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Using Social Media to Identify and Leverage Engagement (SMILE) with Arts and Culture


University of Cambridge Museums
Visual Arts Southwest


Dr Eric Jensen (Sociology)
Dr Maria Liakata (Computer Science)


Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, this collaborative project builds upon prior research conducted as part of the Qualia project (Digital R & D Fund for the Arts). One element of the Qualia project was a critical evaluation of existing sentiment analysis tools for automated analysis of social media data, and the development of a preliminary open source binary (positive/negative) sentiment analysis tool using data from the practice partner Cheltenham Festivals. This new proposed project (SMILE) will extend and amplify this work by (1) engaging two consortiums of arts and culture engagement institutions- Visual Arts Southwest and the University of Cambridge Museums- on the topic of measuring social media indicators of ‘quality of experience’, (2) including international expertise and cross disciplinary working- spanning arts technology, communication, sociology and computer science- to deliver new insights about social media analytics, (3) developing a preliminary model of the relationship between discourse on social media and authentic views held by social media users, based on researching discussions about arts and culture experiences occurring on social media, (4) establishing an empirical basis for developing a new categorical sentiment analysis tool focusing on social media content using online ethnography and conversation analysis to identify the ways in which social media are used to communicate about arts and culture experiences and (5) developing a new prototype open source sentiment analysis tool [SMILE] for arts and culture discourse to provide a practical test of the initial findings about automated social media analysis from the preceding Qualia project and (6) disseminating the new sentiment analysis tool and associated research, critical reflections and practical recommendations through practitioner workshops and web-based communications.