Let us imagine that the main way in which we get informed is through social media. Every morning, citizens check the press on Twitter or Facebook and evaluate, comment, and share information with their social circles. From there, and throughout the day, interpretations and opinions emerge, which are mediated not only by the press media which generated the information, but also by go-viral-interactions that relatives, friends or acquaintances perform by choosing, replacing, and commenting news on social networks (SNS).
While the fact that this is the main mechanism that the population uses to be informed cannot be assumed, there is concrete background information (Newman, 2013) to assert that there is a growing global tendency in which individuals under 35 years consider that Internet is the best way to access news, and the people over that age (older than 35 years old) tend to prefer getting informed in more traditional way, watching television. In addition, it can be inferred that, probably, as generations pass by and are increasingly digitized, the age frontier will shift.
Chile has proven to be a country that easily adopts trends derived from Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), and both ComScore (2013) and IAB (2012) point out that social media penetration riches an 80% approximately. Recent studies by Cárcamo & Sáez (2014) show that the amount of interactions with press on Facebook can be similar for the cases of Spain and Chile, with the difference that our population represents a 35% of that from Spain. Furthermore, Halpern (2014) detected -in Chile- an interesting tendency to consume information interacting between screens (for example, watching TV and using SNS at the same time).
Despite the clear fact that Chile does not present an homogeneous digital culture reality, and that there are communities still isolated from the information society, it is clear that, today, the digital divide exists more in relation to the uses than the access. This is why the objective of the present project is to propose an analysis model based on data mining in SNS, as a diagnosis of press media users’ behaviors on the Chilean Internet project educative uses of that information.
The proposal intermingles methodological strategies based on web data mining (Baeza-Yates, 2009), specifically a following of SNS interactions (Cárcamo & Saez, 2013) a data mining of news texts (Sáez, Castillo & Lalmas, 2013). It also includes Human-Computer Interaction experiments (Herring, 2014) with the support of eyetracking technologies(Cárcamo & Marcos, 2014), and educommunicative proposals for the use of such data in school and/or youth settings.
It is an ambitious project, both in its extension and academic goals, and that due the multi-disciplinary characteristics of the team can contribute new perspectives to the study of mass communication in Chile. We consider that the feasibility of the proposal is high, since during the last two years, the team has developed -at smaller scale- some investigations applying data mining, content analysis about citizen mobilisations on SNS, experiments of HCI with eyetracking technology, and educative proposals with web 2.0.
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