Slides – SRA/#NSMNSS Conference: Answering social science questions with social media data – 8 March 2018

Events – Archive of presentations and papers

We encourage speakers at SRA events to let us make their presentations available online:  the archive below has been gathered from events going back to 2005.  It includes our annual  conferences, summer events, social media conferences and other workshops and seminars.

Conference Programme

Speaker Presentations

Keynote 1 – Recognition of citizens’ voice with social media(Steven McDermott, Qualitative Analysis and Social Media Lead, HMRC)
Shouting at MPs: Sentiment analysis of tweets sent as @messages (Amy Binns, University of Central Lancashire)
Fact perception and public expectations in a digital world (Clare Llewellyn, University of Edinburgh)
Keynote 2 – Sensing human behaviour with online data (Suzy Moat, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School)
Socialisation or social isolation? Virtual ethnography and mental ill health (Kim Heyes, Manchester Metropolitan University)
Sleep, stress and social media (Josh Smith, Demos)

Answering Social Science Questions with Social Media Data

I am honoured to have been asked to present as a keynote for the upcoming “Answering Social Science Questions with Social Media Data” conference hosted by NSMNSS.

Thursday 8th March 2018, The Wellcome Collection, London, NW1 2BE

After several successful events, we’re pleased to say that the NSMNSS network ( and Social Research Association ( are again teaming up to deliver a one-day conference on ‘Answering social science questions with social media data’.

As social media research matures as a discipline, and methodological and ethical concerns are being addressed, focus is increasingly shifting on to the role that it can and should play in the social sciences – what are the questions it can help us to answer?

We are looking for speakers who have completed a piece of social research using social media data to present their findings and discuss how this has made a difference:

  • How has it impacted policy, best practice, or understanding?
  • How has it answered a question that would have been unfeasible using conventional research methods alone?

This research could be in any substantive area, from health or crime to politics or travel, as long as it is ‘social’ research. It can also include any type of analysis – quantitative or qualitative analysis, big data or small – as long as it involves some form of data collection via a social media platform. We want to encourage a range of different methods and topics to help demonstrate the diversity of the methodology and the role it can play.

#DigitalSociology Twitter Network 2017

A pdf version is also available – digitalsociology

Digital Sociology 

We are a @BritSoci study group

In spite of the increasing prominence of the Digital Humanities within the academic landscape, the form and practice which might come to be implied by the moniker ‘Digital Sociology’ remains strikingly inarticulate. While recent developments in computational social science and online research methods are certainly to be welcomed, it is our contention that the nascent ‘digital turn’ being witnessed in the academy has broader significance for the future of sociology than such specialisms can account for. Lupton (2012) identifies four major areas to the nascent field of digital sociology: professional use of digital tools by sociologists, sociological analyses of digital media use, sociological analysis of digital data and critical analysis of digital media and their attendant circuits of capital and power. Our proposed group would seek to represent each of these areas, drawing out the commonalities between them while taking care not to obliterate the differences. We hope to use the notion of ‘digital sociology’ as an umbrella term under which to bring what have too often been disparate and fragmented strands of research and practice concerning the ‘digital’ into a productive dialogue, orientated towards the novelty of our present circumstances but grounded in the longer standing intellectual traditions of sociology.

Aims of the Group

  • To identify and disseminate best practice in the use of digital tools by sociologists.
  • To develop and promote specifically sociological modes of inquiry into digital media use.
  • To develop and promote specifically sociological responses to ‘big data’, in terms of both secondary analysis and the broader methodological questions posed by this transformation in the information systems of late capitalist society.
  • To develop and promote specifically sociological analyses of the broader personal, cultural and structural changes involved in the digital turn within social life.
  • To provide an open forum for exploration of what the digital turn entails for sociological practice, professional identity and the future of the discipline.

Contact the Convenors

Mark Carrigan

University of Warwick

Emma Head

Keele University

Huw Davies 

University of Southampton

Or join the groups mailing list here…

IP Addresses and Virgin Trains East Coast

Click to Interact

The following attempt at collecting data within a digital environment is part inspired by reading Digital Sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research Noortje Marres.

My phone was not connected to Virgin Trains East Coast  wifi during the entire trip.

IP Addresses Collected on a Virgin East Coast Train – Using a freely available app on my Android phone I was able to collect this list of IP addresses – I am simply left with a lot of questions. Are they the IP addresses of the mobile devices of my fellow travellers or are they the IP addresses that my mobile phone was in connection with and exchanging my data with? Or both.