|Susan Herring (CASBS photo)|
SLIS Professor Susan Herring has been awarded a 2012-2013 academic year research fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) in Stanford, CA. Professor Herring is part of a group of three Fellows and two Visiting Scholars led by Deborah Tannen, University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, that is researching discourse and multimodality in social media.
Professor Herring’s research during her fellowship will focus on multimodal commenting environments on the Web and why, how, and to what effect people choose to communicate in a given mode. Such environments include YouTube, where users may respond either via text or video to YouTube videos, World of Warcraft, where players may engage in real-time chat via text or voice, and VoiceThread.com, where participants may comment on multimedia slide shows via text, audio, or video. In a similar vein, the Google+ social network site allows video chat in addition to text chat, private email, and text comments on one’s “profile”, and Facebook recently added video chat to its suite of textual communication options. Professor Herring plans to conduct a systematic study of communication in interactive multimodal platforms that offer users a choice of communication mode, and to compare their communication (whether by text, audio, or video) in each mode according to parameters of language use that include self- and other-awareness, engagement, politeness, hostility, attitude (sentiment, valuation, and judgment), intimacy, and verbosity. A corpus of data will be collected from public sites and analyzed using a combination of manual and computer-assisted methods that she has developed over 20 years of researching computer-mediated communication, along with new methods that she will develop to address communication in semiotic systems other than typed text.
Posted October 25, 2012