Asian trip 2017-2018

You know the phrase that time flies when you’re having fun? Well, late August I left the Netherlands for a one-week trip to Singapore for the KAS conference, two weeks R&R in Indonesia and a five-month project in Japan. Well, it was over very quickly. Well, that’s how I perceived it anyway. And now I’m already back in the Netherlands for three weeks. And yes, I sometimes I’m homesick for Japan. I mean it’s a very nice country to be. The people are very nice, the scenery is very beautiful, when you know where to look. And of course, the food is absolutely the best.
I had been to Japan three times before, as a tourist, mostly in the spring. Now I had the opportunity to experience autumn and winter, and the occasional typhoon. Christmas began early in Japan, at least for Starbucks: December 1st and all music and decorations were in the spirit of Xmas. Me, from the Netherlands, having Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet on December 5th Starbucks, reallllyyyy: 1st December is tooooooo early for Xmas!
The winter period can be quite cold, but is for the most part beautiful with a lot of sun. This year we had some snow, which is – at least for the east coast – exceptional. The west coast had a lot of slow too. Way too much as far as I could tell.
The project itself was financed by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, for which I am grateful. I also thank University of Tsukuba for acting as host. I really enjoyed the campus life.

A few thanks you for some people. First, the people at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for inviting me. Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki for all the tedious admin-work. I am glad I didn’t have to do that. Junku Lee for the occasional film and nice conversations. Muneo Kaigo for the nice conversations over dinner. And Naoki Fukuhara for our meetings at Starbucks talking about our paper. Also, a thank you to all the people I met during my stay, the dinners and drinks.

It’s been a productive period, having collected over 80Gb of social media data. It was pure luck that Abe announced snap-elections two weeks after I arrived in Japan. I’m working on a few papers on social media in election campaigns and newspapers strategies in the use of social media. that should emerge from this project. Let’s hope the editors and reviewers like them too 🙂

Radboud Summer School 2018: Theorizing and Analyzing Social Media in Political Communication and Journalism

Just a quick shout-out: in summer 2018 (6-17 August), my social media course will be on offer again. The course titled “Theorizing and Analyzing Social Media in Political Communication and Journalism”, be for two entire weeks. The first week will be mostly about social media from a theoretical perspective. The second week will be about using R for social media data collection, and various types of analysis of social media data. For further details, keep an eye on the website of the Radboud Summer School.

Hope to see you in Nijmegen!!!

Radboud Summer School course “Social Media Theory and Data in Journalism and Political Communication”

I am pleased to announce that I will teach a course on social media theory and data in journalism and political communication. It will take place in the first week of August 2016 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Click to read the course description.

Social media (such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Plurk, Renren) are important new digital platforms for online social networking and microblogging to discuss all kinds of issues (serious and trivial).
A subdivision of social media research concerns how regular people (citizens), political actors (politicians, organisations) and media professionals (journalists) use social media to share opinions about issues, create online communities and use social media strategically to inform or to win over people, e.g., to vote for them. In this course you will learn how to look at this social media data to understand how journalists, politicians, and citizens use social media. The course has three main parts: (a) theorizing social media, (b) theorizing theories about online journalism and political communication, and (c) methods of data collection and analysis of social media.
Social media theories will look at the specifics of social media design and how this affects online communication and networks. This theme is applicable to all kinds of social media and connected digital media. Subsequently we will look at creating social media theories for journalism and political communication using traditional and new approaches to create social media theories such as agenda setting research and networked journalism. Furthermore, we will discuss and use methods of collection and analysing social media data. The empirical and hands-on part will focus on understanding the structure of social media data (e.g., networks based on social connections but also sharing activities), the dynamics of social media data (e.g., change across time of social media activity) and the actual content of social media (i.e., expressed opinions).
In the morning programme the main focus will be theory, although methods will be a part of those sessions. In the afternoon we will have hands-on meetings on how to collect social media data, how to develop measurements instruments and analysing social media in terms of structure and content.

General information about summer courses from the Radboud University in 2016 can be found here.