In early May, Deputy Director Debika Shome attended the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Canada. Shome took part in real-time case studies addressing tools and best-practices for building a successful audience engagement campaign around a film, entitled “Impact Stories–Building and Measuring Engagement.” She also took part in “Campaigns by Design,” a hands-on workshop for media makers to plan strategies for media project distribution, outreach, audience engagement, and impact measurement..
On April 25, Deputy Director Debika Shome spoke on a panel at Columbia University‘s screening of the recently-released documentary film, Chasing Ice. The discussion focused on solutions for Arctic sea ice management and connecting with audiences through entertainment on complex issues like climate change. Shome discussed climate change communication and how the film contributed to audience engagement and impact.
On April 25th, HI Senior Creative Technologist, Clint Beharry, presented at a course entitled, The New Business of Big Data at the New School on the subject of the future of entertainment. His presentation included a discussion of data-driven storytelling, and measuring the social return on investment. Beharry presented HI’s Walking Dead Study, including the brain scan methodologies, the presence of ghost engagement, themes of gun responsibility in fictional narratives, and audience reactions to the show’s portrayal of innocence. He also discussed HI’s recent collaboration with Lance Weiler, on the participatory narrative, My Sky is Falling. These topics included measuring emotional arousal through biometric technology, layering multiple story metaphors alongside biometric data, and mapping a social issue to an emotional experience.
On March 21, HI data scientist, Burton DeWilde, took part in a data.io event as a panelist on data science. The discussion included three other data scientists, including former HI research analyst, Brian Abelson. The speakers focused on the field of data science and its practitioners, as well as their own projects and techniques. The event took place at Enigma.io‘s offices in SoHo, with approximately 90 people in attendance.
Photo courtesy of Meetup.com
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 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.
On September 13, HI Research Analyst Brian Abelson delivered a presentation at the inaugural Datagotham conference in New York City. Datagotham is a gathering of New York’s diverse data scene where industry experts from finance to fashion share innovative ways to gather and analyze data.
Abelson opened the conference on the Tribeca Rooftop with a discussion of HI’s latest study comparing neural and social responses to entertainment. The presentation explored HI’s analysis and comparison of two large data sets: the neural measurements of subjects responding to an episode of The Walking Dead and the response to the episode on Twitter. The talk also showcased HI’s custom data visualization tool that links the neural and social data with the show’s content.
Following the presentation, HI was invited to further discuss these results at the upcoming Ignite NYC talk titled, “The truth is a moving target: Oddities, anomalies and wonder with data.” This event will be hosted by the O’Reilly Strata conference on October 22.
On May 15, Assistant Director Eleanor Cleverly and Graham Technology Fellow Clint Beharry presented original HI research to an audience of television and marketing executives at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).
The panel was part of an ongoing Thought Leader Series that aims to create a space for sharing emerging advertising and measurement knowledge. HI’s talk showcased an innovative application of Crimson Hexagon‘s social media analysis platform. Cleverly and Beharry presented real-time insights into the social media conversations of television viewers, along with preliminary results of neuro-imaging techniques for analyzing audience reaction to media.
Online marketing experts MediaPost published a detailed report of the talk.