The next speaker at Digital Methods is Irmgard Wetzstein, whose interest is in social media monitoring tools. Social media monitoring is an increasingly important research area, of course, in both scholarly and commercial research, as the rise of 'big data' demonstrates. A social media monitoring industry has now emerged, providing a range of tools and services across various platforms. There are even systematic evaluations of the various tools, documenting this diversity.
If many such tools have emerged from commercial contexts, are they nonetheless also useful for scholarly purposes? Irmgard's study examined some 100 tools, focussing on tools which provide analytics for multiple social media platforms, and examined them across a range of parameters. Most of these tools are from the US or Canada, and focus on English-language content and user interfaces; largely, they focus on consumer, customer, and brand relations, but often offer broader thematic analysis, too.