Delivered a workshop at SITraN to the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom on Communicating Science through Social Media
On Saturday the 13th of May I delivered a talk on communicating science through social media in collaboration with the University of Sheffield. I shared my experiences on how I reached readers in over 136 countries and how I received over 250 thousand page hits across a number of channels within the first two years my PhD. My slides for the talk can be found here.
The event had an extremely good turnout for a Saturday afternoon, and the atmosphere of the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom was very lively and friendly. I would like to thank the organisers and especially Margarita Segovia Roldan and Jacobo Elies Gomez pictured below.
I was also very happy to receive a gift of Spanish Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This was the first time I had received a gift after a talk. The Spanish Society of Research is awesome! Gracias!
What is Making Social Media Data Matter?
This is the catchy name to a 3-day, hands on, workshop which takes place at Boston University College of Communication from May 31st to June 2nd, in 2017. The workshop is organised by Jacob Groshek, who has published a number of very high quality research outputs related to research on communication technology, politics, and society. You can be sure you are learning from the best.
Who is the event for?
Anyone who works with social media data! This could include professionals such as those in the media, researchers, scientists, and research students. Moreover, anyone with a general interest in social media as a source of research data will benefit from attending the event! No computational background is required, and you will gain new knowledge on network analysis, geolocation, as well as machine learning.
What will you learn from the workshop?
The workshop will cover the theoretical bases of working with big data, and the workshop also includes access to some amazing data platforms such as the Boston University Twitter Collection and Analysis Toolkit (BU-TCAT). I have used this toolkit for a number of years, and it is one of the best platforms available to researchers. The workshop will also cover the fundamentals of using Gephi.
What will you gain from the event?
Boston University will award delegates with a Certificate in Social Media Analysis: Principals and Practices for Big Data. This is a very valuable certification as Boston University is an internationally recognised, ranked and respected very highly in world-university rankings. Moreover, you will gain access to BU-TCAT, an exclusive tool which is not available to the general public.
How much does it cost?
The workshop is affordably priced and will cost $1225/£978 for Professionals, $885/£706 for BU Alumni, faculty, and staff. For students the price is set at $685/£547. Please note that a valid student ID will be require in order to register.
Where do I register?
You can read more about the workshop, and register by following this link.
I am pleased to announce a 3-day intensive Summer School taking place in Vodice, Croatia, located in Central Europe. The event has been co-organised with Technology Entrepreneurship Senior Lecturer, Sergej Lugovic
There is a lot of social media content out there on the Web. It’s a constant stream, and it can be difficult to make sense of all of the data. Social media analytics has evolved over time and it is now time to think outside of the box. By attending our event you will be able to address the following questions:
- How are you being mentioned on social media?
- Who are the influencers in a topic close to your brand – do they follow your brand?
- What tools should your organisation be using for social media monitoring? Are you currently paying too much?
- How can you use social media as a method of identifying influencers? Are they real influencers?
- Who is replying to your tweets? Are the replies positive or negative in sentiment?
- What can programming languages offer your social media accounts?
- Is your organisation currently maximizing the potential of machine learning, social network analysis, and audience targeting?
- Is your organisation aware of all the potential uses of social media data?
Learn about software such as:
Last week, I attended the 2017 iConference in Wuhan, China. I provide some highlights from my trip below, along with some of my photos from the trip.
My highlights from my trip included me presenting a poster on my pilot study from my PhD, and which received good interest from delegates, particularly concerning the methodology that was used. A number of very useful connections were made from across the world, and there was a lot of interest in the 2018 edition of the iConference which will take place in Sheffield hosted in collaboration with Northumbria University.
I also enjoyed visiting the Yellow Crane Tower, Hubei Provincial Museum, the East Lake, Wuhan, and the Yangtze River. Wuhan is a beautiful city, and the people are very friendly. I read online that the people in Wuhan are unusually nice, and I have to say that this is very true and I felt very welcome in the city.
It was also really good to meet Lee (Dr Xuguang Li) an Information School alumni who is now working as an academic in Wuhan. Lee was a very popular student among the iSchool, and I had heard many great things about him, so it was a pleasure to meet him, and we are very grateful that he showed us around Wuhan. I look forward to working with Lee in the future.
I am looking very much forward to the iConference in 2018 and welcoming delegates from across the world to Sheffield. I was born and raised in Sheffield and studied both my undergraduate and masters degrees here. Sheffield is a brilliant city, and I think delegates will really enjoy visiting the city as well as enjoying the conference.
This past week I have been in Wuhan, China presenting at the 2017 iteration of the iConference.
This study was a pilot study which analysed a subset of tweets related to the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
Audiense has a number of social listening capabilities, however, the power of the platform lies in its ability to target Twitter users based on a number of powerful metrics. After using the platform for a week, I quickly realised that it could easily be used to help brands increase their reach and revenue. See a list of case studies here.
One of the features that really impressed me was related to creating audiences, and then targeting them. That is, you can set up a number of behaviour triggers and combine this with IBM Watson’s personality insights in order to target Twitter users. The number of filters you can use is staggering, and a full list of filtering features can be found here. The platform is very affordable and the basic rate starts at around $30 a month.
I was not surprised to find out that over 10 thousand brands are using the platform including a number of premier league football clubs. I have the ability to issue readers of my blog a free 30 day trail of the platform, and you can click here to create an account and you can begin to play around with the features.
I have lost count of the number of times social media managers have been distraught at the other end of the phone because they’re fixed into a contract for something they can’t use, and where there is no training.
So I decided to create a list of The top 4 Social Listening Analytics Tools Every Digital Media Manager Should Use In 2017 are:
NodeXL is a great ad-on to services such as Radian 6, Crimson Hexagon, as well as the tools presented in this blog. It has taken off very fast, and the insight you can get from a graph is simply amazing.
It provides a very nice overview of popular websites, hashtags, keywords, co-words, influencers, replied-to overall and by group-level. The clustering allows users to see, at a glance, what types of content is being shared on the platform. Read my workshop on NodeXL here.
Visibrain is a media monitoring platform and provides very smooth and fast analytics. It makes use of many of Twitter’s meta-data fields and provides powerful insight to to a topics demographics such as country, language, gender, audience, occupation, interest, and client type.
The number of filtering streams is very impressive, and the Quick Trends explorer is very useful for gaining an insight into the number of tweets generated on a specific topic. So, for example, you could use the Quick Trends Explorer to examine the frequency of tweets on a range of topics. You can monitor for unusual activity, and Visibrain can send instant alerts. Read my favorite blog post which details in full all of the fantastic features on my blog here.
Use Echosec, to draw geo-fenced rings around specific geographical areas and monitor the social media posts coming out of them. You can monitor for specific keywords, images, or series of tweets which can then send alerts.
Echosec Pro allows users to access at least the following social data feeds: Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Panoramio, AIS Shipping, Sina Weibo, Flickr, and YouTube. Read more about Echosec on my blog.
I have been involved in reviewing tools, and researching social media for a number of years now, and Audiense can do things with Twitter data I didn’t think were possible. For example, with a couple of clicks, I was able to remove hundreds of bot followers from my Twitter account (without blocking them). I described it to a colleague as feeling like Neo from the Matrix when sat thralling through the dashboard.
It has analytics and monitoring capabilities, however, it is unique in the sense that you can examine your Twitter audience i.e., the followers of your Twitter account, and you can search and filter your audience using a number of impressive metrics. You can use this intelligence to then target users based on content that they are more likely to engage with. You can check out a list of case studies of how brands have used Audiense for this purpose here. Audiense is one of only two official partners of Twitter, and is an official partner with IBM’s Watson.
Contact me for a demo and an introduction to any of the tools above, I am also happy to answer any specific question you and/or your organisation many have.
I had the pleasure to speak at a PubhD event in Sheffield this week. The concept is to use a whiteboard and a marker pen to explain your research in 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of questions. In exchange for speaking you receive a free drink, and I had a pint of diet coke. The event is a great way to test out your public speaking and engagement skills. and as a delegate it is a fantastic opportunity to learn something new.
I saw on the PubhD Sheffield Facebook page that a speaker had dropped out, so I messaged to see if I could speak. With less than a day to prepare I stepped up to the challenge. My talk went down very well, and there were a lot of very interesting questions.
I have delivered many talks over the last year or so, and I have to say speaking at PubhD Sheffield is up there as one of the best. The organisers were very friendly and fit me in at the last minute, and all of the delegates were very lovely.
I highly recommend this event for attending and speaking at. I had a really good time. It was also a great opportunity for me to get feedback on my work, so I also really enjoyed that aspect of the night.
Visit the PubhD Sheffield website: http://PubhDSheffield.strikingly.com/
Follow PubhD on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PubhDSheffield
My abstract for the talk
Social networks and social media allow people to share what they think during an outbreak. So my PhD looks at the types of things people say, and whether it based on truth, and to see if it would be harmful. I am looking at Ebola from 2014, and Swine Flu from 2009. I have some found some surprising and interesting things about what types of things users were talking about. For example there is a lot of stigma and discrimination during infectious disease outbreaks can have negative consequences. As well as doing my PhD, I have blogged about social media research and as a result I have been invited to and delivered quite a lot of high profile talks. These have been to government, multi-million turn-over companies, academia, the mainstream media including the likes of the BBC, and I have been awarded funding to work on projects, and deliver training
Being an undergraduate was very difficult for me. Plagued by serious mental health issues, low self-esteem, loneliness, and isolation. I could not talk about how I felt, it was not something I could do. The only way I made it through my undergraduate degree is because I was assigned a Disability Adviser and they drew up a plan where I felt comfortable attending seminars and lectures. They were very supportive. The University of Sheffield has a great set of support services.
I went on to study for a Masters and this was a great year where I made many friends, though after this I would experience a lot of lows. I struggled to find a job, I had bad anxiety, and low self-esteem. On one occasion, I did not leave my house for a week. Most people I knew had moved away from Sheffield, so I felt very lonely, and I am really glad I made it out of this period alive. Though, I was empty from inside. I often listened to Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday:
We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time.
Feeling the lows I felt, starting out a PhD in September 2014, I had nothing to lose. Slowly, I started to fight off my anxiety. I took small steps, saying ‘Hello’ to strangers, recording myself speak and listening to it back, delivering very short presentations and increasing the length bit by bit, I volunteered to do temp work where I would have to speak to people. By taking very small steps I manged to fight my fears, to climb out of hell.
The last two years or so have been good, I have met many people across the world. I have made new friends. I have worked on a number of interesting and important projects, I have delivered a number of talks.
I made it to BBC Radio Sheffield last week to talk about my journey. I would like to dedicate the achievement to all of the brilliant teachers, and support workers that helped me over the years.
You can listen to the interview here, and it starts at the 1 hour 35 minute mark.