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2012 Research Projects

The Path from New to Viral: Understanding What Makes Videos Go Viral

Xavier Dillahunt, North Carolina A&T State University
Denzel McCollum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kevin Murray, University of Pittsburgh
Austyn Shaner, University of Texas at Austin
Kathryn Vogelbacker , University of Pittsburgh

Research Advisor: Rosta Farzan, University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences

Viral videos have become very popular and influential in our technology-driven world. They have a strong influence on the production of popular user generated TV shows and websites. Our team explored what makes videos to go viral. We aimed to understand the driving factors behind what makes a video go from one view to thousands of views. We focused particularly on comedic amateur videos that have gone from simply being posted to a social media sites such as YouTube to being aired on popular television programs like Tosh.O and Ridiculousness. We achieved our goal by performing a content analysis of viral videos, conducting a survey to viewers and organizing an interview with a viral video celebrity. Through our research we will present our project background, methodology on collecting data about viral videos, content analysis, and concluding factors in viral armature comedic videos.

Published at iConference 2014 | Research Poster

Vogelbacker, K., Dillahunt, X., & McCollum, D. (2014). The Path from New to Viral: Understanding What Makes Videos Go Viral. In iConference 2014 Proceedings (p. 1145 - 1148). doi:10.9776/14406

Entering the Boys' Club: An Analysis of Female Representation in Game Industry, Culture, and Design

Elaine Gomez, Rutgers University
Armanda 'Mandi' Gonzalez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Samuel Jacobs, North Carolina State University
Maria Rebeca Orozco, Washington State University

Research Advisor: Joe Sanchez, Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information

Numerous studies have examined the role of gender in game design, game play and game experience and conclude that women are often excluded and objectified in character design, appearance and behavior. Game and gender studies scholars encourage further research in these topics. However, in the analysis and critique of these findings, there is little to no emphasis on a plan of implementation or suggestions made concerning a change in the approach of stereotypes used in game and character design, sexism in game culture and inclusion of women in STEM related fields. This paper provides insights into the importance of gender roles and character design and representation in video games in relation to creating inclusive gaming environments for women.

Published at iConference 2014 | Research Poster

Gonzalez, A., Gomez, E., Orozco, R., & Jacobs, S. (2014). Entering the Boys' Club: An Analysis of Female Representation in Game Industry, Culture, and Design. In iConference 2014 Proceedings (p. 950 - 953). doi:10.9776/14325

Tweet for Democracy: Examining the Monitorial Citizen

Raul Corral, East Los Angeles College
Sook Yee Leung, Chatham University
Ryan Pink, The College of Westchester
Gregory Roper, Oakwood University
Jamar Smith, University of New Mexico

Research Advisor: Marisa Ramirez, California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library

In the 2012 US presidential election, there was concern about voter turnout. Since Obama for America's use of social media during 2008 Presidential elections, there has been growing speculation of social media becoming a medium for re-engaging citizens in politics. Hence, social media's role in political engagement and the nature of political engagement were examined via three analyses of Twitter data (i.e. network posting frequency, sentiment analysis, and social network analysis) and one survey study. The results showed that Twitter's impact on political engagement is simply about spreading awareness -- it still depends on whether open-minded, and politically and civically interested users see the politically relevant tweets.

Published at iConference 2014 | Research Poster

Leung, S. Y., Corral, R., Smith, G., Pink, R., & Roper, G. (2014). Tweet for Democracy: Examining the Monitorial Citizen. In iConference 2014 Proceedings (p. 1149 - 1156). doi:10.9776/14407

Social Network Identify: Facebook, Twitter, and Identity Negotiation Theory

Amana Kaskazi, Pennsylvania State University

Research Advisor: Lynette Kvasny, Pennsylvania State University, College of Information Sciences and Technology

The use of social networking sites (SNS) has had implications in traditional areas of communication such as identity and relationship construction. This study explores how identity is expressed on Facebook and Twitter, the top two most trafficked SNS (Brenner, 2013). Specifically, this study reports the finding of a survey of young adults who use these sites. Respondents were asked questions about what prompts them to choose how they express their identity on Facebook and how/if it differs from identity expression using Twitter. In addition this study examines how Facebook and Twitter can be understood through the sociological theory of identity negotiation. Implications for the connection between social digital identity and "catfishing" are provided and discussed.

Published at iConference 2014 | Research Poster

Kaskazi, A. (2014). Social Network Identity: Facebook, Twitter and Identity Negotiation Theory. In iConference 2014 Proceedings (p. 858 - 859). doi:10.9776/14276

Crisis Informatics: An Analysis of Social Media Use Following Hurricane Sandy

Kristen Bowen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Fatia Kasumu, Temple University
Jimmy Muller, University of Pittsburgh

Research Advisor: Courtney Loder, University of California at Irvine, School of Information and Computer Sciences

Crisis informatics has emerged as a strong field of interest in the last decade. Because of such events as 9/11, hurricane Katarina, earthquakes in Haiti, and the Tsunami that hit Japan, the world has realized the importance of communication in the event of disasters. The demand to be able to predict when a disaster is going to occur and be prepared for it before it unfolds is increasing dramatically. Crisis informatics is the gathering and analyzing information before and after crisis situations, to potentially prevent or prepare for a similar situation in the future. With the dramatic boom of technological influence in the past decade, in-depth study can be done on crisis events better than ever before. Team WORC will analyze the patterns of how people communicate and patterns at which people move in regards to efficient placement of aid and resources. The team will also investigate how well information is gathered and analyzed in the preparation for future crises.

Research Poster