This is an abstract for the conference NordMedia 2011 being presented in August. In my work in this project I study local participatory innovation practices. A lot of people and institutions are wondering and pondering on where innovation takes place and how to understand different forms of innovation. In this paper I try to show how deeply involved we as academics are in the ‘swamp’ of social innovation and how social media is relevant. This paper is written for academia, I will adapt it to other contexts Fall 2011. Comments and thoughts are much appreciated.
Title: Exploring Twitter as a network site for research on and in social innovation
Doing research on and in social media highlights the complexity of seeing a researcher as something outside of a media practice. In this paper I articulate and explore my own research presence in social media, framing it in the context of doing research on (and in) ‘social innovation’. I argue that social media tools in fact can be seen as a social innovation of it’s own. Using the microblog tool Twitter I engage in different forms of practice: 1) following my followers social innovation activity on Twitter 2) asking my followers for social innovation examples on Twitter 3) conduct searches for social innovation on Twitter. Discussing production of this scientific knowledge I touch upon social circumstances surrounding social innovation. I present the ability of Putnam’s research on civicness to understand and explore possible value of social media practice in this context. Results implicate an intricate ongoing weaving of connecting practices, what I describe as themes of ‘cross-pollinations’, ‘personal as political’ and ‘dynamic communities’. I claim that the established norm of reciprocity and the forms it can take, is especially interesting to explore more for doing research on and in social media.