Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Poster Session II: Social Media and Internet Research
Thursday, 19/Mar/2015:
14:00 - 15:30


The social network analysis of a public debate about the present referendum in Slovakia

Martin Boroš

Masaryk university, Brno, Czech Republic

Relevance & Research Question: Many authors had already shown that social networks are a great research tool for analyzing current topics (Sasahara et al. 2013). In February 2015, the referendum about certain legal rights for homosexual communities takes place in Slovakia. The actors of the public debate had divided into two major groups: supporters and opponents. The goal of the research is to analyze the network of these groups and their activities based on their presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Methods & Data: Both supporters and opponents have several Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The analysis is based on posts and tweets from 2 biggest Facebook groups and Twitter accounts from both sides and a group of Twitter hashtags and keywords, which the users use in connection with the referendum. The research had already shown that social network theory is a good basis for an analysis of connections between organizations and people with social media data (Hogan 2008). The networks are visualized using the tool Gephi.

Results: The referendum takes place in February 2015. Therefore, the research has not ended yet. However, from the partial results, it is possible to segment users based on their activities. Moreover, data show many interactions within the groups, but much lower level of interactions between the groups. More results would be available after the primary public debate ends after the referendum.

Added Value: The analysis tests the differences between Facebook and Twitter data for an analysis of social networks of users. Moreover, it tests the suitability of social networks for an analysis of current trends and segmentation of users based on their social activity.

Hogan, B 2008 Analyzing Social Networks via the Internet. In: Fielding, N G – Lee, R M – Blank, G 2008 The SAGE handbook of online research methods. Los Angeles; London : Sage.

Sasahara, K – Hirata, Y – Toyoda, M – Kitsuregawa, M – Aihara, K 2013 Quantifying Collective Attention from Tweet Stream. In: PLoS ONE, 8(4).
Boroš-The social network analysis of a public debate about the present referendum-242.pdf

Open Science in Practice — Sharing Research Data in Academia

Benedikt Fecher, Marcel Hebing, Sascha Friesike, Stephanie Linek


Research Question: What Drives Data Sharing in Academic Research?

Relevance: Academic Data Sharing has the potential to use old data for new research questions and to verify research results. It is endorsed by funding agencies, policy makers, journals and researchers alike—nonetheless it is only practiced in moderation.

Methods & Data: We surveyed 1564 individual academic researchers across all disciplines on their dealings with data, their publication practices, and motives to share or to withhold research data in a web survey.

Results: We find empirical evidence for a system that is not driven by monetary incentives, nor the desire for scientific progress, but individual reputation—mirrored in (high ranked journal) publications. We labeled this system ‘Reputation Economy’. We conclude that policy that intend to foster research collaboration need to understand academia as a reputation economy and value intermediate products, such as research data, higher. Only when data sharing pays in form of reputation will it see widespread adoption among research professionals. Most respondents (74%, mean 4.10) agree that other researchers should generally publish their data. To the statement if making their own data available brings more disadvantages than advantages the majority of the respondents, 58% (mean 2.31), disagrees. 80% state, that making data available to other researchers benefits scientific progress (mean 4.34). For the respondents, the most important criteria when publishing results is “Reputation/Impact” (mean 4.15), followed by a “fast publishing process” (mean 3.46) and lastly “Open Access” (mean 3.08). It is noteworthy that those who favor a “Fast Publishing Process” are significantly less likely to make their data available than those who do not. We also present findings detailing on differences among gender and disciplines.

Added Value: For a long time now, scholars and policy makers have been saying how important it is to open up science. Making research data available to others is a prime example for practicing openness in research and fostering collaboration. With the study at hand, we aim to provide empirical evidence for science policies that meet the individual researchers’ demands.
Fecher-Open Science in Practice — Sharing Research Data in Academia-182.pdf

Facilitating Lifelong Learning by Social Media Tools

Oliver Bastian Tristan Franken, Matthias Heinz, Helge Fischer, Thomas Köhler

Dresden University of Technology, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: In our postmodern information society, where knowledge is a key factor for prosperity and welfare, lifelong learning is necessary. To realize a part of this approach, institutions of higher education offer scientific further education programs. Adults, especially fulltime workers, prefer time- and place-independent learning to reach this approach. The usage of social media provides a lot of advantages towards pure in-class-training, which led us to the following questions: (1) Do stakeholders use social media tools in their scientific further education programs? (2) Which social media tools they use? (3) Which strategies are behind the use of social media tools? (4) Why stakeholders do not use social media tools?

Methods & Data: Two different online studies within the ESF-project Q2P helped us to answering these questions. 2013 we used an online content analysis to characterize 404 identified scientific further education programs at institutions of higher education in Saxony. In 2014 a following online survey allowed us to ask the stakeholders (n=173) behind these programs.

Results: (1) 345 of 404 programs are declared as part-time programs. Surprisingly only 13,4% of all scientific further education programs are using digital media. (2) In general social media tools are used little. But there is a significant difference between such like e. g. forum (32%) and e. g. social networks (7%). (3) The main strategies behind the use of social media tools are responding to the participant needs, reaching new target groups, improving image and permitting time- and place-independent learning. (4) Two obstacle groups exist. The lack of knowledge and the lack of willingness have the biggest influence on the disuse of social media tools.

Added Value: The empirical findings show the use, strategies and obstacles of using social media tools in scientific further education programs. It is assumed that the situation in Saxony is representative for Germany and thus allows conclusions for the way how to support the implementation of social media tools in scientific further education at all institutions of higher education to facilitate lifelong learning.

Franken-Facilitating Lifelong Learning by Social Media Tools-162.pdf

Functions and vulnerability of political sphere in the Internet

Alexander Kosenkov

Freelance security analyst, Ukraine

Research Question: The aim of the research is the determination of interrelation and interconnection of political sphere in the Internet and in the real life. The research is based on study of the actual case of informational aggression with wide use of the Internet. The results of the research can be used for analysis of consequences and threats of further convergence of the Internet and the real world.

The research consists of two parts: theoretical and practical. In practical part information warfare applied by the Russian Federation in conflict with Ukraine and role of the Internet in domestic policy of the Russian Federation is researched. In theoretical part conclusions about the interrelation of political sphere in the Internet and in the real life on the basis of information obtained from the practical part of the research are made.

Methods: Case study, media content analysis, observations, unstructured interviews, narrative inquiry.

Results: It was discovered that the Internet is used as an essential part of modern warfare and domestic policy due to the fact that some of basic social processes (e.g. structuration of social groups, evaluation of public support to certain ideas etc) have relocated from the political sphere in the physical reality to political sphere in the Internet. In some cases the influence of the political sphere in the Internet can be compared with the one in the physical realm or can have even stronger impact. Some political groups, whose activity is primarily based in the Internet, even demonstrate certain autonomy from the political sphere in the real life. Such partial 'transfer' of political sphere is sufficient to enable violation of information sovereignty and to influence the society or certain social groups in other countries. In domestic strategy this can be used for 'extension of informational reality' e.g. covert cultivation of ideas, beliefs (e.g. nationalism), spread of which through the traditional media is considered as unacceptable.

Added value: An assumption about particular social functions of political sphere in the Internet and interrelation with the real life political sphere is made. Also potential of exploitation of political sphere in the Internet in informational conflicts is considered.

Lucky Users on Cloud Nine? Applying the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of New Technology (UTAUT) on Cloud Computing Usage Behavior with Focus on Perceived Trust and Security Risks

Heiko Moryson1, Guido Moeser2

1University of Giessen, Germany; 2masem research institute GmbH

Background & Research Question: Cloud computing is currently on everyone´s lips and has become a part of the lexicon in our digital landscape. In fact, usage of cloud computing services like Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive or ownCloud are widely-used and have become common place in today's private and business related digital environments. Our research addresses the question of what determinants the usage is based on when viewed from a technology acceptance perspective. We answer questions what the perceived security risks and measures are to ensure trust in the protection of data privacy for cloud users in Germany.

Our poster shows what factors drive the intention to use cloud based storage and backup services. Herby, we quantify the impact on usage intention of determinants like performance expectancy, effort expectancy, facilitating conditions, social influence, perceived security risks and perceived trust. Theoretical frame of the study is the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of New Technology (UTAUT).

Methods & Data: Data was conducted via a web survey among internet users in Germany in October 2014. A total of 2135 panellists started the questionnaire with 2040 finishing it. Data basis for the analyses was the number of Cloud Computing users (n=1047). Operationalization was tested using confirmatory factor analyses and causal hypotheses were evaluated by means of structural equation modeling.

Results: Core result is that the UTAUT model generally holds in the case of cloud service usage behavior, explaining 79% of the observed usage intention. This intention is most importantly driven by performance expectancy, facilitating conditions and social influence. Effort expectancy and perceived trust also promote the usage intention while perceived security risks have a negative impact.

Added Value: The results of this research provide implications for cloud service suppliers and marketing. Customers seem to evaluate cloud services on a functional level mostly represented by performance expectancy and facilitating conditions as well as on an emotional level by trust and social influence. Furthermore, the high correlation of trust and social influence, as well as the strong direct impact of social influence to intention, implies application of viral and peer-to-peer marketing techniques.
Moryson-Lucky Users on Cloud Nine Applying the Unified Theory-235.pdf

Maintaining the Audience through Relationship Marketing on Facebook: The Case of Berlin – Tag & Nacht and Köln 50667

Julia Niemann, Michaela Streicher, Michael Schenk

Universität Hohenheim, Germany

Relevance & Research Question: Facebook is an important channel for social media marketing. This holds true even for traditional media like broadcasting shows. Among those, scripted-reality series (SRS) achieve outstanding success on the platform: For instance, “Berlin Tag & Nacht” (BTN) accounts more than 3.3 million Facebook fans by now. These users actively like, comment and share the posts BTN publishes. In their posts, BTN extends the media reality of the TV-show onto the second screen, simulating that fictional TV-characters share their experiences and feelings. This leads to blurred lines between reality and fiction – and probably extends parasocial interaction with the fictional characters.

RQ: Which features of posts on SRS Facebook pages increase user feedback?

Answering this question we intend to draw conclusions both, from a social-media-marketing as well as an audience research perspective.

Methods & Data: We conducted a content analysis, including 282 posts from two Facebook pages of SRS (BTN, Köln 50667). Our codebook included topic, emotionality and language-style, as well as number of likes and user-comments. Additionally, the reactions of the fans were analyzed, based on 1830 user comments related to those posts.

Results: Multiple regression analysis revealed that language-style, topic, emotional valence and a call for dialog of a post accounted for 17 percent of the variance in the number of likes gained but only 4 percent of the number of user comments. Furthermore, users engaged into a para-social interaction with the TV-characters, if the post contained a call for dialog.

Added Value: To conclude, this study gives insight in the new phenomenon of the cross-media connection between TV-series, social media and the user reactions to these additional offerings. From a marketing perspective the study shows how posts have to be formulated in order to turn users into active fans and to motivate them for an ongoing engagement with the media brand. From an audience research perspective the study offers insights in the user perspective and illustrates how parasocial interaction with media figures binds fans to both TV-show and social media offering. Thereby, the TV-show becomes an integral part of the users’ social web reality.

Niemann-Maintaining the Audience through Relationship Marketing-232.pdf

"Germans about Ebola"

Martha Posthofen, Alana Knode, Anna Schneider

YouGov, Germany

How do Germans talk about Ebola and its implications over a time period of six months? The YouGovQualitative team was interested in the particular influence of Ebola's presence in media and effects on our panelists’ perceptions as well as the way they talk with others about that topic.

Between August ‘14 and January ’15 we conducted five Online Focus Groups on Ebola (n=15 participants each). To assure the comparability of the outcomes each discussion was held with basically the same discussion guide. In addition nascent and actual developments of the topic were integrated in later survey sessions.

Our findings show that developments in the way people how talk about Ebola are accompanied by developments of infection rates, single occurrences like Ebola cases in Europe as well as the media presence. Our results demonstrate that the overall perception of Ebola changed over time. Furthermore the outcomes display a connection between certain aspects like the media presence and perceived danger of Ebola for oneself.

The approach using qualitative methods to track how people’s mindsets change over a period of time is innovative and now possible in using online research in a effective and efficient way.

Posthofen-Germans about Ebola-240.pdf

Understanding Scientific Conference Tweets

Steffen Lemke, Athanasios Mazarakis, Isabella Peters

Kiel University - ZBW, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

Scientists mainly tweet during scientific conferences to share information. Previous studies analyzed tweets only on a daily basis (Ross et al., 2011) whereas we assume that tweets are not equally distributed over the day - instead: Twitter activity might peak due to particular events. The present study analyzes tweets on an hourly and half-hourly basis to show that tweeting peaks are valuable moments for conference organizers to promote or announce information because of high Twitter awareness among participants. We also classified tweets by purpose, the target of a web link (if embedded in tweet), and the tweet content itself to examine the relation between temporal and thematic tweeting patterns.

Methods & Data:

Our test environment for data collection is the conference “VfS-Jahrestagung” (Hamburg, Germany, September 7-10, 2014). The hashtag #vfs2014 was used to find tweets related to the conference. All tweets were collected with the tools TwapperKeeper and Topsy. Classification and content analysis of tweets were based on a validated codebook with three classes: tweet purpose, possible URL-target, and connection of tweet content to conference topic.


During the four conference days many remarkable peaks in the tweeting activity have been detected. The detailed analysis revealed a power law distribution for all conference-related tweets. Only few users tweeted very often, whereas most users tweet only occasionally (maximum number of tweets for an individual user: 78; M = 7.21; SD = 15.55). The applicability of the codebook was confirmed with an inter-rater reliability (Cohens Kappa, two raters) of 0.83 (91% agreement) for the classification of the purpose of tweets, 0.81 (94% agreement) for the URL-target, and 0.60 (65% agreement) for the content.

Added Value:

Despite that the chronological accumulation of tweets is important for conference organizers, also the information about the content of the tweets at different points in time is valuable. The validated codebook is of great benefit for the qualitative analysis of conference-related tweets.


Ross, C., Terras, M., Warwick, C., & Welsh, A. (2011). Enabled Backchannel: Conference Twitter Use by Digital Humanists. Journal of Documentation, 67(2), 214–237.
Lemke-Understanding Scientific Conference Tweets-141.pdf

Digital Strategy: Development of a concept how companies should implement stakeholder's perception and web research behaviour within their online communication

Tobias Looschelders

Deutsches Medieninstitut, Germany

"Never before have so many people engaged so intensively in practices of information search. Billions of searches are performed every day through the internet." (Graham, et al., 2013)

Web search is basically motivated by a user’s intents which are transformed through him to search queries which process websites and their content as the output (Marchionini, 1995; Croft, et al., 2010). The very basis of web search are keywords which equal the path to information in the web. As a result keywords can be seen even as the smallest element in online communication.

Furthermore there is potential for economical relevant data to be retrieved from users’ web search since it reflects intent, interest and goals of users (Jones, 2011; Strohmaier & Kröll, 2009). Under consideration of the fact that search traffic reflects demand for information, it may be even indicating a lack of information of a user (Croft, et al., 2010). There are plenty of examples which describe keyword analyses as part of a search engine optimisation for sales (Parkin, 2009; Jones, 2013).

In prior research it lacks of a transfer of those principles into user research for companies in the web. With such transfer new insights for digital strategy, especially the performance of online stakeholder communication could be gained.

The thesis therefore aims to develop conceptual and analytical approaches for classifying stakeholder groups from keywords and to derive strategic implications from the analysis of stakeholder keywords in the context of:

(1) Performance of communication by increasing findability

(2) Reputation management by securing the online reputation of organisations

In fact, the consideration of stakeholder-keywords within digital strategies could help to build up a company’s reputation and with that the company value. This coincide with the economic goals of the given research of protection and increase of company value. Especially regarding the fact that digital strategy acts as a mediator between a company’s stakeholders and its reputation.

The objective of the primary research is to find which strategic derivations should be made by analysing search queries of users and allocating them to specific stakeholder groups. Consequently, the thesis aims for developing an approach in digital strategy which includes the web search of a company’s stakeholders on a keyword-level.

Stakeholder research in the web was analysed with regard to the top30 FTSE companies in the UK. The primary research has been conducted through a keyword analysis evaluating n=7.545 keywords in combination with the FTSE30 company’s names (e.g. “Vodafone jobs”).The empirical research has been conducted based on the amount of monthly search queries which are retrieved through the autocomplete function of search engine market leader Google Inc. to cover the most user relevant keywords.

By a content analysis of the keywords themselves, in many cases there could be keywords assigned appropriately. In many cases the stakeholder intent is very clear, as for instance in the keyword “HSBC app” which represents a client’s search or in “Unilever share“ which represents a financial search. As a result, there have been n=1,525 unique keywords defined in all the dictionaries which represent a fundament for future stakeholder-assignment of keywords.

The most striking result to emerge from the data is that a major part of 44.86 % of the keywords could be assigned to specific stakeholders.

To further meet qualitative objectives, the underlying search engine results of the evaluated search queries have been analysed. Two items have been analysed within the second part of the primary research, a content analysis of relevant search results (n=899). Firstly, the share of digital media type has been evaluated qualitatively. The sovereignty of communication represents how strong a company is present with their own content in the search results containing the company’s name. It is derived by the share of owned media in search results. As a result, the share of owned media is significantly less compared to the company`s names as a keyword. Derived from that user generated content as well as media content is stronger represented and influencing the reputation of company in the web essentially.

Afterwards, the share of negatively annotated results has been evaluated. Based on the selective perception in the web, the assessment has been based on the short content which is displayed directly in the search engine. The result is that stakeholder-keywords are basically less positive represented than the company-keywords. In average the stakeholder-keywords are reaching 45.6 % positive content while the company-keyword is represented with a share of only 57.0 %. The same tendency occurs regarding the negative results.

In summary, it could be brought evidence that such stakeholder-keywords are significantly more vulnerable by bad reputation.

Practical application is ascertained by a newly developed portfolio matrix for managerial decision making, a four-step action plan and a concept for an integrative monitoring which focuses both on keywords as well as on content has been developed.

Finally, the thesis synthetises that corporate communication could benefit from integrating stakeholders’ research and reputation management in many departments: brand management, public relations, marketing communication as well as financial and science communication. The evidence from this study suggests that analysing and monitoring stakeholders’ research on companies inter-divisional entails a great potential for enhancing business decisions. Additionally, the research suggests that integration of stakeholder research in digital strategy could help to build up corporate reputation and therefore company value.

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