Report on UK – India Social Media Research Workshop 5/6 Feb 2014

Dr Richard Adams was invited to present our network at the Social Media Research workshop in Bangalore, organised by the UK Science and Innovation Network (February 5-7, 2014) These are the slides he presented:

The following is a summary  of the event from a blog by Tom Wells, the full version can be found here.

The workshop was hosted by IIIT and run in collaboration with Cognizant, ESRC and the RCUK Digital Economy Programme.

Other presenters included:

Professor Derek Macauley (UK’s Connected Digital Economy Catapult Centre), Professor Gerard Parr (Ulster), Dr Cathy Mulligan (Imperial) , Professor Dame Wendy Hall (Web Science Trust), Professor David De Roure (Oxford), Professor Pete Edwards (Aberdeen), Professor Ponnurangam Kumaraguru (IIIT)

Members of the workshop tweeted about the event using #UKIndiasocial

A report of the event containing links to many of the presentations can be found here.

Some common themes of the first day included:

  • Creation of a Web Observatory in Bangalore: Potentially part of a growing network of web observatories around the world.  They are a place to share open data on how the web is used, and for that data to be used and analysed by academics and industry, then returned to the observatory for others to use.
  • Social machines into action: “Many people acting together through online tools”. Many of the presentations highlighted examples of social machines becoming something outside of the web. Social networks effecting business change, apps to crowd source information about the location of artwork, or massively open online course spontaneously spawning real-world local support groups.
  • Crowd sourcing for disruption response: From Twitter and travel disruption to data from social media during major weather events as case studies. A key questions: how to define the provenance of data sourced from social media, and use it to make judgments about accuracy?
  • Online Trust and Privacy: Privacy is a fluid concept on the web. Of particular interest was what privacy concerns need to be addressed in order to be able to deliver public services through the web. With projects like Aadhaar coming through, this will be an important question for India.

On the second day, the above themes  were discussed in smaller groups. A major outcome was that IIIT-B will take forward the establishment of a Web Observatory in Bangalore. Several of the group were keen to hold a Web Observatory Workshop in Bangalore later this year, with others also interested in a wider event on social media and analytics. Rather than being another research discussion, this would be an opportunity for young researchers from the UK and India to get together for a week, carry our joint analysis of with big data sets about web use and show off what they can do.

On the final day, several of the group stayed on in Bangalore to visit companies and institutions in the city. They explored the ongoing relationship between the Web Science Trust and Infosys, while others learnt about Infosys’s impressive sustainability programme. There was also a meeting with Cognizant to understand their social media analytics tools and showcase of some of Microsoft Research’s work, such as IVR Junction, for emerging markets.