Seminaire: Session 4, Natively digital data mapping, 10/04/2014, ENSCI

Thierry Hamon hamon at LIMSI.FR
Tue Apr 8 19:32:21 UTC 2014

Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:14:24 +0200
From: Audrey Baneyx - Sciences Po <audrey.baneyx at>
Message-ID: <53427A80.6090902 at>

*10.04.14 // Session 4: Natively digital data mapping // 14:30-18:00 @

Thirty years ago, the democratization of IT radically changed the way we
access, generate and manage information. The Internet has amplified and
accelerated this phenomenon, producing ever increasing amounts of
"natively digital data" (Rogers, 2013). This has fostered numerous
studies of online culture, where researchers have turned to
user-populated platforms such as Twitter to detect the associative
practices of novel communities, or to sites such as Wikipedia where
recent studies compare the controversality of topics on different
language sections of the online encyclopedia (Yasseri, 2012). Beyond
these specific studies of web-based-media use, there are broader
questions about what exactly are we studying when we analyze hyperlinks,
online forums, websites, etc.? Furthermore, what are we doing when we
access information through ranking systems provided by search engine
algorithms (e.g. PageRank) that constantly evolve to take into account a
user's prior searches? The session aims to develop a reflexive
understanding of using natively digital data as a resource for research.

*[14h30-16h00]* The seminar will start with a collective discussion of
the articles (and video presentation) listed below. There will be a
brief presentation and comments on the texts provided by Alexandre
and Tao Hong ( to help launch
the discussion.

- Marres, N., & Weltevrede, E. (2013). Scraping the Social? /Journal of
  Cultural Economy/, 6(3), 313--335. doi:10.1080/17530350.2013.772070
  (link (

- Yasseri, T., Sumi, R., Rung, A., Kornai, A., & Kertész, J. (2012).
  Dynamics of Conflicts in Wikipedia. /PloS ONE/, 7(6), e38869.
  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038869 (link

- Kelty, C. (2014). /The fog of freedom/. In Gillespie, T., Foot, K.,
  and Boczkowski, P., editors, /Media Technologies: Essays on
  Communication, Materiality, and Society/. MIT Press, Cambridge,
  MA. Video link of presentation of text:


*[16h00-16h15]* Pause

*[16h15-18h00]**Noortje Marres* 
(, Senior Lecturer at
Goldsmiths University of London will be the guest for this session and
present *The Ambiguity of Social Media Research:* *Re-mediating Science
and Technology Studies. *Her talk will address a distinctive problem in
social media research, namely the inherent ambiguity of its object. Of
much social media research the question can be asked of its
practitioners: are they studying society or technology? Not just the
objects, but equally the methods of social media analysis are marked by
ambivalence. They are of uncertain provenance, invoking methodological
traditions in qualitative and quantitative research at once, and leaving
it unclear whether they derive from media culture or from social
research. Drawing on work in science and technology studies, Marres will
argue that this ambiguity of social media research should /not/ be
regarded as a problem-to-be-solved. Instead, the confusion creates
opportunities for understanding and can be deployed to generate insight
in/as social media research. One could even say that social media
research fails when the ambiguity of its object and methods is solved
too quickly.

The seminar is open to all. If you are interested in participating,
however, please sign up (
on our website!

The Organizing Committee

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