"Situating Digital Methods" - open lecture with Richard Rogers

CFI and Netlab are hosting a lecture with Richard Rogers, Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam, on November 16.

2017.10.23 | Sigrid Nielsen Saabye

Digital Methods

The lecture historicises and theorises digital methods, situating them as a part of the computational turn in internet-related research, however distinct from big data, and contrasts them ontologically and epistemologically from virtual methods, or the importation of methods from the humanities and the social sciences onto the web. It subsequently introduces the study of the ‘natively digital’ (and the notion itself) and discusses the prospects of making findings or having research outcomes that may be grounded in the online, putting forward the notion of ‘online groundedness’.

Richard Rogers is the author of Digital Methods (MIT Press, 2013), which won ICA’s Outstanding Book Award in 2014, The End of the Virtual (Amsterdam University Press, 2009), Information Politics on the Web (MIT Press, 2004/2005) and many other publications.

He is also director of the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI). DMI is one of the leading research groups within Internet Studies, and they specialise in designing methods and tools for repurposing online devices and platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google etc.) for research into social and political issues. Instead of migrating existing social science methods onto the web as is often the practice within the social sciences, DMI writes and repurposes tools specifically designed to run online. The DMI toolbox includes, among other things, tools that can extract URLs from different sources, scrape images, extract datasets from Facebook, scrape Pinterest for pins, capture tweets, extract data from YouTube, compare images across language versions of wikipedia etc. One of the most well-known tools developed by DMI is the Issue Crawler, a server-side Web crawler, co-link machine and graph visualizer, which maps online networks working in the same issue area (cf. wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ToolIssueCrawler).

The lecture is open for all interested and is taking place 9:00-10:00 on November 16, in the Small Auditorium, Incuba (building 5510, room 104).