Introducing the HI Impact Scoreboard; HI studies the impact of MTV’s original film on digital abuse; GOOD publishes article by John Johnson on measuring impact in storytelling; HI at industry conferences and featured in the press; Work with us: Research Analyst and summer internships available. You can read more here.
MTV partnered with HI in 2011 to conduct a study of the network’s original film, (DIS)connected, which was the central piece of media in a multi-year campaign to reduce cyberbullying. HI conducted original research in order to study the impact of this film on its target audience. One of the study’s findings was that “(Dis)connected was very effective at increasing comprehension about digital abuse with 82% of viewers reporting that digital abuse was a more serious problem than they previously thought after seeing the film.” The study was also featured in a Fast Company article, in which representatives from both HI and MTV discussed the findings and implications for upcoming campaigns. As the first partnership between the two firms, the report demonstrates the ways in which MTV was able to make an impact with their audience beyond standard viewership metrics.
To read more, see our case study.
On January 11, HI Executive Director, John Johnson, was featured as an expert for GOOD’s Wish for the Future series. He discussed the power of new evaluation tools and the necessity for impact measurement for both filmmakers and funders. The article proved to be provocative, generating engaged and passionate comments from both sides of the debate over the use of data in evaluating social issue films.
HI is pleased to announce our data analyst, Brian Abelson, has been named a Knight-Mozilla Fellow for 2013.
The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship seeks to encourage digital innovation in journalism by introducing data scientists, programmers, and statisticians into some of the top newsrooms around the world. Fellows will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to develop open-source tools that help journalists understand the impact of the news. Abelson will also apply skills he used during his time at HI, such as synthesizing multiple data sources, using web scraping techniques, and performing advanced statistical analysis. The fellowship is primarily funded by the Knight Foundation.
Abelson has been selected to work with The New York Times beginning in January 2013.
On November 13, Research Analyst Alex Campolo presented on a special media and entertainment panel at the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference in Sacramento. The panel was organized by former HI Junior Science Fellow Beth Karlin who now directs the Transformational Media Lab at UC Irvine.
Scientists, policymakers, and advocates attended the panel, titled “The Art & Science of Film and Behavior Change: An Emerging Agenda.” Speaking to this multidisciplinary audience, Campolo discussed HI’s strategies for measuring the influence of documentary film. The talk ranged from large-scale, multi-method research to creative ways of linking cognitive data with response on social networks. Other participants from the entertainment industry included representatives from Free Range Studies and The Story of Stuff.
The conference was also a learning experience for HI. Of particular interest were a variety of behavioral models developed by social psychologist and designers. More detailed analysis can be found on HI’s research blog, The Ripple Effect.
HI’s latest research study was the subject of a feature in Fast Company‘s Co.Create. Writer Neal Ungerlieder detailed HI’s innovative research design that links neural data to discussion of the popular AMC series The Walking Dead on social networks.
Ungerleider explained the rigorous hand-coding scheme that HI researchers used to code tweets and how researchers connected this data to EEG readings. The article highlights the phenomenon of “ghost engagement”—when audiences are highly engaged but don’t reveal it online or in group settings. One of the major insights from the study, ghost engagement” has important consequences for advertising and understanding how entertainment affects audiences.
HI Research Analyst Alex Campolo attended the BAVC Producers Institute for New Media Technologies from October 12-16. Campolo delivered a keynote talk at the Public Conference Day on strategies for measuring the social impact of media. Other presenters included independent filmmakers, transmedia experts, and representatives of PBS and ITVS.
Throughout the week, Campolo worked individually with six selected teams developing innovative social-issue media projects. The teams brought together documentary filmmakers, technologists, and nonprofit partners to design innovative transmedia and interactive storytelling tools. Following the conference, HI will work with the teams to hone new strategies for measuring social impact as documentary storytelling moves to a variety of new platforms.
On October 12, Executive Director John Johnson and Graham Technology Fellow Clint Beharry met with a select group of journalists, entertainment executives, and activists to discuss preliminary results from HI’s recent study: “From Neural to Social Networks.”
The panel, titled “Innovations In Leveraging Behavioral Data To Influence Change,” was hosted by Bond Strategy and Influence, a leading strategic consulting firm that finds creative solutions for clients in digital markets. Johnson and Beharry presented HI’s study, which tracked the social influence of the popular AMC series The Walking Dead. Thousands of hand-coded tweets were matched with cognitive response measured using EEG technology to generate new insights into how audiences engage with entertainment. More broadly, Johnson and Beharry outlined how HI is using new data sources to understand how entertainment drives social change.
Following an intensive selection process, Britdoc announced five finalists for the 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award. The five finalists will be judged by a celebrity jury, and the winner will take home a prize of €50,000.
Unlike many fesitval awards, the PUMA.Creative Impact Award recognizes documentary films that have made significant, measurable impacts on society. Due to its experience evaluating and measuring impact, the Harmony Institute was asked to serve on an independent, peer review panel to select the five finalists. Filmmakers were asked to provide evidence of their impact on viewer attitudes and behaviors, and panelists evaluated the films based on their impact in a variety of fields. The final winner will be announced at a ceremony held in November.