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2nd Düsseldorf Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Twitter Analysis (#diata12)

March 21st, 2012, Düsseldorf, Germany

Due to the success of DIATA11 in September 2011 we will organize DIATA12 as a follow up event to discuss current Twitter research. This year the workshop will be a satellite event of the DGI-Conference 2012 on "Social Media  & Web Science - The Web as a Living Space", which takes place on March 22nd and 23rd 2012. The main DGI-Conference will be German but it also hosts an international track on March 22nd with English keynotes and sessions. For further information about the conference programme please visit the DGI-Conference's website.

Latest news

Summaries from the DGI-Conference 2012 sessions and photos from #dgi2012 and #diata12 can be found on our conference blog.


Browse the DIATA12 program here or download the PDF version (including abstracts).

Presentations and abstracts

Workshop summary

Since its launch in 2006 Twitter has turned from a niche service to a mass phenomenon.The service is estimated to have at least 80 million users who post over 65 million tweets per day and is increasingly used as a source of information and place of debate in news, politics, business and entertainment around the world. In addition to areas such as journalism, marketing, political activism and disaster response, millions of private users chat with their friends and share photos via Twitter, using the service as a virtual log of their thoughts and activities. The massive amount of data generated by Twitter users, both private and professional, opens up exciting new possibilities of study in a variety of disciplines. Rich data sets can be retrieved and subsequently mined with specialized tools (programming languages, statistics packages, network analysis frameworks, text and data mining tools) via the Twitter API. However, the opportunities of these new approaches are matched by challenges in relation to aspects such as long-term availability of data, research ethics, interpretation of user-generated information and the relation of qualitative and quantitative, as well as user-based and content-based research approaches.

The one-day workshop is jointly convened by NFGWin and the Media Ecologies Project under the ATN-DAAD Australia Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme and will seek to address these challenges and bring together researchers from different disciplines (broadly, from the Social Sciences and Humanities) investigating Twitter or using Twitter as a source of data. Workshop themes will include, but not be limited to:

Research areas

  • political activism and engagement
  • disaster response and preparedness
  • relation of social and mass media / journalism
  • user generated content / co-creation
  • memes and socio-communicative practices
  • privacy and identity management
  • (micro)celebrity

New and established research methods

  • data retrieval and storage via the Twitter API with cURL, Ruby, Python, R, …
  • using cloud-based services for automated harvesting
  • tools for data mining and visualization
  • machine learning and categorization procedures
  • qualitative vs. quantitative, content-based vs. user-based research approaches: where to use what
  • qualitative analysis of twitter events
  • user interviews / ethnographic approaches
  • user surveys
  • ethics and legal issues

Participation & Abstracts

If you are interested in presenting your Twitter research or methods, we would like to receive an abstract (about 300 words) of your planned presentation by January 31st, 2012. Please send your abstract to We will post a detailed program on the workshop website soon after receiving the abstracts.

We don't plan to publish proceedings at this point. Our rationale is to discuss work in progress and exchange ideas on methodological issues.


Please note that the DGI-Conference requires registration and payment. For DIATA12 there are no workshop fees, but we will not be able to reimburse you or cover travel/lodging expenses (coffee, Internet access and other existential necessities will of course be provided). We plan to keep the event fairly small in size to facilitate cooperation and exchange of ideas, which is why there is no public call, but do let us know if you have colleagues who you think would like to participate.

If you want to participate in DIATA12, please sent an email to


Travel and accommodations

The workshop will take place at the University of Düsseldorf, in the large lecture room of the University and State Library: Universitätsstr. 1, Building 24.41, large lecture room, 40225 Düsseldorf.

Getting there:

Both the U79 and the 707 tram go from the main train station (Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof) directly to the university. The final stop on both lines is “Uni-Ost / Botanischer Garten” = University east / botanical garden)
The university is also on the route of the following buses: 735, 827, 835 and 836. Please get off at the stop “Universität Mitte” (University centre).

Timetables and information on public transport are available at the Rheinbahn homepage.

Please have a look at the university's campus map (which includes bus stops) to find your way to the library ("Bibliothek", Building 24.41).


Please note that the DGI-Conference (March 22-23, 2012) will take place at a different location.

The following hotels have good ratings on various websites and are moderately priced

Max Hotel Garni: This hotel is located close to the central station and the city center. It takes a bit under 20 minutes by tram from the hotel to the campus (see where it is on Google Maps).

Hotel Düsseldorf City: This one is located closer to the university, which may be more convenient. The campus is in walking distance, though you might still want to take the tram as the campus is fairly large (see where it is on Google Maps).


Please don't hesitate to get in touch with Katrin Weller ( if you have any questions or need assistance with your travel arrangements.

DIATA12_programme-abstracts.pdf485.74 KB