Researching Social Media Publics: Practices Essay


Discuss about the Researching Social Media Publics for Practices.


The Researching of social media platforms, practices and publics is the use of tools and techniques for mining and examining data from social media networks and the internet. This entails the research on how the social media platforms (and the diverse cultures that generated them) come to a point where they propose the aspect of “the social” and the way users proceed to adopt it (Gillespie, 2010). Furthermore, it implies researching the way the language of social/media is creating ethical or normative apprehensions, how an effective ethics of social life via media can be fostered, and capturing the gaps from where the other suggestions of “the social” might be established (Dijck, 2014).

Pew Research Centre

Pew Research Centre is a website that is dedicated to informing the public on facts about the issues, attitudes, and developments that are influencing the United States and the world as a whole. It carries out polling opinions from the public, demographic research, analysis of media content and other experimental research in social science. This site makes use of online research methods such as quantitative methods namely: sample surveys, quantitative web content analysis, online natural experiments (Ackland, 2013). For instance, the report on “The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade” (Pew Research Centre, 2016) employed the use of online natural experiments on various experts about the level of people’s trust on online interactions. The site also conducts public opinion polls by use of sample surveys, whereby a subset of a population is selected, and data is collected and analyzed to represent the entire population. Media content analysis is conducted by use of quantitative web content analysis where texts are read, observed and labels assigned so that statistical estimates are derived, for example, the report by Aleksandra Sandstrom, “God or the divine is referenced in every state constitution.” Also, the site conducts empirical social science research by making use of the combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis. For instance, the use of literature review and experimental studies in the report “The Future of the Internet III.”

Social Media Collective Research Blog

The Social Media Collective is a network of researchers drawn from the fields of social science and humanistic scholars some of whom are interns, post doctorate, and guests. Some of these researchers are full-time and part time-based. The Microsoft research lab in both England and New York helps in the research as well. This blog aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of social-cultural that strengthen the social media tools through the use of various methodologies across different areas of study. The blog uses both quantitative and qualitative methods of research. For instance, the Microsoft research laboratory in New York and New England uses online lab experiments (Ackland, 2013, p.40) to conduct research; quantitative web content analysis is also evident in the analysis of the publication of Meryl Alper “Giving Voice”(Microsoft Research, 2016). Qualitative web content analysis methods are also employed in the blog by Jessa Lingel on “Information wants to be free-but do we want it to be leaky?” in the report, many web texts are analyzed in the discussion of the topic.


Van Dijck, J., 2013. The culture of connectivity: A critical history of social media. Oxford:Oxford University Press.pp. 24-44.

Gillespie, T., 2010. The politics of ‘platforms’. New Media & Society, 12(3), pp.347-364. Ackland, R., 2013. Web social science: Concepts, data and tools for social scientists in the digital age. London: Sage Publications. Pp. 21-47

Pew Research Centre 2016, Pew Research Centre [home], Pew Research Centre, viewed 22 August 2017,

Microsoft Research 2016, Social Media Collective [home], Social Media Collective, viewed 22 August 2017,

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