(Text by Cristian Ruiz, Master in Communication Studies at NOVA FCSH and member of the group SMART)

As part of the Digital Media Winter Institute 2019, the workshop Cross-Platform Digital Networks was led by Inova Media Lab researcher Janna Joceli Omena. The workshop consisted of 4 days of intense work aimed to understand digital platforms not only as a medium but also as a source of research methods and techniques. Rather than relying on the use of statistics, this workshop proposed to approach cross-platform digital networks by looking at the platforms’ vernacular, the relational nature of digital data in tandem with the medium (Rogers, 2013),  and the affordances of spacialization algorithms (Venturini et al. 2015; 2017) – namely Force Atlas 2 in Gephi.

The first day was characterized by the introduction of the main concepts and theories, among other things. What is a digital network? How to understand the grammars of social media? How to map disparities cross-platforms? In the second day, participants were introduced in the notion of the graphical representations, with focus on the spacialization logic of the layout algorithm ForceAtlas2. The third day was mostly dedicated to introducing the navigational practice for studying digital networks and to advance into the different projects proposed by participants. In the last day, participants had the opportunity to present their projects underlining preliminary findings and insights for further research.

See the projects titles and presentations:

China Weibo Network by Matthew Collins (Doctoral researcher, Swansea University, United Kingdom)

Cyberativism: The case of ‘Operação Serenata do Amor’ by Cristiana Freitas (Doctoral Researcher in Digital Media, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Mapping of Frugal Innovation actors by Cristian Ruiz (Master in Communication Studies, NOVA FCSH, Portugal)

“Tumbler Purge”: Exploring mediated approaches to a platform-controversy by Elena Pilipets (Ph.D. degree in Media Theory and Cultural Studies at the
University of Klagenfurt, Austria).

Instagram Profiles and Facebook Pages: Are there cross-platform networks? by Elaine Rabello (Assistant Professor at Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro – UERJ, Brazil), Fábio Gouveia (FioCruz, Brazil) and Tânia França (Assistant Professor at UERJ)

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