Portrait image of Kevin Crowsten.

Kevin Crowston

School of Information Studies
348 Hinds Hall
Syracuse NY 13244-4100
Tel: 315-443-1676
Fax: 315-443-5806

The Digital and Social Media (DSM) track covers a broad range of topics, disciplines and approaches, reflecting our intention that it be a convening platform for researchers to share and discuss cutting-edge research. Defined in a broad sense, digital media are digitized content (text, graphics, audio/video) that can be archived and transmitted over multiple networks to a variety of digital devices, from computing systems to individual smart phones. Social media describes the collection of web and mobile-based technologies that mediate human and social communication via social networks and that enable individuals, groups and communities to gather, communicate and share information, to collaborate or to play. Digital and social media research are closely related, as both address basic communications processes (defined as the sharing of meaning). Digital and social media have established their importance to society, having become a main venue for work, education, politics, news, entertainment and socialization. The current COVID-19 crisis has only accelerated on-going trends. Streamed music and video have replaced physical media such as CDs or DVDs. Online information sources compete with and threaten traditional news media, with profound societal implications (witness their role in the past election). Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are becoming preferred modes of contact and even for announcing policy. Understanding these developments and their implications is a challenge for researchers and the public. We welcome minitracks and papers from the range of epistemological and methodological perspectives, including conceptual, philosophical, behavioral and design science and beyond.

Across various disciplines, researchers are increasingly applying netnography to deliver cultural insights. Based in rigorous qualitative methods, adaptations of ethnographic procedure and comprehensive approaches to ethics, netnography is an important way to investigate a range of phenomena represented through digital traces. Netnography is a research approach that was established over 25 years ago but has been continuously updated to reflect new cultural and technological realities. It specifies particular data collection techniques of investigation, immersion, and interaction, and contains specific guidelines for ethical practice. Constantly evolving, its techniques are also adaptable to new contexts ranging from novel social media platforms to new types of technology experience, such as virtual/augmented reality and the Metaverse or interactions with artificial intelligence applications.

Netnographies have appeared sporadically in prior system sciences research, but there is significant potential for more widespread adoption of the technique, especially in a post-pandemic phase where diverse forms of technologically mediated communication are increasingly normalized. In-person ethnographic research is certainly useful for developing particular kinds of situated understanding but, increasingly, cultural conversations are annexed by the digital traces that netnographic studies systematically incorporate. Big data analyses of digital traces offer particular kinds of understanding that may be valuable for certain research questions but may offer limited contextual understanding and may need to be supplemented by more in-depth qualitative techniques.

Currently, many systems sciences researchers may not be aware of recent developments in netnography, such as its focus on “more-than-human” analyses of affordances and algorithms and inclusion of generative-AI techniques. The lack of a focused forum for the presentation and discussion of this work in system sciences may have hampered its prior development in this field.

The purpose of this minitrack is to encourage and spotlight netnographic research work across the system sciences. We seek to elicit and attract research contributions that develop, conceptualize, use, and adapt netnography. Applications of netnography may occur in studies that use it as a stand-alone method or that feature it in coordination with other techniques. Netnography can be utilized to examine a variety of socio-technical, organizational, technical, marketing, managerial, cultural and social topics and issues. We welcome conceptual, empirical, and insight generating contributions using, adapting or critiquing netnography for this mini-track. Some potential topics and approaches to spur further ideas include:

  • Ad hoc and “flash” netnographies (short time spans)
  • Affordances and netnography
  • Applications of netnography to system sciences contexts
  • Auto-netnography
  • Conceptual or philosophical development of netnography
  • Data privacy and netnography
  • Digital humanism approaches to netnography
  • Hybrid approaches using in-person ethnography and netnography
  • Hybrid approaches using big data analytics and artificial intelligence
  • Intersectional netnography
  • Longitudinal netnography (long time spans)
  • Metaverse and gaming netnographies
  • Mobile ethnography in netnography
  • Netnographies and specific theories (e.g., assemblage, affordance, algorithmic culture, etc.)
  • Qualitative data analysis methods and netnography (e.g., grounded theory, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, thematic analysis)
  • Research ethics in netnography
  • Social media netnography on Discord, Clubhouse, Telegram, WeChat, podcasts, Twitch, TikTok and other less researched platforms
  • Studies of particular online narratives
  • Transformative netnographies and social media activism
  • Transnational netnography
  • Opportunities and challenges in the collection and use of social media data for netnography research

The co-chairs have arranged a special issue on netnography with the SAGE journal Qualitative Research (IF = 3.096; 5-Yr IF: 4.507). Successful submissions to the minitrack will be invited to submit their work for publication in the Qualitative Research special issue.

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Robert Kozinets (Primary Contact)
University of Southern California

Ulrike Gretzel
University of Southern California

Tung Bui
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Digital and social media are in a moment of tremendous upheaval. The introduction of systems like ChatGPT, national-level discussions of banning apps such as TikTok, and challenges to underlying social media APIs that make it harder for researchers to get access to data have raised new questions and challenges for researchers. In response, this minitrack aims to highlight scholarship from two themes: a) research that critically interrogates how and when digital and social media reify or challenge existing power structures, and b) research that addresses applied ethical issues associated with doing research on digital and social media. The minitrack seeks both conceptual and empirical approaches to these two themes; early results and innovative methods are welcome. Conceptual papers should address foundational scholarship and theories of social media and digital technologies —e.g., important interventions for thinking about information exchange in communities and societies, key ideas, paradigms, and methods. Empirical papers should draw on original studies of digital and social media that illustrate critical or ethical dimensions of digital infrastructures, social media platforms, or data use by researchers.

Potential paper topics could explore (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Studies of the values and worldviews embedded within specific hardware and software technologies
  • Studies that explore the social responses to platforms from a critical or ethics-based perspective
  • studies that look at the political economies or labor conditions of digital content creation, digital work and the consequences of sharing economy platforms
  • Studies that explore the political community and civic participation in digital spaces
  • Studies of the perpetuation of gender, race, ethno-nationalist, and faith-based hostility and bullying found in a range of online environments
  • Studies that examine digital power relations between individuals, collectives, and societal institutions
  • Case studies that grapple with the challenges and opportunities of unequal data access among actors including users, researchers, and journalists
  • Studies that explore the situated ethics of social media research in different organization contexts
  • Studies of the environmental impact that digital and social media researchers have on the planet
  • Studies that mobilize non-traditional or experimental research methods developed for the specificities of digital and social media
Minitrack Co-chairs:

Nicholas Proferes (Primary Contact)
Arizona State University

Britt Paris
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Amelia Acker
University of Texas at Austin

Issues related to digital and social media are taking center stage today whether in politics or policy, or in private, not-for-profit or public forums, implicitly and explicitly with an array of complex challenges related to culture, identity and inclusion. As the world seeks to move past the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, digital inequalities persist and new technologies risk creating new types of divides.

Recognizing intersection of technology, culture, and identity, this minitrack presents innovative research across a wide range of methods and subjects. Exploring how social media technologies become interconnected with and embedded in existing socio-cultural contexts is essential to assess how these platforms affect key power dynamics in society. This minitrack sets the scene for analyzing better how digital and social media can foster – or hinder – diversity and inclusion in multiple settings, especially in a world coping with renewed calls for social justice, peace, and a post-pandemic period, increasingly indicating long-term impacts. Technology-facilitated social media thus present opportunities for new frontiers of research as they interact with cultures, identities, and diversity. In sum, this minitrack highlights multi-disciplinary and multi-method research centered on the three I’s of: internet; identity; and inclusion.

This minitrack welcomes research on the intersection of digital media, different inequalities, and justice, including but not limited to work that focuses on race, culture, identity, and disability, recognizing that these often intersect with one another. Emerging technologies themselves connect with existing platforms and provide opportunities for incipient research on, for example, augmented reality, social media, and inclusion or, for another example, artificial intelligence, mobile apps, social media, and exclusion.

The list of potential topics below provides an indication of the range and depth of this minitrack’s possible topics

  • The pandemic & roles of social media in inclusion and/or exclusion
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion in Digital & Social Media
  • Inter-cultural and Cross-cultural use of Social Media
  • Artificial intelligence Apps, Digital Media and Digital Divides
  • Platform Governance, Anticipatory Governance, & Inclusion
  • Crowdsourcing Technologies & Inclusion
  • Accessibility and Inclusion (especially in cross-cultural perspective)
  • Audio Engagement, Social Media, & Inclusive Marketing
  • Designing social media for Inclusion
  • Social media, identity and collective action
  • Gendered Social Media
  • The construction and circulation of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion and disability through the use of social media
  • Influencers, Social Media, & Divides
  • Online Harassment
  • Identity Enactment, Adoption, and Policing
  • Reproduction of biases
  • Governance and Rules in Action
  • Aging and Social Media
  • Inter-generational use of Social Media
  • Impact and influence of social media on diversity
  • Social Media, Online Learning, and Inclusion
  • Participatory Platforms & Implicit Bias
  • Social Media, Culture & Change/Social Innovation
  • Participatory Media & Intersectionality
  • Participatory Media and Digital Disability
  • Social Media, Disruptive Innovation, and Capacity-Building for All
  • Augmented reality, Social Media & Accessibility
  • The dark web, identity, and exclusion
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Nanette Levinson (Primary Contact)
American University

Derrick Cogburn
American University‬‬

Filippo Trevisan
American University

Social media is changing how we work, play, and interact with each other. It is also changing the way we access and consume media, stay in touch with family and friends, and communicate in our online communities. We also recognize that far-reaching conversations can be manipulated through social media. For example, political and social polarization are being exacerbated online, and at times algorithmically enhanced, by echo chambers. These phenomena commonly generate a tremendous volume of data that can be analyzed and mined for both research and commercial purposes. This minitrack focuses on research that brings together digital and social media and data analytics, data mining & machine learning. We welcome quantitative, theoretical, applied or methodologically oriented papers whose approaches are within this scope, or in closely related areas (e.g., data warehousing, content mining, structure mining, business intelligence, collective intelligence, and knowledge discovery).

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of emerging social media platforms
  • Discovery, collection, and extraction of social media data
  • Unstructured data mining of digital or social media
  • Online reactions to offline events
  • Online impacts on offline events
  • Identification of, and response to, social media manipulation
  • Opinion mining, sentiment analysis, and recommendation analysis
  • Identifying and profiling influential participants, subgroups, and communities
  • Automated content creation, including with generative AI
  • Predictive and forecasting analytics based on social media content
  • Trend analysis to identify emerging topics, ideas, and shifts
  • Methodology-focused studies of systems or artifacts that harness social media data
  • Visual analysis of online media structure, usage, and content
  • Impact of online privacy policies on data collection or use
  • Comparison of structured vs. unstructured techniques
  • Social search, retrieval, and ranking
  • Social innovation and social entrepreneurship through digital media

At recent HICSS conferences, complex data and internet-scale information problems emerged as common themes across many of the tracks and minitracks. Authors are encouraged to bring the lens of their own background and expertise to address problems that they feel are relevant to this minitrack.

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

David Yates (Primary Contact)
Bentley University

Kevin Mentzer
Nichols College

Natalie Gerhart
Creighton University

Online Social Communities and Networks (OSN) have become widely popular as a source of data or reference for those seeking advice. With accelerated speed there are more and more websites tapping into the ‘wisdom of crowds’ as a source of information that influences our everyday decision-making. The internet has revolutionised the manner in which individuals obtain the information they need to make decisions.

Using OSN can accelerate or decelerate the DM process for both individuals and communities through the accessing of data from multiple sources. While ample independent research exists on OSN and DM, there is a lack of research into how online technology affects the making of decisions that have an impact on our lives. How do we use OSN in our most important everyday decision-making? The synergy of these themes provides a unique research perspective from which to take a fresh look at both DM research and the actual process of DM as it is affected by the use of OSN.

The main purpose of this minitrack is to explore and extend, as well as challenge, existing knowledge of OSN and DM. We hope to:

  • Understand and ascertain whether OSN can support and empower users in their decision-making process and particular phases;
  • Identify and conceptualise new phases (if any) in the decision-making process that is integral to OSN conversations;
  • Explore the structure and sequence of decision-making phases arising out of the use of OSN
  • Identify biases, strengths and weaknesses of the human psyche that could be attenuated and/or enhanced through appropriate design of OSN for decision-making
  • Seek practical guidelines for the design of OSN that support blended decision-making processes that leverages the wisdom of crowds

We welcome conceptual, theoretical, and empirical papers that enrich our understanding of this. All methodological approaches are welcome. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Decision Making in OSN
  • The impact of OSN on Decision Making
  • Types of OSN for Decision Making
  • Decision Support in OSN
  • OSN Data Analytics
  • Typology of Users of OSN for Decision Making
  • Traditional and New Decision Models and Theories in OSN
  • Biases in OSN for Decision Making
  • Group Decision Making
  • Online vs Offline Decision Making
  • Structure of Decisions in OSN
  • Phases of Decision Making Processes in OSN
  • Decision Making Governance, Risk, and Compliance in OSN
  • OSN Security and Privacy
  • Decision Making Processes and Systems
  • Apps, Tools and Technologies for Decision Making
  • Health and Financial OSN Decision Making
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Valeria Sadovykh (Primary Contact)
University of Auckland

David Sundaram
University of Auckland

Gabrielle Peko
University of Auckland

Ghazwan Hassna
Hawaiʻi Pacific University

Digital and social media (DSM) have transformed the workplace in organizations. During the past two decades, electronic communication has changed organizational forms, enabled electronic document management, and preserved organizational storage.  Combined with the growth of digital and social media technologies, organizations have been impacted in new ways. Social media includes blogs, wikis, social networking sites, and microblogging that provide new affordances to its users.  While some prior studies have provided evidence to show the positive impacts of enterprise social media on employees, work processes and performance, other studies have uncovered negative effects of DSM use on employee productivity and behaviors. For an organization to amplify the returns or benefits and to mitigate the drawbacks of their DSM use, it is imperative for both researchers and practitioners to deepen their understanding of the implications of DSM use for organizational purposes.

The global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the beginning of 2020 has increased enterprise social media (ESM) use at home offices when companies sent employees to work from home. Now three years in the pandemic, some employees have gradually returned to offices while others continue virtual work or adopt a hybrid work arrangement. The increasing use of ESM in home office environments or in hybrid work arrangements has called for further research on the effects of ESM use on employee well-being, work-life balance, social media fatigue, and work performance post the COVID-19 pandemic.

This minitrack focuses on organizations’ internal and external use of digital and social media to facilitate work processes (e.g., communication, collaboration and socialization) inclusive of both business (for-profit) and non-profit organizations and to engage various organizational stakeholders. Hence, research of this minitrack lies at the intersection of multiple disciplines, namely Science & Technology, Organization Science, Marketing, and Behavioral Science.

This minitrack welcomes theoretical and empirical studies addressing organizational, managerial, technical, and behavioral perspectives on digital and social media by enterprises and their employees.  Potential issues and topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital and social media affordances
  • Dark side of enterprise social media
  • Digital and social media marketing
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion on enterprise social media platforms
  • Digital and social media use & employee work-life balance
  • Digital and social media use & social capital
  • Enterprise social media use and employee well-being
  • Enterprise social media and digital transformation in organizations
  • Ethical implications in the implantation and use of enterprise social media
  • Information security and privacy and enterprise social media
  • Methodologies for studying social media privacy
  • Methodologies for studying digital and social media in enterprise
  • Organizational strategies and practices associated with digital and social media use
  • New theories to describe and explain the phenomenon of enterprise social media use
  • Roles and responsibilities of IS departments in the use of and support for digital and social media
  • The use of social media for organizational fundraising or donations
  • The use of social media for public perception management
  • Social media use and hybrid work post the COVID-19 pandemic

Selected minitrack authors of accepted conference papers will be invited to submit a significantly extended version (min. +30%) of their paper for consideration at the DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems or the Journal of Information Systems. Submitted papers will be fast-tracked through the review process.

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Tawei David Wang (Primary Contact)
DePaul University

Ester Gonzalez
California State University, Fullerton

Xuefei Nancy Deng
California State University, Dominguez Hills

This minitrack provides researchers with an opportunity to present work on the social aspects of digital games. It focuses on games and gaming, acknowledging that games can provide unusual and challenging analytical issues not found in other environments that may not have the same playful, perhaps semi-anonymous, focus on a game. Games research may call for multi-site, multi-method analysis not always found in other research areas and not only calls for deep understanding of theory and method but of games, gaming, and specific gaming environments. Given that this minitrack focuses on social elements, interactions, and structures, we envision digital games as socio-technical constructs. We are not focused on gamification or simulation of or for business processes, but may accept appropriate papers focused on simulations or the social aspects of gamification if they have a digital dimension to the work.

Submitted papers must contain a social dimension in the analysis or framing of digital games, examining, for example, sociability, social practices, communities (in-game, out-game, across multiple spaces or time), use of social affordances, or some other social dimension. With that in mind, this minitrack will cover the following topics:

  • Cooperative and competitive play
  • Community management
  • Fans and fan communities
  • Player communities
  • Network analysis of groups and communities in games
  • Social practices (in-game, out-game, both)
  • Toxicity online
  • Multiplayer games
  • Multigenerational play
  • Intercultural play
  • Streaming gameplay (e.g., Twitch, YouTube Live, etc.)
  • Game curation via sites like Steam
  • Social affordances of games
  • Social issues in game development
  • Game design for sociality
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Nathaniel Poor (Primary Contact)
Underwood Institute

Stephanie Orme
Key Lime Interactive

Andrew Phelps
American University and University of Canterbury

Information systems (IS) and marketing scholars have a long history in studying user-generated contents (UGC) and firm-generated contents (FGC) as important components of social media. Thanks to recent technological developments [e.g., generative AI algorithms and Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) used by OpenAI], AI-generated content (AIGC) has become increasingly sophisticated and indistinguishable from human-generated content in some cases. AIGC refers to “content produced by an AI system that is capable of interpreting external data currently, to learn from such data, and to use that learning to achieve specific tasks through flexible adaptation”. AIGC can synthesize text, visual, audio and video data in a highly realistic manner. Business applications of AIGC range from creating virtual influencers by cloning of human personas and voices to producing advertising material on social media.

Utilizing AIGC on social media has a wide range of benefits. In industries that require real-time reporting and response as well as direct communication with their target audiences, generative AI enables businesses to create human-like content without the need for intensive human labor. The media industry, for instance, utilizes generative AI to create news and engage in journalistic activities. Journalists who take advantage of generative AI algorithm possess the capability to personalize, recommend, fact-check, label, and translate a wide range of user-generated and viral content without the laborious efforts of humans. For corporate brands and social media influencers, generative AI can serve as an ideation mechanism for creating text, images, and videos for marketing campaigns or social media posts based on the discovery of UGC trends and topics that resonate with their audiences. In customer service, generative AI can help managers respond to customer complaints in a timely manner by generating appropriate compensation or resolution strategies based on the nature and severity of the complaint.

Despite the promise of generative AI on social media, there are some dark sides to be recognized. First, although AIGC has the potential to create highly engaging and personalized content for consumers, it may be perceived as inauthentic or lacking emotional resonance, which could negatively impact the reputation and engagement of a brand. In addition, AIGC may raise ethical concerns about deepfakes and generative adversarial networks (GANs) used to create fake news or customer reviews and perpetuate bias and discrimination, spread misinformation and propaganda, and sway opinions with political and economic agendas, which could have unintended consequences for individuals and organizations. Second, unfettered AI might erode labor market institutions that benefit workers, lessen democracy, and lead to poorer working conditions. Generative AI may profoundly and radically transform social media industry by redefining job duties and responsibilities (e.g., social media managers) or removing many of the administrative or even creative tasks typically handled by humans. For example, the voice actors are warning against the use of generative AI that creates replicas of their voices and are being asked to signal contracts that give away their rights to be used for AI without compensation.

To tackle the ethical dilemmas and concerns of AIGC on social media, it is crucial that IS and computer science, and digital marketing scholars develop a deeper understanding of how human agent behavior, AI capabilities, and social norms interact, and critically evaluate how AIGC might impact diverse stakeholders. This requires a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates perspectives from computer science, sociology, psychology, and philosophy to address this emerging issue. This mini-track welcomes papers in all formats including empirical studies, design, theory, theoretical framework, and case studies. In addition to the perspectives above, this minitrack welcomes any studies that investigate AIGC on social media from both technical perspectives and social behavioral perspectives. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • User aspect of AIGC
    • Impact of AIGC on user engagement and social media metrics
    • User attitudes and perceptions towards AIGC on social media
    • The role of AIGC in shaping word-of-mouth on social media
    • Creation of AI-generated advertising material for customer awareness and persuasion
    • The use of AIGC in dealing with customer complaints or service failure
    • Personalization of AIGC to prevent customer negative reactions on social media
    • The use of AIGC for social movements on social media
    • The perception of AI-generated textual, visual, and audio customer-facing contents
    • Immersive experience and novel scenarios for the use of AIGC on social media
  • Technical aspect of AIGC
    • The leverage of large language model and generative transformer architecture in AIGC
    • Real-time voice and face expression cloning algorithms for AIGC
    • The impact of prompting design on the potential for bias in AIGC on social media
    • Evaluating the accuracy and relevance of AIGC as a function of prompting design
    • Developing guidelines for prompting design in generative AI models used for social media content generation.
    • Data quality and quantity on the performance of AI models used for generating social media content
    • Comparing the performance of different generative AI models and techniques for generating social media content
    • Techniques for detecting and mitigating bias in AI-generated social media content
  • Ethical aspect of AIGC
    • Ethical guidelines and best practices for the use of AIGC on social media
    • Government regulations and company policies related to AIGC on social media
    • Trustworthiness, accountability, and transparency of AIGC on social media
    • Evaluating the impact of AIGC on privacy and data protection
    • Mitigation of social inequalities and injustices of AIGC on social media
    • Diversity, equity, and inclusion of AIGC on social media
    • Responsible governance of AI avatar and its created contents
    • Exploring effective coordination mechanisms between human and AI agents in creating social media contents
    • Exploring dark sides of AIGC and finding resolution strategies
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Yichuan Wang (Primary Contact)
University of Sheffield

Yiran Su
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Mediated Conversation minitrack focuses on the study of conversations taking place on digital and social media. Conversations are at the core of human communication. Mediated conversations can use text, emoticons, audio, images, or video, or any combination thereof. The minitrack welcomes research on conversations that are interpersonal as well as those that occur via organizational or mass communication; involve journalistic, educational, or political contexts; or which appear in any other sphere of human activity, including the emerging interplay of human-machine communication — as evident, for example, in recent developments of generative AI tools for conversation. For details, see

This minitrack brings together researchers and innovators to explore mediated conversation and its implications; to raise new socio-technical, theoretical, ethical, pedagogical, linguistic, and social questions; and to suggest new methods, perspectives, and design approaches. Examples of appropriate topics include but are not limited to:

  • Innovation in mediated conversational practice
  • The dynamics and analysis of large-scale conversation systems (e.g., MOOCs and big data applications)
  • Methods for analyzing mediated conversation: qualitative, quantitative, data analytics, etc.
  • Mediated collaboration
  • The role of artificial intelligence in mediated conversation
  • The dark side of mediated conversation: e.g., loafing, incivility, hate speech, bullying, and communication overload
  • Studies of virtual communities or other sites of mediated conversation
  • Ethics and mediated conversation: privacy, deception, freedom of speech, security, and information warfare
  • The role of mediated conversation in knowledge management
  • The role of mediated conversation in organizations
  • Domain-specific applications, opportunities, and challenges of mediated conversations and conversational exchanges (e.g., in education, healthcare, social movements, government, citizen participation, management, and news media)
  • Conversation visualizations and analytics
  • The role of listeners, lurkers, and silent interactions
  • Novel properties of mediated conversation
  • A platform’s role in mediating the conversation
  • Power dynamics and conversational patterns among users of social media
  • The role of conversation in understanding the interplay between media producers and media audiences
  • Human-machine communication and related conversations (e.g., chatbots)

Fast track journal opportunity: Authors of papers accepted for presentation in the minitrack will be offered the opportunity to submit an extended version of their papers for consideration for fast-track publication in the ACM journal, ACM Transaction on Social Computing

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Seth Lewis (Primary Contact)
University of Oregon

Yoram Kalman
Open University of Israel

Gina M. Masullo
University of Texas at Austin

In the digital age, social media influencers have emerged as powerful players in shaping public opinion and driving consumer behavior. They use platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to reach millions of followers and promote products, services, and lifestyles. This call for papers invites research that examines the impact and influence of social media influencers on various aspects of society. In addition to traditional human influencers, this call also seeks to examine the rise of virtual influencers, who are digital avatars created to promote products and services online.

From the ethics and accountability of influencer marketing to the role of influencers in shaping cultural norms and values, there is a growing need to understand the broader implications of this phenomenon. The influence of social media influencers can be both positive and negative, and it is important to examine both the benefits and the potential drawbacks of influencer marketing. Moreover, virtual influencers present unique challenges, such as the blurring of the line between the real and the virtual and the ethical implications of creating and promoting digital avatars. As influencer marketing becomes increasingly prevalent, it is crucial to explore its impact on consumers, businesses, and society as a whole. We encourage submissions that bring together interdisciplinary perspectives and innovative research methods to shed light on this complex and dynamic field.

Topics of Interest include:

  • The role of social media influencers in marketing and advertising
  • The impact of social media influencers on consumer behavior
  • The ethics and accountability of social media influencers
  • The rise of social media influencers and their influence on niche communities
  • The relationship between social media influencers and traditional media
  • The influence of social media influencers on politics and public opinion
  • The rise of virtual influencers
  • The influence of virtual influencers on consumer behavior
  • The impact of virtual influencers on the advertising industry
  • The ethics and accountability of virtual influencers
  • The dark side of social media influencers and influencing
  • Well-being of influencers and followers
  • Compensatory consumption behavior of social media influencers
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Samira Farivar (Primary Contact)
Carleton University

Fang Wang
Wilfrid Laurier University

Wangshuai Wang
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Nowadays, live and on-demand streaming is an important aspect of digital and social media. However, the research on this multifaceted topic is still developing. We possess limited knowledge on this research area, which can be examined through various different lenses such as media formats: audio (e.g., music, podcasts) or video; content type: professionally produced content (e.g., Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus) or user-generated content (e.g., TikTok/Douyin, Twitch, YouTube); the technology of delivery: asynchronous (e.g., YouTube, Netflix) or synchronous (e.g., Twitch, YouNow); and through the lens of the consumer or producer (or even the merger of these two).

In this minitrack we are looking for theoretical, conceptual, and empirical papers investigating video streaming and audio streaming. Furthermore, we welcome research fostering our understanding on the production and usage of, and user participation in, general social live streaming services (e.g., Twitch and YouTube Live), embedded systems in other services (e.g., Instagram Live, niconico, and Facebook Live) and both video game and esports streaming and streamers (e.g., Twitch and Douyu). We also acknowledge the regional differences of streaming services’ popularity and their development, and welcome research from various different regions (such as pioneering regions, e.g., Asia). A new research approach related to regional and cultural aspects focuses on how to leverage live streaming for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), trying to maintain cultural diversity.

We anticipate submissions including, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Information/content production and/or consumption behavior on streaming services
    • User participation and engagement on social streaming services (e.g., chatting, giving “hearts,” commenting, donating)
    • Multichannel behavior
    • Social and community behavior on streaming services (e.g., parasocial interaction and relationships)
  • The economy of streaming services and individual streamers
    • Professionalized and commercial strategies of streamers (e.g. influencers and micro-celebrities)
    • Business models and the economy of streaming services
    • Consumer behavior
    • Streaming e-commerce
  • Streaming technology and development
    • Third-party businesses providing tools to streamers
  • The role of streaming services in the dissemination of news and information (also misinformation)
  • The dark side of streaming media
  • Legal aspects of streaming (e.g., copyright or personality rights violations, transparency regarding
    advertisement or product placements)
  • Organizational and institutional utilization of streaming
    • Streaming services and media in education and academia
  • Research on cultural and regional aspects of streaming services

Topics by types of media:

  • Live streaming
    • Social Live Streaming (e.g., YouNow, Inke)
    • Livestream function in other services (e.g., Facebook Live, IGTV, niconico)
    • eSports (e.g., Twitch, Douyu)
    • Audio discussion rooms (Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces)
    • e-Commerce (e.g., Taobao Live)
  • On-Demand streaming
    • User-generated video (e.g., YouTube, Youku Tudou) or audio (e.g., SoundCloud)
    • Commercial video (e.g., Netflix, iQiyi) or audio (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music)
    • Learning/educational video (e.g., Udemy, Udacity)
  • Short-form video formats and vlogs in digital media
    • e.g., TikTok/Douyin, Kuaishou
    • Snapchat, Instagram/Facebook Stories and YouTube Shorts
    • WhatsApp Status
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Franziska Zimmer (Primary Contact)
University of Tokyo

Juho Hamari
Tampere University

Joseph Macey
Tampere University

Katrin Scheibe
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf