The second innovation of EES 2014 is the Social Media Study. As a result of our collaboration with TNS Opinion for the European Election Study 2014, the EES research team will gain access to a large amount of information regarding the social media activity at the occasion of the 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections. To be more specific, we will be able to study the content of the social media communication of the candidates standing for office in these elections, and of their followers. In practice, this implies an opportunity to analyze both a large amount of textual information (i.e. the content of the communications) as well as a considerable amount of metadata (e.g. the size of the network of followers, intensity of communication). The purpose of this endeavor is to make the data available to the academic community.
In order to develop a set of clear hypothesis and discuss and exchange knowhow about innovative methods by which such data can most fruitfully be analyzed a Social Media Communication workshop was organized at the MZES between March 28 and March 29.