ECIS2014 – New Views on Social Networks

Chris ZimmermanOur industrial PhD Christopher Zimmerman has been attending this year’s European Conference of Information Systems (#ECIS2014) in search of freshly revealed research on social media, and in particular contributions to the emerging field of social business intelligence. This is what he had to report. 

As an industrial PhD working in this field at Mindjumpers, I was not only down in Tel Aviv for the academic networking and the sun, but to hunt down the social media topics of interest to social media marketing agencies like our own.  

In this blog post, let me first report back to you on the research-in-progress front with some early findings that offer new views on the social networks we use almost daily:

  • Simplifying Facebook Complexity – A research effort unveiled this week entitled “Facebook Privacy Hardening Using Viral Techniques” sought to solve a real social problem for users of Facebook. Iwan Gulenko from Technical University of Munich showcased the Access Policy Grid (APG), which re-visualizes a user’s privacy settings using viral techniques. With a new visualization based on a clustering algorithm, the tool outperforms Facebook’s own privacy settings as shown in tests for user comprehension.
  • The Social Media Prosumer – Another fascinating project from Finish researcher Matti Mäntymäki has investigated the adoption of the Facebook platform in terms of examining our inhabitation on Facebook.  This effort was particularly geared toward better understanding our voyeuristic consumption and exhibitionist production of content, also known as ‘prosumer’ behavior (producer + consumer). The results of the research showed a need for better facilitation in the architecture of Facebook, and of particular interest was the debate of whether to reveal to us as prosumers who has viewed your page (like LinkedIn).
  • The City of Facebook – A third research team from the University of Bath in the UK is currently exploring perceptions around the use of Facebook – not by specific features, but by unpacking metaphors of visiting city places such as the playground, nightclub, zoo, etc, and analyzing how they differ among varying age groups.

One thing that was generally agreed upon at the conference was that the quality of submissions has set the bar much higher to even be accepted to this annual conference and showcase their new findings to industry and academics from around the world.


Keep on eye on our blog for further input on industry practice. Stay tuned.

You can follow Chris on Twitter @socialbeit



Research-Driven Ideas for Social Data


Attending the European Conference of Information Systems in Tel Aviv last week, I was happy to find that areas such as data visualization, predictive analytics, social CRM and ROI etc found their way into the conference. These areas have been somewhat excluded in the past by more traditional information systems research. This shift in mindset also shows a warming towards potential industry topics on the program that can be far more relevant to practice. Industries such as marketing now rely heavily on a new field of social data science to make sense of the large quantities of information about their brand community.

In the following, I will present three new research initiatives from the conference that in my opinion ought to be credited for their contribution to the field social business intelligence. They offered exceptional concrete value to practitioners of social business intelligence: (more…)