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Ambient Awareness

junior research groupSocial Media
Duration05/2018 - open
FundingIWM budget resources, Excellence Cluster Machine Learning
Project description

Most news on social media are only skimmed and not read attentively. However, regular skimming of such messages is by no means useless, but can help to develop so-called ambient awareness, an awareness of who is doing what and who knows what in the network. Based on preliminary work from the ERC project ReDeftie, the underlying processes and effects will be further investigated.

Studies on enterprise social media have shown that ambient awareness is a mechanism that can explain why users of these platforms report informational benefits. On these platforms, however, most contributions are work-related. It is not clear how well regular browsing of messages on less work-oriented platforms such as Twitter or Facebook is suited to building ambient awareness. Initial findings from the ERC project also showed that good networkers report higher ambient awareness – but it is unclear whether they process messages better or get better information from their network through more strategic selection of contacts. These questions will be answered in this project. For example, methods of machine learning will be used to investigate how well expertise can be inferred from tweets. The predictions from the machine learning models can then be compared with self-reported ambient awareness from the users. Questionnaire studies and experiments will investigate the relationship between networking behavior, ambient awareness and professional informational benefits.


Dr. Isabel Valera, Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems


Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz
Tel.: +49 7071 979-308

Project team

Pablo Sánchez Martín