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Analysing found non-text social media data : options and challenges

Pennington, Diane (2016) Analysing found non-text social media data : options and challenges. In: Social Media and Society, 2016-07-11 - 2016-07-13. (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper is based on a chapter entitled “Coding of non-text data” (Rasmussen Pennington,in press) that has been accepted for publication in The SAGE handbook of social media research methods. The chapter outlines the special concerns associated with collecting and analyzing data found on social media sites and not in language-based text (Rasmussen Neal, 2012). The presence of non-text information on social media sites, such as photographs, videos, music, and even games on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and Vine, continues to grow exponentially. Despite their abundant presence, and the wealth of insight that social media researchers could obtain from them, few methods have been developed and utilized to use them. They are naturalistic, “found” data sources, just as tweets and blog posts are, but they are frequently ignored in favour of text-based data. The purpose of this paper will not present original empirical results; instead, it is meant to introduce social media researchers to potentially new data sources as well as methods for analysing them. Results from the author’s previous studies in this area will be used as examples.