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Newsletter 2012

November 2012 - Robert Ackland presented on "Social Media and the Network Structure of Social Capital" at the ANU's Social Psychology Spring Workshop "Considering social capital: Perspectives across the social and behavioural sciences".

December 2012 - Robert Ackland and Lexing Xie (Computer Science, ANU) were awarded an ANU Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Enhancement Grant for the "Computational Social Science Weblab". Computational Social Science is an emerging field involving the application of network science and computational approaches to the analysis of large-scale datasets collected from the Web, and is providing new insights into social, economic and political behaviour. The Computational Social Science WebLab (CSSW) will be a web application enabling students from social science and computer science to learn about using network science to study both offline and online social networks.

November 2012 - We have released a Facebook application called Australian Seniors' Online Networks (AuSON), which will help shed light on how Australian seniors are using the Facebook social networking site to connect with friends and family, and the relationship between social networks and successful ageing.

Once the AuSON Facebook application is installed, it automatically collects information on the structure of users’ Facebook networks.  Participants are also asked to provide additional information about offline friends, how their social networks provide access to resources such as information and assistance (social capital) and measures of ageing status such as physical and mental wellbeing.

The AuSON Facebook application has been developed as part of a four-year Australian Research Council Linkage Project with industry partner National Seniors Australia.  The project is led by Associate Professor Heather Booth (ADSRI, ANU) and the other chief investigators are Associate Professor Robert Ackland (ADSRI, ANU) who led the development of AuSON and Dr Timothy Windsor (Flinders University).  The project team also includes PhD students Ms Pilar Rioseco and Ms Mahin Raissi, and software developers Mr Lin Chen and Mr Mahmoud Sadeghi.

We are looking for research participants!  If you are a Facebook user, 50+ years of age and eligible to vote in Australia, or if you are a Facebook friend with someone who is 50+ and can vote in Australia, please participate by installing AuSON.

July 2012 - At the RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology (University of Sydney, 9-13 July), Robert Ackland:

July 2012 - Mahin Raissi presented on Snowball Sampling in Online Social Networks at  RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology.

May 2012 - Chengjun Wang, a visiting PhD student from the Web Mining Lab at the City University of Hong Kong, presented on "Jumping over network threshold: News diffusion on news sharing website" at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) IR and Friends seminar series.

May 2012 - Robert Ackland and Mathieu O'Neil have been awarded the 2012 Communication and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association (CITASA) Paper Award for their article "Online collective identity: The case of the environmental movement", which was published in Social Networks in 2011. The CITASA Paper Award recognises an outstanding published paper or book chapter related to the sociology of communications or the sociology of information technology.