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, immersive content) 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 COVID-19 crisis 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. Email, X/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. The minitracks in this track attract papers with a range of epistemological and methodological perspectives, including conceptual, philosophical, behavioral and design science and beyond.

This minitrack focuses on the study of communication taking place on digital and social media. It welcomes research on all forms of digital communication, including interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication, as well as a wide variety of contexts for communication, such as news, politics, entertainment, education, social movements and activism, etc. Additionally, this minitrack attends to the emerging interplay of human-machine communication—as evident, for example, in recent developments of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and the tools they afford for conversation and communication. For further details about the minitrack and its aims, see

This minitrack explores Communication, Digital Conversation, and Media Technologies and their implications 1) to raise new socio-technical, theoretical, methodological, ethical, pedagogical, linguistic, and social questions and 2) to suggest new methods, perspectives, and design approaches. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Communication dynamics (from mass to interpersonal to other forms) that shape the development of digital media spaces and their role in public and private life
  • The role of artificial intelligence in communication, including in areas such as mediated conversation, news, and social media
  • Ethics of communication, digital conversation, and media technologies: e.g., privacy, safety, deception, freedom of speech, security, and information warfare
  • Human-machine communication and related forms of conversation (e.g., chatbots)
  • The role of conversation in understanding the interplay between media producers and media audiences
  • The dynamics and analysis of large-scale conversation systems (e.g., MOOCs and big data applications)
  • Methods for analyzing communication, mediated conversation, and media technologies: qualitative, quantitative, data analytics, etc.
  • Innovation in the intersections of communication, mediated conversation, and media technologies
  • The dark side of mediated conversation: e.g., hate speech, bullying, information overload
  • Domain-specific applications, opportunities, and challenges of communication, digital conversation, and media technologies (e.g., in education, healthcare, social movements, government, citizen participation, management, and news media)
  • Studies of virtual communities and the discourses in digital spaces
  • Novel properties of platforms as they relate to communication/conversation dynamics
  • Power dynamics and conversational patterns among social media users
  • The role of communication, conversation, and media technologies in knowledge management and organizations
  • Conversation visualizations and analytics
  • The role of listeners, lurkers, and silent interactions
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Seth Lewis (Primary Contact)
University of Oregon

Yoram Kalman
Open University of Israel

Gina M. Masullo
University of Texas at Austin

Digital and social media use continues to take center stage today whether in politics or policy, or in private, not-for-profit or public forums, implicitly and explicitly with a range of complex and ever-growing challenges related to culture, identity and inclusion. In a post-pandemic era characterized by geopolitical instability and disruptive advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI),digital inequalities persist and emerging technologies risk creating new types of divides.

Recognizing the intersections of technology, culture, and identity, this minitrack presents innovative research across a wide range of methods, subjects, and countries. Exploring how platforms and other digital technologies become interconnected with and embedded in existing socio-cultural contexts is essential to assess how they affect key power dynamics in society, politics, and the economy. It sets the scene for analyzing better how these technologies can foster – or hinder – diversity, equity, and inclusion in multiple settings, especially in a world coping with renewed calls for social justice and peace, and AI’s transformational potential on work, politics, and other social processes. Technology-facilitated social media and other platforms 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. It 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 or virtual 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

  • Transnational Digital Platforms, Inclusion & Geopolitics
  • Power, Media, Culture & Social Change
  • Digital inclusion and/or exclusion in the post-pandemic era
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion in Digital & Social Media
  • Inter-cultural and Cross-cultural Use of Social Media
  • AI’s impact on education, work, and relationships
  • Platform Governance, Anticipatory Governance, & Inclusion
  • Accessibility and Inclusion (especially in cross-cultural perspective)
  • Audio Engagement, Social Media, & Inclusive Marketing
  • Digital media, identity and political activation
  • Gendered Social Media
  • Influencers, Social Media, & Divides
  • Online Harassment
  • Identity Enactment, Adoption, and Policing
  • Algorithmic biases
  • Aging and Social Media
  • Inter-generational use of Social Media
  • Digital Media, Learning, and Inclusion
  • Participatory Platforms, Inclusion and/or Marginalization
  • Social Media, Culture & Social Innovation
  • Participatory Media & Intersectionality
  • Digital Disability, Inclusion, and Empowerment
  • Social Media, Disruptive Innovation, and Capacity-Building for Al
  • Augmented Reality, Social Media & Accessibility
  • Digital Media & Indigenous Data Sovereignty
  • Technological Advancements, Ethics, and Marginalization
  • Advocacy for Inclusion: Digital Media Roles & Practices
  • Digital Media, Human Rights & Inclusion: Cross-National Comparisons

A fast track publication opportunity with Data & Policy published by Cambridge University Press has been secured for selected papers accepted to this minitrack.

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., 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
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 conceptualize 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
  • The good, bad and ugly of decision making 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
  • OSN influence
  • Decision Making Processes and Systems
  • Apps, Tools and Technologies for Decision Making
  • Health and Financial OSN Decision Making
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Gabrielle Peko (Primary Contact)
University of Auckland

Fernando Beltrán
University of Auckland

Ghazwan Hassna
Hawaiʻi Pacific University

Valeria Sadovykh
University of Auckland

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, two years after 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 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 enterprise social media
  • Methodologies for studying digital and social media in enterprise
  • Organizational strategies and practices associated with digital and social media use
  • Social media marketing strategies for B2B enterprises
  • 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 employee advocacy, 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 Journal of Information Systems. Submitted papers will be fast-tracked through the review process.

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Yen-Yao Wang (Primary Contact)
Auburn University

Tawei David Wang
DePaul University

Ester Gonzalez
California State University, Fullerton

This minitrack provides researchers with an opportunity to present work on the social aspects of digital games. The uniqueness of this minitrack is its focus 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 G&G 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, and as part of the Digital and Social Media track, the Games & Gaming mini-track 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

Accepted research will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Electronic Gaming and Esports (JEGE).

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.

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. Third, Generative AI has the potential to deepen existing digital divides. As AI technologies become more integral to social media and content creation, access to these advanced tools might be limited to those with the financial means or technical expertise, leaving behind small creators, marginalized communities, and developing regions. This technological disparity can lead to unequal opportunities for visibility and engagement on social media platforms, where algorithmic preferences and AI-enhanced content dominate.

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, philosophy, and public policy to address this emerging issue. This minitrack 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 medi
  • 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
    • Assessing algorithmic bias and fairness in distributing AIGC on social media
    • 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:

Yiran Su (Primary Contact)
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Yichuan Wang
University of Sheffield

Netnography can reveal cultural insights about many of the facets of people’s social, work, and everyday lives shared online, or technocultural insights that deeply implicate their use of devices or existence within technological assemblages. Founded on practices of immersive journal note-taking across digital spheres, structured and ethical search for small amounts of deep data, and the established principles of researcher-as-instrument, netnography reliably delivers cultural insight to researchers working in industry, government, and academia. Rooted in the rigorous qualitative cocktail of methods called ethnography, netnography provides specific and adaptive procedures for every element of the qualitative digital research process, including data collection, reflective engagement, and ethics.

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 the application of generative AI techniques to support netnographers throughout the various steps of a netnographic research process. Crowdsourcing research innovation and constantly evolving, netnography is expanding into immersive videogame and Metaverse-style contexts, AI-assisted deep data prompts, auto-ethnographic auto-netnography, and transformative action research.

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 minitrack. Some potential topics and approaches to spur further ideas include:

  • AI-assisted netnography
  • Auto-netnographies of system sciences contexts
  • Conceptual or philosophical development of netnography
  • Corporate or organizational netnography contexts
  • Data privacy and netnography
  • Digital ethnography
  • Ethics, consent, vulnerability, and netnography
  • Immersion Journal innovations or examples
  • Longitudinal netnography (long time spans)
  • Metaverse, immersive technology, gaming, and e-sports netnographies
  • Mobile ethnography
  • Netnographies and specific theories (e.g., affordances, assemblages, institutional theory, algorithmic culture, etc.)
  • Qualitative data analysis methods and netnography (e.g., grounded theory, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, thematic analysis)
  • Social media netnography on less researched platforms
  • Transformative netnographies and social media activism
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Robert Kozinets (Primary Contact)
University of Southern California

Ulrike Gretzel
University of Southern California

Tung Bui
University of Hawaii at Manoa

In the digital world, behavioral surplus and digital trace data are defining features of our online experiences. In addition to commoditization such data are used to understand a range of phenomena, from broad social modelling to individualized mental health diagnoses. Capturing, understanding, and using these data to make wise estimations of individual and social phenomena continues to be a wide-ranging research interest.

Mental health online, an individual’s psychological and emotional well-being in digital spaces, is closely intertwined with online (in)civility, marked by (im)politeness and(dis)respect in digital space. Positive aspects involve engaging in supportive communities and accessing mental health resources, thriving in a respectful environment. Negative facets, such as cyberbullying and toxic online spaces, stem from incivility, adversely affecting mental well-being. Civility is crucial for fostering a positive online culture, enhancing mental health, and mitigating the harms associated with incivility.

This minitrack is intended to explore the evolving landscape of information systems (IS) research with a specific focus on the utilization of behavioral surplus in understanding online (in)civility, mental health dynamics of individuals and communities, and the social and environmental phenomena that impact them. Key areas of inquiry include:

  • Defining and tracking online (in)civility
  • Defining and tracking mental health trace data
  • Understanding the intersection of online (in)civility and mental health
  • Personalized IS applications for mental health
  • Ethical and societal implications of using behavioral surplus for monitoring and influencing online behavior and mental health.
  • Security and privacy of health intervention applications
  • (In)civility’s role in political participation and polarization
  • Online (in)civility and election studies
  • Political, social, and environmental influences on mental health
  • Incorporating cross-disciplinary perspectives by utilizing insights from psychology, sociology, political science and data science.
  • Exploring global and cultural variations of online (in)civility and mental health issues
Minitrack Co-chairs:

Margeret Hall (Primary Contact)
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Elham Rastegari
Creighton University

Nargess Tahmasbi
Pennsylvania State University

In the digital age, social media influencers have emerged as powerful players in shaping publicopinion 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
  • 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
  • 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

Streaming technology represents a specialized method of delivering various media types, typically audio or video, from a server to a client. In recent times, its application has seen a surge in the entertainment and education sectors, emerging as an alternative to traditional file downloads. Three main categories of streaming are prevalent: on-demand streaming, exemplified by platforms such as Netflix, Spotify, Youku and YouTube; live streaming, seen in eSports events, YouNow broadcasts, and Taobao Live shopping sessions, and short-form video formats embedded in social media such as TikTok (Douyin), Kuaishou, or “Stories”-feature on Facebook.

Despite the growing prominence of live and on-demand streaming in digital and social media realms, research in this domain remains relatively underexplored within system sciences and HCI research. Our understanding of this area remains limited, leaving a multitude of questions unanswered. What demographic characteristics define users of streaming services? How do they behave in terms of information consumption? Are there any legal violations? What motivates streamers, participants, and consumers? What gratifications do they seek, and what do they actually obtain? Do gender, age, or cultural differences influence motives, gratifications, and content preferences? How do aspiring influencers and micro-celebrities leverage live and on-demand streaming platforms such as YouTube?

In this minitrack, we seek theoretical and empirical papers examining on-demand streaming services across various domains, including video streaming (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime), music streaming (e.g., Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud), and educational platforms (e.g., Camtasia, Lecture2Go, Udemy, Udacity). Additionally, we welcome research that sheds light on the production, usage, and user participation in streaming media (e.g., YouNow, TikTok/Douyin). Anticipated submissions encompass a wide range of topics, including user behavior, motivations, legal aspects, and cultural influences in the realm of streaming media. We anticipate submissions including (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Information/content production and/or consumption behavior on streaming services
  • The economy of streaming services and individual streamers (e.g., consumer behavior, streaming e-commerce, business models)
  • Streaming technology and development (e.g., third-party businesses providing tools to streamers)
  • The role of (live) streaming services in the dissemination of breaking news
  • Multichannel behavior of streamers
  • Legal aspects of streaming (e.g., copyright or personality rights violations, transparency regarding advertisement or product placements, juridical adaptations)
  • Organizational and institutional utilization of streaming
  • Research on cultural and regional aspects of streaming services
  • Investigations on types of media: Live streaming (e.g., TikTok Live, Taobao Live), on-demand streaming (YouTube, Youku Tudou, Netflix, Udemy), short-form video formats and vlogs (TikTok, Kuaishou)
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Franziska Zimmer (Primary Contact)
University of Tokyo

Katrin Scheibe
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

As we delve into the multifaceted dynamics of Web3 within the realm of social media, it’s essential to grasp the foundational concepts of blockchain technology, the metaverse, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Blockchain technology has spurred the evolution of Web3, a decentralized version of the internet, granting users greater autonomy over their data and assets. Concurrently, the metaverse has emerged, offering immersive digital environments through advancements in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). NFTs, a major application of Blockchain, play a central role in the metaverse economy, representing unique digital assets such as art, collectibles, and virtual real estate. NFTs enable new opportunities for creators, collectors, and brands, reshaping digital content creation and engagement.

The integration of Blockchain, the metaverse, and NFTs into social media platforms is reshaping the landscape of digital interactions. These technologies are fundamentally altering user interactions, content distribution methods, and monetization strategies within social media ecosystems. Simultaneously, decentralized social media platforms are witnessing the emergence of decentralized identity systems and community structures, fundamentally changing how users engage and participate in digital communities. However, the integration of NFTs into social media interactions and content creation presents both opportunities and challenges, including issues surrounding copyright, ownership, and digital rights management. Decentralized social media platforms are empowering users with unprecedented control over their data and identities, raising questions about privacy, security, and censorship resistance. Ethical considerations surrounding the adoption of Web3 technologies in social media contexts, such as transparency, accountability, and inclusivity, are becoming increasingly pertinent. As these technologies continue to evolve, it is essential to explore emerging trends and future directions at the nexus of Web3 and social media ecosystems, considering their broader implications.

In this minitrack, we welcome papers in various formats, including empirical studies, design, theory, theoretical framework, and case studies on Web3 dynamics in digital and social media. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Web3 and its impact on user engagement in social media
  • Web3 and its impact on content creation in social media
  • Web3 and digital marketing in social media
  • Decentralized social media platforms
  • Decentralized identity and trust in digital and social media
  • Content moderation and governance in decentralized social media platforms
  • Tokenization and incentive structures in digital and social media
  • Smart contracts and social media transactions
  • Digital art marketplaces in the Web3 era
  • Interoperability in digital and social media
  • The dark side of Web3
  • Potential challenges and ethical considerations in digital and social media
  • Privacy and data ownership in decentralized social media
  • User attitudes and perceptions towards Web3 adoption in digital and social media
Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Ramah Al Balawi (Primary Contact)
Baruch College, City University of New York

Ecem Basak
Baruch College, City University of New York

Cheng Chen
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Keran Zhao
Pennsylvania State University