts of networked attention economy and social media affordances in the context of analysing memetic engagement.
Workshop Preparation: Please bring your own laptop, and make sure you have installed Gephi (network analysis and visualization) https://gephi.org.