Digital Economy USRG

SMiLE: Early Reflections and Next Steps #caasoton

Avatar photoMarch 31, 2012
by Lisa Harris

Last week I posted about our plans for the action research project SMiLE at the CAA2012 conference at Southampton. We tracked the use of a number of social media tools by both ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ attendees and interviewed people about the value they got from this activity, in order to explore the dynamics of the relationship between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ communities. Now that the event is over it is time for the team to gather thoughts about next steps.

This post is a initial attempt to summarise what went on during the week in terms of social media and how we might best take the work forward. Feedback and offers of help are most welcome!

1. The sun shone *all week*. We had arranged this :-)

2. Full statistics are still being collated but as a taster there are so far over 13,000 tweets quoting #caasoton,  with more discussions continuing, 435 photos on Flickr and video views from nearly 40 countries:

3. Nearly half of the 450 conference delegates were active on twitter, and there were many new converts, and also old hands describing the significance of this:

4. tweeting during sessions allowed people to make connections and curate the discussions going on in different rooms, in real time:

Some of these discussions could even be considered as defining new online ‘sessions’ or themes:


5. there was an active group of ‘virtual’ contributors (over 70 registered as ‘virtual attendees’, with some 20 more beaming in randomly on the Wednesday morning alone)

Overall it was a bit of a result, really:

So what next?

We have *much more* data than we expected, but this is a nice problem to have! Already people are tweeting ideas about how best to archive and reuse it, as well as curating data from various sources such as Foursquare to provide an extra layer of value. We want to try different ways to integrate and visualise the data, and also the possibilities of network analyses and data mining.

We will be checking out our interview and survey data and writing up the early findings over the next few weeks to present at the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) Conference in July. Using the principles of crowdsourcing we have requested Session Chairs to gather relevant materials, add their own narrative and Storify each session which can be archived as a permanent record of specific discussions and decisions taken.

We have also spoken with Faculty event managers, the digital media team in comms, and the University’s CITE team about sharing the lessons learned for the benefit of people organising future events. A series of posts charting our progress will follow shortly! We will carry on listening and talking via #caasoton :-)

Fabulous student film crew SUSUtv are recording at #caasoton

Avatar photoMarch 28, 2012
by Lisa Harris

You will recognise the SUSUtv guys from their lovely lime-green shirts!  For the CAA Conference which is running this week they are producing highlights packages of each day’s events, as well as, for example, more specific videos for the Day of Digital Humanities and Personal History conference themes.

The team members are:

Dom Kullander  (Film Studies)

Jamie Chadd (Film and English)

Alastair Mogford (Geography)

Cassie Robinson (Anthropology)

Lauren Baker (Film and French)

Constantin Placking (Erasmus, English Teaching)


SUSUtv was set up in 2007. They were the first ever to broadcast live in HD back in in 2010, and in 2011 their broadcasts were viewed by over 10,000 people. They are proud holders of NaSTA awards in comedy and drama. Last October they ran FreshersTV, the largest ever national link up hosting 23 stations across the country in one live show.

According to Dom, SUSUtv’s aims are to win more awards (!) and carry out further recording work for the University. They are currently producing content for the University’s Transitions Project and are open to further offers :-)

Maximising the value of social media at conferences #caasoton #SMiLE

Avatar photoMarch 24, 2012
by Lisa Harris

The Social Media in Supporting Live Events (SMiLE) research project is now in full swing for next week’s Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference (#caasoton). We will be monitoring the use of a range of established and experimental social media tools. The purpose is to track how they are utilised by delegates before/during and after the event, for example for information recording/sharing, network building, profile raising and the development of an ongoing community of practice. In addition, we will be carrying out interviews and surveys with conference participants about their individual experiences.

We are also interested in exploring the dynamics of the relationship between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ communities, such as whether people meet at the event as a result of an online introduction, or if they skip sessions on the basis that they can follow what goes on via the live streaming and Twitter backchannel.  Assessing the impact of social networking activity on an intended ‘real world’ outcome has historically been difficult to measure, but we suggest that recent developments in social network visualisation and analysis now enable valuable insights to be generated for the benefit of event organisers and community developers.

Here are some of the services that we will be using and monitoring:

    • Twitter (Q&As, question of the day, ‘tweet your phd topic’, event logistics, collection of shared urls saved into Delicious, etc )
    • Facebook Page
    • LinkedIn Group
    • Storify for producing summaries of each day’s events, linked to event website
    • Pinterest and Flickr for photo display, linked to event website
    • Video of keynote sessions, ‘best of the day’ collection and interviews with presenters/attendees (produced and uploaded to event website on the same day by SUSUtv)
    • Lanyards with relevant urls and QR codes which link to each delegate’s contact information that was collected at registration
    • Interactive map generated from delegates input of their journey details to the conference from all over the world
    • Blogging competition to post on topics related to ‘Day of Digital Humanities’, linked to event website
    • Crowdsourcing of delegates’ personal memories looking back over 40 years of this annual conference – video footage,, photos and drawings ( )to be captured and uploaded onto a SIMILE timeline, linked to event website
    • Student posters to be uploaded to event website to allow comments and feedback. Printed posters to have QR codes which link to the presenter’s details that were provided at registration
    • Wikiathon competition running until May, asking delegates to contribute to two Wikipedia topics: ‘Archaeological Computing’ and ‘The CAA’ . Winners will be decided based on page submission ratings from Wikipedia users over a period of two months, and a judging panel
    • Plasma screens across the venue will dynamically display the tweets using the conference hashtag (#saasoton) through VisibleTweets
    • Virtual attendees (registered through the conference website) will be sent welcome packs by email outlining the various ways they can contribute via social media

Please feel free to join in with your contributions or feedback, particularly if you are planning to run an event this summer :-)

ECS Seminar Series: Visualising Complexity

March 21, 2012
by Graeme Earl

Dr Nick Holliman, Durham University will be speaking on Wednesday 4th April 2012 from 15.00-16.00 in 59.1257 (seminar room 1).

Nick Holliman is a Reader in The School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Durham University, UK and is best known for his work over the last sixteen years investigating the fundamental challenges of stereoscopic 3D visualisation. This work has included working with psychologists to understand how the human visual system processes binocular information, geometrically modeling binocular vision to capture empirical comfort limits, developing new computational algorithms for the control of binocular image disparity, and demonstrating how these algorithms work in practice in software tools and 3D visualizations. Prior to joining Durham University in 2001, he was principal researcher at Sharp Laboratories of Europe, in Oxford, England where he led the software team in the 3D imaging technology group. He filed patents on stereoscopic image generation, 3D displays, 3D cameras, and high performance head tracking systems. At Durham he has worked closely with leading astronomers and cosmologists, resulting in two award winning stereoscopic 3D films produced for exhibits at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibitions of 2005, 2009, and 2010.

He will describe current inter-disciplinary research projects at the Durham Visualization Laboratory in binocular imaging, including; collaborations with psychologists to investigate the response of the eye to artificial binocular stimulus, projects with display manufacturers to empirically evaluate display performance, the development of new algorithms for stereoscopic rendering in computer science and conclude by describing collaborative visualization projects with cosmologists, earth scientists, medics and artists.

Faculty of Business and Law Research Seminar Series

Avatar photoMarch 18, 2012
by Lisa Harris

Temporality and value at the intersection of arts and technology: advancing theoretical and methodological development

Organisers: Dr Lorraine Warren, Dr Lisa Harris, Centre for Strategic Innovation; Professor Sean Cubitt, The Winchester Centre For Global Futures In Art Design & Media

This seminar series draws together a distinctive research programme from two leading universities on the South Coast – the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Business and Law (School of Management and Winchester School of Art) and the University of Sussex’s Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (SUSHI for short).  The collaboration is based on the excitement, dynamism, challenge and uncertainty presented by an unprecedented nexus of new possibilities for innovation in society, in education, and in the provision of public services. It should now easier than it has ever been to not only access and use new technologies, but to extend them, customise them, develop new combinations, to improve, radically innovate and disrupt how we live our lives and create new value, new futures. However the roadmap for inductive thinking that will create value in novel and unforeseen ways in new contexts and settings is not clear.

This collaboration examines the roles of arts, design and media in this shifting locus for innovation, exploring how creative artists, media, materials and technologies interact to contribute to the improvement of human societies.  The two days are focused around temporality and the creation of value and throws a spotlight on the arts and creative industries in areas such as new modes of communication, playfulness in the stimulation of design, aesthetics, curation and archiving. The emphasis is on what is currently a weak area in need of development in the literature: theory development and the clarification of ontological and epistemological assumptions in this interdisciplinary arena.

DRAFT Programme


SUSHI – Sussex-Southampton Initiative

Please email Lorraine Warren on if you wish to attend

9.30     Coffee

10.00   Welcome and opening remarks (Lorraine Warren, Sean Cubitt, Lisa Harris)

10.30   Peter Ainsworth, University of Sheffield (Emeritus) The Online Froissart

11.30   Luciano Floridi, Universities of Hertfordshire/Oxford (topic to be confirmed)

12.30   LUNCH

1.30     Kirk Woolford, University of Sussex, Motion in Place Platform

2.30     Ted Fuller, University of Lincoln, Value Creation and Value Capture

3.30     Panel discussion

4.00     Closing remarks

MAY 17         UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX – Attenborough Centre Creativity Zone, Pevensey

SUSHI – Sussex-Southampton Initiative

Organisers: Professor Sally Jane Norman, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts; Doctor Caroline Bassett, School of Media, Film and Music, University Theme Leader for Digital Media and Society

Fellow moderator: Professor Ed Steinmueller, SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research Business and Management; School of Business, Management and Economics

9:30 – 4pm (exact schedule tbc)


–          Josephine Bosma, Dutch media theorist

–          Andy Cameron, UK media artist, developer and theorist

–          Pierre Guillet de Monthoux, Head of Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy,  Copenhagen Business School

–          Simon Worthington, Mute Publishing

The co-production of knowledge: social media, STS and…

Avatar photoMarch 17, 2012
by Lisa Harris

ICS symposium at the University of York, 18-20 July 2012

Jane Vincent from the University of Surrey’s Digital World Research Centre and I will be presenting our paper “Social shaping, social customers and the social web: the blurring of online and offline worlds” at this event.

The ubiquitous social and cultural adoption of social media, such as Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook can be seen to present a significant example of scientific and technological innovation in many contemporary societies. While some studies of social media and, more specifically, Web 2.0 platforms built around user-generated content, have made reference to the importance of the field of science and technology studies (STS) for understanding their development and diffusion, scholars working within this academic framework have yet to fully turn their focus on this area. This three-day symposium is intended to explore the intersection between STS and social media inquiry, with a specific focus on how Web 2.0 is both generative and challenging of different forms of knowledge (co-)production and the authority it commands.

Speakers Include:

•    Geof Bowker, University of California, Irvine
•    Leah Lievrouw, UCLA
•    Adrian MacKenzie, Cesagen, University of Lancaster
•    Rob Procter, e-Research Centre, University of Manchester
•    Robin Williams, ISSTI, Edinburgh
•    Sally Wyatt, e-Humanities Programme, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

This three-day symposium is intended to explore the intersection between these two areas of inquiry, with a specific focus on how Web 2.0 is both generative and challenging of different forms of knowledge production and the authority it commands. Questions related to co-production, citizen science, the power of data algorithms and metrics to shape or bypass human agency, and the possibility of participatory forms of surveillance are just some of the issues that are raised.

This conference is intended to bring together leading scholars in the fields of STS, communication and social media analysis, and the history and philosophy of science to critically explore these issues.

Further details here or email

Managing in the Neural Age: Beyond the Neurobabble

Avatar photoMarch 17, 2012
by Lisa Harris

School of Management Seminar by Stephen Rhys Thomas and Gemma Calvert

20th March 6pm in Building 58a, Highfield Campus

The neuroscientific explosion of the past decade has resulted in many fields acquiring a putative ‘neuro’ prefix, notably neuroeconomics (Glimcher, 2003) and neuromarketing (Smidts, 2002).   Driven in large part by the increasing capacity to open the ‘black box’ of the brain with digital scanning technologies, this revolution in our ability to correlate neural events promises – or threatens – to offer new levels of explanation for previously closed behavioural mechanisms, ushering in a ‘Neural Age’.  In particular, the involvement of brain mechanisms in attention, decision making, emotional evaluation and recognition, and the growing realization that these processes appear to involve significant preconscious, unconscious and even irrational elements (e.g. Ariely and Berns, 2010; Kahneman, 2011).

These realizations and the growing evidence from social cognitive neuroscience of the extent to which our brains are ‘socially wired’ (e.g. Lieberman, 2007) pose challenging questions for potentially presumptive claims of ‘customer insight’ gained by extrinsic rather then intrinsic measures (Calvert, 2012).  Some would argue that the rising tide of neuroscience revelations has been matched and exceeded by hype in the application arena, leaving many companies uncertain of the reality and validity of the new methods:  many businesses see transformational potential in understanding the brain but are perplexed by the hype and the associated ‘neurobabble’.  Neuroscientists themselves are certainly not advocating a panacea (e.g. Poldrack, 2008). In this session, we offer hard science and business perspectives on valid applications of neuroscience at what may be the dawn of the ‘Neural Age’ (Thomas, 2011).

Business-academics Stephen Rhys Thomas and Gemma Calvert will offer a balanced account of some of the potential and actual achievements of applied neuroscience in marketing and related domains, and some of the pitfalls and limitations, including why, for example, any search for a Holy Grail of Marketing in the form of a ‘buy button’ appears to be a doomed quest.

The seminar aims to raise the level of awareness of the major implications of recent developments in social and cognitive neuroscience for mainstream marketing, management and innovation, frame fundamental questions and generate a new research agenda as we pioneer this new field.

 Glimcher, P.W. (2003)  Decisions, Uncertainty and the Brain.  Academic Press.

Smidts, A. (2002) referenced in Sutherland, M. (2007), Neuromarketing: What’s it all about?  1st Australian Neuromarketing Symposium, 2007.

Ariely, D. and Berns, G.S. (2010)  Neuromarketing: the hope and the hype of neuroimaging in business. Nature Neuroscience Reviews, 11, 284-292.

Kahneman, D. (2011)  Thinking Fast and Slow. Allen Lane.

Lieberman, M. D. (2007). Social cognitive neuroscience: A review of core processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 259-89.

Calvert, G. (2012)  Practical Applications of Neuromarketing Tools.  Neuromarketing World Forum 2012, Amsterdam.

Poldrack, R.A. (2008)  The role of fMRI in cognitive neuroscience: where do we stand?  Curr. Opin.Neurobiol. 18, 223-227.

Thomas, S.R. (2011)   The Great NeuroDiaspora:  The Interdisciplinary Explosion in Neuroscience – A management perspective.  Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG) Lecture, February 2011.  Ibid. From Brand to Brain:  Marketing in the Neural Age.  Working Paper, School of Management, University of Southampton.




In the footsteps of Captain Scott

March 13, 2012
by Karen Woods

A hundred years ago this month, Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his band of polar explorers were heading back across the ice after failing to become the first to reach the South Pole.  You can follow his heartbreaking journey on twitter as supplies run low and the end nears. Extracts are taken from Scott’s diaries and posted on the corresponding days.

Management School Colleague Dr Lorraine Warren signed up to follow Captain Scott some weeks ago but found the postings difficult to endure. What do you think?

How will we be working in years to come?

March 11, 2012
by Karen Woods

If you want to know …. the University of Southampton is the place to be later this month when experts from several disciplines discuss the future of work in the digital economy. Who will gain and who will lose? What can we expect from our careers in 50 years time?

Professor Susan Halford from Social Sciences spoke to lunchers at the Digital Economy Strategic Research Group this week to explain more.

“Up to 70 academics across the university work in this area, across both the social and technical side of the subject. Our research group on Work Futures also includes people from trade unions and employers. It will be good to get together and talk about everything later this month.”

The conference will take place at the Chilworth Manor Hotel, 22-23 March.


Online recruitment – is it working?

March 11, 2012
by Karen Woods

Companies are increasingly using online recruitment – but they are still very much in the minority. Natasha Allden, a graduate of the University of Southampton’s MSc in Digital Marketing, doesn’t expect things to change anytime soon.

She spoke to members of the University’s Digital Economy Strategic Research Group about the topic, which she researched for her dissertation.

Recruiters know there is a war for talent out there but online ads can result in too many unsuitable applications, which they then have to wade through. They tend to regard online jobseekers as passive as many tend to send the same general CV to several companies, impressing no-one.

Many companies fear losing touch of the recruitment process if they get involved with social media. They don’t want people commenting publically on their brand but forget this is already happening on Facebook, Twitter etc.

The monthly Digital Economy lunches feature speakers talking about a wide range of topics, networking opportunities and a few bites to eat.