Preconference Workshops – 18 Oct 2017

New for AoIR2017, all workshops have a US$10 fee charged during registration. If you are accepted into one of the application-only workshops you will receive an invoice in your email for this US$10 charge. This fee must be paid in advance in order to confirm your attendance of the workshop. This does not apply to the Doctoral Colloquium.

Morning – Half Day Workshops

Academic Freedom 2.0: Thinking Through and Learning to Protect Digital Privacy

Less Hate in Politics! Machine Learning and Interventions as Tools to Mitigate Online Hate Speech in Political Campaigns

Social Media Data Bootcamp and Research Hackathon

Afternoon – Half Day Workshops

Early Career Scholars

E-estonia: Governance, Democracy and Voting

Full Day Workshops

Analysing Visual Social Media

Digital Methods in Internet Research

Doctoral Colloquium

Understanding and Distorting the Internet, Metaphors of Experience in 2017

 

 

Academic Freedom 2.0.: How to Protect Digital Privacy and Why It Matters for Research

In the past year a number of high-profile events have revealed the fragility of the digital environment: email servers were hacked and their contents leaked; journalists, protesters, and other dissenters have increasingly been targeted both online and off; and the growing reach of surveillance has re-emerged as a pressing concern. In this new political climate, learning how – and why – to protect digital communications is becoming an ever more critical skill for researchers to learn (Gangadharan, 2013). Researchers are increasingly required to develop a new set of skills in order to ethically conduct studies, securely protect their data, and ensure the privacy of research subjects (Vayena et. al, 2016, Dutton, 2017).

Though there is a substantive body of research that examines information security and privacy in the context of activism (Daskal, 2016, Kazansky, 2015, Article 19, 2015), journalism (Heinrichsen, Betz & Lisosky, 2014, Human Rights Watch, 2014, UNESCO, 2017) and which encourages more qualitative and user-focused research on cybersecurity (Dourish et. al., 2004), the concerns of academic researchers are unique in a number of significant ways that have only recently begun to be addressed within the literature (Tanczer, McConville & Maynard, 2016) and by Institutional Review Boards (Seko & Lewis, 2017).

These concerns encompass differences in their practices, such as the collection of research data (particularly for researchers who conduct social network analysis or other big data studies), communications with at risk research subjects, and the conduct of field work. They also encompass differences in their technological environment, such as the use of university IT services, data sharing partnerships between their universities and technology companies, and the security of the cloud-based tools many researchers use to analyze and store data. Finally, there are the differences in the public profile of the researcher, which can open them up to harassment and/or institutional threats to their academic freedom.

Based on these demands and challenges to the academic profession, the pre-conference workshop builds on the existing idea of “CryptoParties”, which are decentralised hands-on events taking place all across the world. CryptoParties are hands-on sessions in which anyone interested in learning about basic encryption tools and the fundamental concepts of their operation, and can be taught from others who are already familiar with these respective methods. They can complement as well as be incorporated into established ethics and methods courses (Tanczer, 2017).

The pre-conference consequently proceeds in two parts: in the first half, we will hold a roundtable discussion about the need for researchers to safeguard themselves as well as their participants and students, situating the discussion in the context of present-day challenges to academic freedom such as censorship, surveillance, and harassment. Led by peers representing academic institutions in several different countries, we will consider how thinking about risk can help researchers navigate a complicated and ever-changing threat environment.

In the second half, we will hold a practical session on how to take steps to protect privacy and security, including an explanation of how to encrypt devices and use secure messaging tools to communicate with others. This should complement the earlier discussion and provide recommendations for the daily practices of researchers. Attendees do not require prior knowledge or skills on the subject-matter, but should have access to the Internet as well as their own devices such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Participants should also bear in mind that they may not be able to install software on work-owned laptops, which is why the use of personal laptops is endorsed.

This two-folded set-up provides attendees with a comprehensive overview, both of the current landscape of risks academics and their research participants may encounter, as well as hands-on guidance on how to manage these risks. The learned information, practices and tools can be applied in the daily setting of academics and can also be incorporated in the course development of lectures and modules.

Return to Top of Page

Less Hate in Politics! Machine Learning and Interventions as Tools to Mitigate Online Hate Speech in Political Campaigns

Discriminating, hateful speech online, often targeting specific groups and minorities, has become a pressing problem in the societies. Hateful speech is a form of verbal violence that creates enemities, silences debates, and marginalizes individuals and groups from participation online. What is challenging is that ‘hate speech’ has come to mean a variety of speech acts and other ill-behaviours online, ranging from penal criminal acts to speech which is uncivil and disturbing, but yet to be tolerated. This definitional difficulty is further abused in claims that any limitations of hate speech endanger people’s right to freedom of expression.

Hate speech has been criminalized in many countries and major Internet companies also engage in efforts to limit it. While many social media platforms allow users to flag content as hate speech for moderation purposes, no official follow-up actions take place. Furthermore, the automatic identification of hate speech is limited by lacking tools. While there are few open tools to detect hate speech (e.g. Conversation AI), they are only capable of handling English language. However, these language challenges can be solved with various supervised text mining techniques, as long as the laborious face of developing a gold standard for detection is done properly.

Pre-conference workshop aim and content

The overall aim of the workshop is to facilitate the development of tools and processes how the academic community could run interventions which aim to decrease the toxicity in the online space. We will provide participants a kick-start with computational tools for hate speech recognition. We will also discuss and reflect the challenges of such interventions and examine the opportunities and problems of deploying such systems.

We compare existing tools for hate speech detection by involving the session participants and guiding them how to develop hate speech detection for their own language. Furthermore, we discuss what processes might work to mitigate online hate speech, and what actions could the academic community pursue in this area.

Our own experiences – which we reflect in the workshop – emerge from a project where the social media activity of candidates was monitored during the Finnish municipal election campaigns in April 2017. The monitoring project was initiated by the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman (a governmental body to prevent and tackle discrimination), Open Knowledge Foundation Finland, software company Futurice, and three academic research projects. The project included technical infrastructures to automatically filter potential hate speech from large social media monitoring data (up to 40,000 candidates).

An equally important part was to develop measures to react to hate speech, for which an industry-academy-governmental-NGO taskforce was initiated. We chose not to make any public listings as we sought not to give additional publicity to the hate speech. We suggest that two aspects are critical for massive monitoring: computational tools available to monitor and detect the online discussions, and a localized process to react to notifications with appropriate means.

The workshop will follow an interactive style using both online and offline tools to facilitate discussion. All work developed for and during the workshop will be shared in permissive open source license, including both technical documentation and guidelines.

Preliminary workshop schedule:

00:00 – 00:10   Welcome, introductions and organization of the workshop & an overview of the Finnish case
00:10 – 00:30    Keynote 1: What is hate speech and how does it relate to freedom of speech? (Reeta Pöyhtäri)
00:30 – 00:50    Keynote 2: Hate speech as a technological problem (TBA)
00:50 – 01:30  Workshop: Classifying and tagging content for hate speech detection
01:30 – 02:00  Demos: Demos of automated classification
02:00 – 02:30  Demos and best practices: Interventions, action research and moderation as means to tackle hate speech
02:30 – 03:00  Next steps: how to move forward and what should the research community do?

Organizers:
Salla-Maaria Laaksonen, University of Helsinki
Matti Nelimarkka, Aalto University
Prof. Kaarina Nikunen, University of Tampere
Reeta Pöyhtäri, University of Tampere
Teemu Ropponen, OKFF

 

Return to Top of Page

Social Media Data Bootcamp and Research Hackathon

The technical expertise and computational resources required to collect and manage large scale social media data exclude many researchers who have the theoretical expertise to interrogate the data. Several tools have been developed recently by researchers to address these problems, and we introduce a few of those, and their developers, in this workshop.

This half-day workshop will help researchers interested in using data from social media platforms get started collecting data and managing their data workflow. We begin with brief overviews (roughly 10 minutes each) of digital research practices (Rogers), big data research project management (Hemphill), and open source tools for social media data collection (Hemsley and Tanupabrungsun). The remainder of the workshop will be structured as a research “hackathon” where participants will actively work in small groups to articulate data needs for specific research projects, draft data collection and management plans, and begin collecting data using existing tools.

The organizers all have experience developing tools to facilitate the capture of Internet data for a variety of research ends. They will each introduce some of the available tools and will be on hand to help during the hackathon. Rogers and colleagues have developed a suite of tools under the Digital Media Initiative that facilitate data capture from sources such as GitHub, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Hemphill’s lab has developed a project management approach for handling big social data research projects and is involved in building infrastructures for social media data sharing. Hemsley and Tanupabrungsun have developed the Social Media Tracker, Aggregator, and Collector Toolkit that helps researchers quickly spin up data collection projects for Twitter and Facebook.

While most of the workshop will focus on data tools and their use, we will also discuss the theoretical and methodological challenges that big social data present. For instance, we will discuss the limitations that platforms place on data available through their APIs, the ethical considerations of “public” data, and the potential for data sharing infrastructures to facilitate social media research.

 

Links to Tools
https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ToolDatabase
http://www.casmlab.org/pipeline-process/
https://github.com/OCDX
https://github.com/bitslabsyr/stack

Return to Top of Page

Early Career Scholars

This half-day workshop brings early career scholars together to address unique issues they face, develop strategies to achieve career goals, and foster a professional network.

We define early career scholars as people who have finished the requirements for their terminal degree but have not advanced to the next level in their field or industry (i.e. post-docs, non-tenured faculty, junior industry researchers). Thus, the workshop is not open to current students.

AoIR’s strength is its communication. Now in its second year, this workshop acts as a way to foster community among emerging scholars and to create bridges between junior and senior scholars. We aim to continue working toward making this community as inclusive and representative as possible.

The workshop addresses both challenges and opportunities unique to early-career researchers in the many fields and forms of scholarship represented at AoIR. First, we have to negotiate the transition from graduate student to early career professional that requires a higher level of autonomy and the challenge of figuring out the pragmatic and social aspects of a new work environment. Second, we must work quickly to establish ourselves in our fields and, often, secure funding. Third, we have increased service responsibilities. Fourth, after being guided by our advisors and committees for several years, we quickly move from mentee to mentor for our own students. Fifth, we must learn to navigate moving to the next level of our careers while ensuring time with family and friends. Being a junior scholar also comes with unique opportunities that we also will explore. While recognition of internet scholarship has come a long way since AoIR’s inception, junior scholars still may find themselves facing certain hurdles in gaining recognition for their research (i.e. subject, method, etc) in terms of promotion. In fact, some of the challenges we face also are opportunities to work towards changing the ways in which internet scholarship is perceived and valued within the academic structure.

The issues we will cover depends greatly on the participants. AoIR is an international and diverse organization, and we know that our experiences as scholars and educators vary by country, institution type, and field and are framed by our own identities (race, gender, etc). Our goal is to discuss shared challenges and opportunities while understanding differences so that we can build our own professional networks at the same time that we create a diverse and inclusive community of scholars who will eventually become future career mentors within AoIR.

Based on feedback from the 2016 workshop, we will maintain last year’s three-session format while making important adjustments to the content of those sessions. We will open with an activity for generating questions/concerns/issues relevant to junior scholars that participants would like addressed during the first session. That first session will consist of a fish-bowl discussion for workshop participants. This discussion is intended as a get-to-know others event as well as an opportunity to discuss the issues and opportunities we face collectively. The second session will be a panel of established scholars (equivalent of associate or full professors in the U.S.) who can share their insight and experiences. The organizers will start the panel with questions drawn from the first session. In the final session, participants will form small groups with a senior scholar to address topics relevant to them (type of institution, academic system, etc). Time will be left for follow-up questions and group discussion. We also are planning an informal social activity following the workshop.

Return to Top of Page

E-estonia: Governance, Democracy and Voting

The workshop will give a hands-on introduction to the key elements of the Estonian e-state and explain the main ideology behind it.

The two key ingredients in the Estonian e-government infrastructure are the X-Road and e-ID (e-Identity) The X-Road is the decentralised environment that connects most of the national databases and registers (like population register, health information system, land cadastre, etc) both from the public and private sector to link up and operate in harmony. E-ID is the nationally standardized system for verifying a person’s identity in an online environment, which enables people to use different e-service, like e-voting, e-school, e-customs, patient portal, etc. Currently there are more than 1600 e-services provided by 1000 different institutions are made available for Estonians. Those e-services are used more than 600 million times a year.

The first half of the workshop will give a general overview of these main cornerstones of e-Estonia and introduce the logic behind many of the various e-services. For example, it is discussed how the e-Cabinet through which Estonian government uses to streamline its decision-making process operates. Besides, the principles of e-governance on the local level will be introduced through the example of the city of Tartu which has implemented paperless city government since 2003, many of the services for the citizens are available through e-environments and most of the documentation is processed and archived only digitally.

In the second part of the workshop researchers from the Centre of IT impact studies from the University of Tartu will give an overview of how these various e-services are taken up by the general public – what are the main e-services Estonians use and what could be the potential of the data these services are built upon. Furthermore, in 2005 Estonia became the first country in the world to nation-wide elections using e-voting. Since that Estonia has held eight elections during which citizens have been able to cast their legally binding vote either via internet or since 2011 also via mobile phone. The workshop will also introduce the ideas behind e-voting system in Estonia and highlight its development.

Facilitators:

  • Hannes Astok, Deputy Director, Strategy & Development, E-governance Academy
  • Jüri Mölder, City Secretary of Tartu
  • Kristjan Vassil, Senior researcher of technology studies at the Centre of IT impact studies, University of Tartu
  • Mihkel Solvak, Senior researcher of technology studies at the Centre of IT impact studies, University of Tartu

Return to Top of Page

Analysing Visual Social Media

Facilitators:

  • Uta Russmann, FHWien der WKW University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication, Vienna,
  • Maria Schreiber, University of Vienna
  • Anne Burns & Alexandra Boutopoulou, Visual Social Media Lab, University of Sheffield
  • Tama Leaver, Internet Studies, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

The preconference workshop is open to all AoIR registrants. We are suggesting a maximum of 30 participants to ensure everyone has adequate chance to actively engage in both the practical elements and discussions.

Aims and Rationale

Visual communication on digital and social platforms is on the rise. The sharing of images through platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook is becoming an integral part of the vernacular online experience. For researchers the question arises how to study visual social media and communication. To date, research on digital communication/social media has primarily focused on text. The visual turn raises significant methodological questions, for example regarding

  • the selection, documentation and storage of data that is based on text, picture and/or video;
  • the analysis of interaction between visual and textual elements (Russmann & Svensson, 2017);
  • the retrieval of (personal) visual contents and related privacy and ethical issues (Highfield & Leaver, 2015);
  • the complexity of multimodal media like memes, reaction gifs or emojis (Highfield & Leaver, 2016);
  • as well as the interpretation of such multifaceted data in differing vernacular contexts, including on mobile devices.

The focus of the proposed preconference workshop therefore will be to add to our understanding of methodological approaches to analysing visual digital data. Methods are entangled with theoretical frameworks, the data we use and the questions we ask. It is crucial to be transparent about these complex conditions in any empirical work, no matter if qualitative or quantitative, small or big data. Many methods have not yet been adapted sufficiently for the vernacular contexts of social media. This workshop aims to address these gaps and galvanise new discussions about visual social media research methods. The workshop will enable participants to get to know a variety of different methodological approaches, reflect on their strengths and limitations, and discuss the further work needed in refining the methods.

Part 1. Visual Social Analysis Methodology Showcase

To kick off the workshop, four methodological approaches will be introduced in presentations (time will be allowed for questions).

The introductions of the approaches will already be using examples of the material that will be analysed (together with all participants) in the second part of workshop: the visual social media accounts of Donald Trump (both as an individual and president). To facilitate some methods, we will scrape the data from www.instagram.com/realdonaldtrump/ in August 2017, so a pre-populated corpus is available.

Methods presented will include:
– Content Analysis: Content analysis can ask how visual social media are used to share one-way information, focusing on disseminating information and self-presentation as well as used for two-way communication to establish and cultivate relationships with the users. Uta Russmann will introduce how pictures/videos and their captions can be analysed with a specific focus on their perception, image management, integration on other social media, and interactivity (Filimonov, Russmann, & Svensson, 2016; Russmann & Svensson, 2016, 2017).
– Iconographic/Iconologic Interpretation, Analysis of Image Types and Visual Frames: Maria Schreiber and Petra Bernhardt will introduce these approaches as useful methods for in-depth comparative readings of photos, especially in regard to embodied performances, the detection of dominant motifs and strategic frames, and their specific meanings for political image management across platforms (Bernhardt/Liebhart 2017; Schreiber & Kramer, 2016).
– Cross-Platform Analysis: Visual social media rarely operate in isolation today. Visual layers either exist on one platform (eg Instagram including emoji in titles and comments) or, more often, across platforms (similar visual material appearing in different forms across platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat). Tama Leaver will introduce the challenges in ‘following’ images across platforms, building on work co-authored with Tim Highfield (Highfield & Leaver, 2016).
– Discourse analysis and compositional interpretation: Discourse analysis enables the identification of “what was said in what was said” (Foucault, 1972), in terms of the broader cultural norms and understandings that are represented through individual statements. Anne Burns and Alexandra Boutopoulou will demonstrate how a combination of discourse analysis and compositional interpretation (Rose, 2001) can be applied to the study of visual social media, drawing on their own work with the Visual Social Media Lab.

Part 2. Small Group Methods Race

In the second part of the workshop, we will be analysing the data in smaller groups, so participants can experience and practice the different methods. Groups will choose one or two methods (depending on time) and apply them to the same corpus – Donald Trump’s Instagram output. In applying the various methods, their utility can be measured first-hand. Similarly, the application of these approaches will reveal the challenges of limitations of their use.

Part 3. Methodological Discussion

The workshop will end with a robust discussion of the utility and limits of the methods, as well as mapping what other tools, methods and approaches are needed in the visual social media research field. We aim to capture these discussions and potentially shape them into the rationale for a future special issue of a journal on this topic.

Return to Top of Page

Doctoral Colloquium

The Association of Internet Researchers believes that its emerging researchers are the best in its disparate constituent fields. In keeping with its commitment to students’ scholarship, we continue the tradition of bringing emerging and established scholars together through the #AoIR2017 Doctoral Colloquium. The colloquium offers PhD students working in internet research or related fields a special, day-long forum. For many years, this pre-conference event has provided students with the opportunity to spend a concentrated amount of time with senior scholars to share research projects, address methodological and theoretical challenges, and exchange informal advice on juggling the multiple pressures associated with job searching, publishing, and finishing the dissertation.

We have a great line up of mentors including: Andrew Herman (Wilfrid Laurier University – Canada), Sian Lincoln (Liverpool John Moores University – UK), Brady Robards (Monash University – Australia), Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse University – USA), Jenny Sundén (Södertörn University – Sweden) with more to be added.

This year the colloquium chairs are Professor Ben Light (University of Salford – UK) and Professor Susanna Paasonen (University of Turku – Finland).

The Doctoral Colloquium had a application and submission process. The deadline for interest in this program has passed.

Return to Top of Page

Digital Methods in Internet Research

This full-day preconference workshop introduces participants to digital methods and their applications in media, cultural and internet studies via a series of short talks, masterclasses, and hands-on methods sessions. Participants will be supplied ahead of time with learning resources including tutorials, readings and rich media examples. The schedule will also provide opportunities for discussion and practical experimentation. The workshop is designed for internet researchers at all stages of their careers, and will have particular relevance for PhD and early-career scholars. The session will be limited to 50 participants.

This preconference is organised by the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. Facilitators include Tim Highfield, Axel Bruns, Stefanie Duguay, Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez, Brenda Moon, Felix Muench, and Aljosha Karim Schapals.

Schedule
Morning sessions (including a break)
Welcome
Session 1: Provocations for Digital Methods and Digital Media
Session 2: Analysing Social Media Data with Tableau
Session 3: App walkthroughs

Afternoon sessions (including a break)
Session 4: Interrogating Algorithms
Session 5: Encrypt all the things!!!
Session 6: Challenges and Futures for Digital Methods
Wrap-up

Short abstracts for sessions

1. Conceptual Introduction: Provocations for Digital Methods and Digital Media
This introduction sets out the state of play around digital methods and digital media. While some popular platforms, like Twitter, have been extensively studied by internet researchers and offer established methodologies, other platforms create their own ethical, methodological, and conceptual challenges – from Instagram’s changing API access to the prevalence of visual media within digital media communication. The introduction provides provocations for internet researchers, for approaches to digital media research that engage with critical elements of everyday digital media from users to big data to platforms to algorithms.

2. Analysing Social Media Data with TCAT and Tableau
Especially when working with large social media datasets, visual data analysis is now an indispensable part of the scholarly research and publication process. Data visualisation is able to provide a rapid overview of patterns in the dataset, and to pinpoint specific events and areas that should be selected for further in-depth analysis. The social media data analytics workshop will focus on a key emerging tool for large-scale analysis, Tableau, for processing and visualising large datasets.

3. The walkthrough method for studying apps
Software applications (apps) are the site of significant sociocultural and economic transformations across many domains, from health and relationships to entertainment and finance. As relatively closed systems, apps pose methodological challenges for digital media research. In this session, we will discuss a new approach, the walkthrough method, which combines cultural studies and science and technology studies (STS) as a lens for critical app analysis. Participants will learn how to establish an app’s environment of expected use by assessing its vision, operating model, and modes of governance. They will also gain hands-on experience using the walkthrough technique to systematically step through the stages of registration, everyday use, and discontinuation to identify the app’s embedded cultural meanings and implied ideal users.

4. Interrogating algorithms
Algorithms, as constitutive elements of online platforms, are increasingly shaping everyday sociability. Developing suitable empirical approaches to render them accountable and to study their social power has recently become a prominent scholarly concern. This workshop proposes an approach to examining what an algorithm does, not only to move closer to understanding of how it works, but to investigate broader forms of agency involved. To do this, we examine YouTube’s search results ranking over time in the context of seven socio-cultural issues. Through a combination of rank visualizations, computational change metrics and in-depth qualitative analysis of videos returned, we study search ranking as the distributed accomplishment of ranking cultures rather than merely algorithmic outputs.

5. Encrypt all the things!!!
The political upheavals of 2016 support Edward Snowden’s warnings of a turn-key surveillance state. As the aftermath of the military coup in Turkey shows, academics can be amongst the first targets of autocratic governments. Even in supposedly stable democracies, the passing of surveillance laws and increase in hacking attacks threatens the security of data and communication. In addition, researchers mostly do not enjoy the protection of information provided to lawyers, medical doctors, and clergy. Recognising these increasing risks, researchers need to become more aware of digital methods to protect their research and sources. In this workshop, we address threats a researcher should protect against, explain basics of computer security, the encryption of data and communication, and provide recommendations for existing tools.

6. Roundtable: Challenges and Futures for Digital Methods
This final session will bring facilitators and participants together to reflect upon the methods introduced in the workshop, and to address challenges and needs for digital methods going forward. This roundtable will offer participants additional opportunities to discuss issues and questions relevant to digital methods in their own individual research projects.

Return to Top of Page

Understanding and Distorting the Internet, Metaphors of Experience in 2017

For decades, internet scholars have engaged with how people make sense of their networked and mediated lives. How are technologies, spaces, interactions, people and publics experienced, articulated and understood? What are the wider implications of those articulations?

Metaphors can create important insights, but also distort (Morgan 1986/1997); be a powerful trope for describing and discovering “the truth” (Burke 1945/1969); or function as conceptual systems that help us map across mental domains (Lakoff 1992). Metaphors that help us make sense of and explain “the internet” have thrived and dwindled over time. Electronic Frontier gave way to the Net, which became the World Wide Web, which morphed into social network sites, and platform societies. Looking at the CfPs for the AOIR conferences we see a transition in our collective rhetoric as well. We have moved from prioritizing “the Internet” and HCI (2000, 2001), to “cyberspace” (2002), “digital communications networks” (2003), “generations of the Internet” (2005), “the Internet as an arena of convergence” (2006), “new media technologies and practices” (2007), “net-based communities” (2008), “ubiquity of the Internet” (2009) “ICTs” (2010), “blended online/offline contexts” (2011), “emerging technologies” (2012), “technologies as basic infrastructure” (2013), to a finally un-capitalized internet and digital networks (2014). Now, for the past three years, AoIR has been framed as a space “for gathering of scholars interested in the place of networked technologies in social processes” (2015, 2016, 2017). Understanding metaphors of the internet is not only a scholarly, but also a political, practical, and an ethical matter.

Almost 20 years ago Annette Markham (1998, 2003) proposed a framework of the internet as a tool, as a place and as a way of being. Though not mutually exclusive, these three metaphors invoke and foster divergent ways of making sense of networked and technologically-mediated communication. This full day preconference workshop invites internet researchers to engage with these metaphors to discuss, extend, build on or challenge Markham’s framework of internet as a tool, a place, or a way of being. We invite colleagues to a discussion of the (changing) metaphors of everything internet. This includes, but is not limited to metaphors of internet as used by or in various networked publics, metaphors of publics and publicness as used in various discourse, and metaphorical analysis of the concept of (networked) publics itself.

Goals:
Share empirical examples that analyse people’s lived experiences and sensemaking of “the internet” in 2017 through the lens of metaphors– in particular, Markham’s (1998, 2003) framework;
Share conceptual, historical and theoretical visions of the shifts in dominant metaphors of “the internet”;
Collaboratively analyze and extend or challenge the framework of tool, place and way of being;
Share techniques for metaphor analysis and the theoretical implications of engaging with metaphors to conceptually map experience and sensemaking;

Set up:
Participants are invited to submit (to katrin.tiidenberg [at] gmail [dot] com by June 20, 2017; if you didn’t manage to submit by the deadline, but are interested in participating, please reach out and ask if any seats are available)  a one-page abstract of the idea they want to workshop with their peers. The abstract should indicate whether the submission would be empirical or theoretical, outline how the author engages with the metaphoric framework of tool, place and way of being, and indicate theoretical orientation, methodology, and key findings. Abstracts will be reviewed, and invitations will be extended to either present or attend as a non-presenting participant. Confirmed presentes will be asked to submit an extended draft paper by September 1. All participants will be asked to read (some) drafts in advance to make sure the discussions are substantive.

Discussions will take place in facilitated groups (first half of the day), where participants will briefly present their work, and via a collective discussion in the last part of the session.

Participants: This workshop is open for early career and established scholars. We limit the attendance to no more than 20 presenters and possibly an additional 10-20 non-presenting participants.

Confirmed facilitators:
Annette Markham, Aarhus University. Author of “Life Online Researching Real Experience in Virtual Settings”
Nancy Baym, Microsoft Research New England.
Theresa M. Senft, New York University
Kat Tiidenberg, Aarhus University / Tallinn University
Cindy Tekobbe, University of Alabama

Return to Top of Page