social media

What Will 4 People Think / Chaar Log Kya Kahenge

SMRITI KAUL Convo Research & Strategy Pvt Ltd PechaKucha Presentation—This paper raises the implications of simplifying algorithms for scale and uplifting content that is damaging for human evolution. Technology is powerful because of its scale and also disempowering for the same reason. Scale is in the variables and online media, in the zest of empowering women, is deciding our fate. I get it when the housewife looks to YouTube to cook a meal. However, I also see the heartbreak when what should be freeing is actually being used to throttle progress. When a girl from a small sub-segment of global population like Rajasthan, while wanting to feel empowered realises that she's unable to measure up? Are we responsible for this? Are our “hashtags” and “likes” fuelling our continued repression? As an ethnographer, I study media consumption to overcome barriers to participation in the online world, and as a gender trainer, I also create and use media content to overcome barriers in the real world. I find myself continually...

Fighting Conspiracy Theories Online at Scale

REBEKAH PARK Gemic DAVID ZAX ReD Associates BETH GOLDBERG Jigsaw This 2019 project conducted in the US and the UK sought to understand which conspiracy theories are harmful and which are benign, with an eye towards finding ways to combat disinformation and extremism. This case study demonstrates how ethnographic methods led to insights on what “triggered” conspiracy belief, the social and emotional roles conspiracy theories played in believers’ lives, and how conspiracy belief was often a reflection of a person's general sense of societal alienation. We discovered that any extreme version of a conspiracy theory could be harmful. The findings of this project changed how the client—and by extension engineers behind major tech platforms—understood harmful conspiracy-related content, and led to a refinement of the algorithms defining the discoverability of this content. The aim of this project was to scale and amplify through algorithmic interventions the work of individual debunkers. Keywords: Conspiracy theories,...

Growing Communities: How Social Platforms Can Help Community Groups Achieve the Right Scale at the Right Time

CALEN COLE Stripe Partners CAROLYN WEI Facebook Supporting communities on its platforms has been a part of Facebook's core mission since 2017. Early understandings of the needs of groups and organizers largely centered around groups that began on Facebook itself. This paper is the result of ethnographic research conducted in 2019 to better understand the needs of different types of groups and the corresponding ways that technology platforms do and could support them. The initial orientation towards online groups led to the recognition of the difficulty of managing fast-growing groups but failed to consider whether groups might want to avoid growth in members altogether. We found in our research that many groups in fact did want to avoid or limit their growth in numbers. For these groups, growing as a community meant different things: offering more to existing members, raising awareness, or promoting the group to an outside audience, or simply maintaining over time. Our research was able to connect the dots of why organizers...

Towards an Archaeological-Ethnographic Approach to Big Data: Rethinking Data Veracity

SHAOZENG ZHANG Program of Applied Anthropology, Oregon State University BO ZHAO Program of Geography, Oregon State University JENNIFER VENTRELLA Program of Mechanical Engineering and Program of Applied Anthropology, Oregon State University For its volume, velocity, and variety (the 3 Vs), big data has been ever more widely used for decision-making and knowledge discovery in various sectors of contemporary society. Since recently, a major challenge increasingly recognized in big data processing is the issue of data quality, or the veracity (4th V) of big data. Without addressing this critical issue, big data-driven knowledge discoveries and decision-making can be very questionable. In this paper, we propose an innovative methodological approach, an archaeological-ethnographic approach that aims to address the challenge of big data veracity and to enhance big data interpretation. We draw upon our three recent case studies of fake or noise data in different data environments. We approach big data as but another kind of human...

Evidence Outside the Frame: Interpreting Participants’ “Framing” of Information when Using Participatory Photography

TABITHA STEAGER Pacific AIDS Network This paper discusses the benefits and challenges of participatory photography as ethnographic evidence and how as researchers we can “read” the evidence our participants create. Drawing on examples from an ethnographic study examining concepts and constructions of community on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, I examine how we can interrogate photographs as data rather than factual evidence. Adages such as “the camera doesn’t lie” support the view of photography as a purveyor of truth. Photos accompanying journalistic dispatches from far-flung outposts around the world are seen as authentic evidence of real-world situations. Amateur videos of people’s life experiences are filmed on smart phones and then posted to YouTube to be taken as authentic representations of life events. Early ethnographic uses celebrated photography as the ultimate tool for showing that anthropologists had actually “been there,” displaying the exoticism of other cultures in factual black and white....

Life and Death of Evidence: The role of digital interactions during Mexico’s earthquake

FRANCISCO JAVIER PULIDO RAMIREZ INSITUM PechaKucha Presentation Social media played a fundamental role on Mexico's earthquake, it bring us new solutions but created some other problematics that were unexpected. Millions of users shared their experiences faster than any other traditional media but the use and abuse of their evidence impacted the way we faced the crisis. Earthquakes are extreme case scenarios where social medias couldn't forecast the different consequences of their design decisions that impacts people's lifes. As producers of contents, all our evidence is storage on the digital sphere, always available, unchangeable, static, waiting to be rescue for interpretation. Most of the evidence that generate chaos after the earthquake happened because they were digitally alive, being shared over and over without control, for hours and days and when it finally reach you it was no longer useful. But on a scenario where temporality is crucial and minutes can define life or death, should we kill our evidences in pro for a better...

The Lifecycle of a Washing Machine: Transforming the Customer Experience for a Home Appliance Manufacturer

BETH KELLEY Doblin, Deloitte Consulting LLP JENNIFER BUCHANAN Doblin, Deloitte Consulting LLP Case Study—This case study explores a customer experience transformation strategy and development research project run by Deloitte for a multinational U.S.-based home appliance manufacturing company. It explores the shift in strategy and approach for the company based on the team's digital ethnographic research, as well as applying the ethnographic method to a non-traditional data source (digital and social media). Part one lays out the background on the client and the team and challenge proposed by the client. Part two lays out the details of the team's methodology and process of evaluating social data using ethnographic and other qualitative and quantitative methods. Part three reflects on the findings of the research and how these differed substantially from the client's assumptions. Part four evaluates the contribution the digital-based research made in providing a new perspective on the enterprise's customer experience strategy...

Everyday Life in Tamil Nadu, India and Its Cost to “Free Basics”

SHRIRAM VENKATRAMAN University College London NIMMI RANGASWAMY Xerox Research Centre, India This paper explores how the ‘Free Basics’ initiative in India got transformed into a national debate on ‘net neutrality’ principle and finally led to it being banned in India. Further, this paper will also use ethnographic data to analyse how this ‘controversial’ initiative was debated, the claims it made and the actual ground level reality in the state of Tamil Nadu....

LOLZ OMG, I’M DEAD. The Rise of Performative Behavior in Social Media, and Its Implications for Digital Ethnography

KATHLEEN HARTNETT SapientNitroDownload PDF PechaKucha—Performative behavior is an action taken specifically with an audience in mind, to elicit a response or reaction. Digital Ethnography encounters this on a daily basis, as we study behavior on social & digital networks where performative behavior is rampant. As a research source, social media behavior is often dismissed because of it’s orientation towards performance – but as people lead more omni-channel lives, the distinction between online and offline lives is becoming harder to discern. As such, we need to start viewing performative behavior as extensions of fully formed individuals. This means today’s Ethnographers need to become Digital Ethnographers as well, to better understand individuals as the sum of both thier online & offline personalities. Kathleen Hartnett lives in Brooklyn, NY and works at SapientNitro, where she leads the Social Insights capability within their Consumer Intelligence Practice. She is passionate about understanding how social...

Tutorial: Market Matters – Social Media for Pre-Research

Instructor: AARON MOY, Twitter This tutorial covers the basics of using social media, focusing how to leverage the information consumers leave behind on social media platforms in qualitative research, to recruit participants and prepare for interviews, and as a source of key sociocultural information about your research topic. Instructor Aaron Moy and tutorial participants also discuss key topics including cross-cultural and ethical issues, privacy and sensitive content, and complexities involved in making inferences based on social media presence or absence. Aaron Moy is a user researcher at Twitter focused on international growing and country specific product research. He’s also worked at Google and Universal McCann....

Ethnography, Storytelling, and the Cartography of Knowledge in a Global Organization: How a Minor Change in Research Design Influenced the Way Our Team Sees, and is Seen by Our Organization.

JAY DAUTCHER and MIKE GRIFFIN Our team unites qualitative researchers, designers, and prototyping engineers to investigate workplace technologies using a four-step process: ethnography, analysis, intervention, measurement. Projects develop in relation to the needs of internal corporate units identified as project stakeholders. An experiment with a more ethnography-centered research approach, conducted without a specific internal sponsor, led us to develop findings we believed could benefit many groups in our organization—designers, product teams, salespeople, corporate strategists—but presented us with some unfamiliar challenges. First, we needed new storytelling and social media tools to disseminate our message. Second, we needed a way to find out who, in our organization of 75,000 globally distributed employees, might value our findings. In response, we initiated an internal project investigating and mapping out social networks of knowledge exchange and strategic influence in our company. We foresee using this strategy map to...

Attaining Humanity

DANNY MILLERThank you very much, indeed. I’m really delighted to be here and to meet this community. I hope that this will be the start of an engagement. As I think it’s sort of clear, I am a pretty academic anthropologist. That makes me a bit anxious, because I do remember going to something a bit like this a long time ago, and the keynote was this kind of academic anthropologist. It was very much this sense of they were standing there and it was like what they had done was so important and so kind of profound. Yes, there were these people doing this kind of more applied work. Well, I suppose you’ve got to do something for a living, but with all of these theories, you know, we can help you do this kind of thing.And when you actually look, I think these days the work of the kind of people who stand up and say that, I would actually say that they’re the kind of theoretical academic work going on in the social sciences today—it is actually increasingly problematic. I think an awful lot of it is very pretentious; it’s very...

Searching for the ‘You’ in ‘YouTube’: An Analysis of Online Response Ability

PATRICIA G. LANGE Enthusiasm for adding sociality to Web sites is mounting. Yet, the YouTube experience shows that participation in social networking sites is complex and potentially contentious. Meaningful participation in part depends upon participants’ ability to respond to others and contribute to a site. While some participants demand more active involvement from administrators to create a safe and encouraging environment, others view intensive regulation as impairing their individual response ability to communicate with others and contribute. Discussions about adequate participation inevitably lead to a consideration of administrators’ responsibility for creating an environment that provides sufficient opportunities for widespread and diverse participation. Before embarking on creating a community or adding intensive social networking components that may be monetized to a site, administrators should think carefully about the challenges that will likely ensue as participants become more passionate about the community and consequently...

Back to the Future of Work: Informing Corporate Renewal

JENNIFER WATTS-ENGLERT, MARGARET SZYMANSKI, PATRICIA WALL, MARY ANN SPRAGUE and BRINDA DALAL This paper describes the results of a multi-year ethnographic study of how knowledge workers integrate new technology into their work practices. We studied mobile and remote workers who use smartphones, tablets, cloud computing, and social networking to support their work. Study findings describe the characteristics of mobile work, the coordination of multiple devices and sources of information, how new technology functioned as a social resource and issues that arose when participants used personal mobile devices to support work. We will also discuss how we are working with corporate teams to renew our research projects, and the solutions and services the company offers to support the changing nature of work....

Understanding Mediated Practices: Combining Ethnographic Methods with Blog Data to Develop Insights

JONATHAN BEAN and ZEYNEP ARSEL While theories of practice have been influential in the social sciences, these frameworks have seen limited application in ethnographic and applied inquiry, perhaps because few methods for carrying out practice theoretical research have been elaborated. We address this opportunity and provide an account of a multi-method inquiry on domestic practice. First, we explain methods for integrating data from blogs with ethnographic methods and how this data can be used to develop theory. Second, we share our experience as interdisciplinary researchers using ethnographic and quantitative data to connect work at the boundaries of social practice theory and theories of consumption. Finally, we share our insights on why industry should aim to better understand existing and emergent consumer practices....