We conduct research into and develop projects at the intersection of information and communication, looking at new technologies and the many facets of their social impact. Our activities are concentrated in the area of social media and its applications in the fields of marketing, advertising, corporate communication and so-called “social engineering”. Our search for responses to the challenges and opportunities associated with the proliferation of social media means we are active in the following areas:
- Empirical research into social media in terms of its structure, dynamics and relationship to the “offline” behaviour of users.
- Researching the usage potential of social media as a tool for social influence, taken to mean the series of mechanisms that influence citizens and public and private institutions, in order to enhance its adaptation to the needs arising from the global information society.
- Researching suitable public policies regarding the general promotion of the information society and, in particular, those aspects related to the extension of the use of social media (e.g. privacy, intellectual property, transparency, traceability, etc.).
Intelligent tools that facilitate sociological studies
We develop intelligent tools that enable us to extract new knowledge from large quantities of digital information, such as collections of tweets or online discussions featuring thousands of comments. These tools are able to automatically proffer information on important areas such as users, subjects, comments, forum discussions, etc.
Extraction of information on social connections and personal preferences
We have designed and developed an experimental methodology that allows us to both uncover psychological and social aspects of human behaviour and extract information on social connections and personal preferences, which is highly valued by the marketing and customer-services departments of companies.
We study the different social-media solutions that companies are implementing for internal and collaborative use, in order to suggest improvements to these tools. Specifically, we analyse employees’ behaviour and their motivations regarding the use of these solutions.
Social-media tools aimed at social challenges
We design and develop innovative solutions based on social-media tools aimed at social challenges. This line of research is based on a manifesto drawn up in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group of researchers and which promotes the concept of using social-media platforms to support processes of social innovation, as an alternative to current and established institutional mechanisms.