International Conference on Social Informatics 2017

I am glad to have been back in Oxford. This time, my visit was motivated by the 9th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2017). The conference, which this year was organized by the Oxford Internet Institute, is an interdisciplinary venue for researchers from computer and social sciences to create better understanding of socially-centric platforms not just as a technology, but also as a set of social phenomena. As one could expect, this was also a perfect opportunity to meet many colleagues, some of whom also attended the Summer School on Methods for Computational Social Science.

In this edition of SocInfo (I already participated in 2014), I presented the poster Deliberative Platform Design: The case study of the online discussions in Decidim Barcelona. This study shows how the discussion interface of Decidim Barcelona was successful in engaging users in online discussions and, therefore, helped to promote deliberative decision making. This was done with my thesis supervisors Andreas Kaltenbrunner and Vicenç Gómez and the colleagues from the Decidim team Antonio Calleja-López, Arnau Monterde, Andrés Pereira and Xabier E. Barandarian. As usual, the work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the María de Maeztu Units of Excellence Programme (MDM-2015-0502).

Also, I felt very proud when Helena Gallego, MSc student from Universitat Pompeu Fabra who was supervised by Andreas, Vicenç and me, presented her thesis Lost in re-election: A tale of two Spanish online campaigns. This work proposes a novel technique for measuring political engagement on Twitter using the unique scenario of the two consecutive Spanish elections in December 2015 and June 2016.

socinfo Photo: Jordan Davies

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