HI Published in American Sociological Review


In a pioneering study published by the American Sociological Review earlier this month—the leading peer-review journal in the field—Harmony Institute researchers and collaborators trace the 2010 documentary Gasland to a shift in public concern and municipal bans on hydraulic fracking.

More information can be found on our full press release.

HI examines neural and social engagement

smallcoverZBTHI has released a new research paper examining the connection between neural engagement and social engagement in the context of broadcast television. This paper discusses the methodology and results of a cross-discipline study that combined EEG scans with aggregated twitter activity to explore viewer responses to the hit show, The Walking Dead. Topics include viewer sentiment, emotional responses, measurement techniques, and data visualization software. “Zombies, brains, and tweets” is free and available for download. Read more here.

Filmmaker Magazine features research by HI

Summer2013_cover-280x372On July 18, HI was featured in Culture Hacker, a column in the summer 2013 edition of Filmmaker magazine. Culture Hacker is written by Lance Weiler and focuses on integrating storytelling practices with technological advancement. The article, Turning the Tables, discusses the immersive narrative experience, My Sky is Falling, drawing on HI’s research and linking to the case study, A New Story.

HI studies influence in online social networks

Cover_image_smallHI has released a research paper exploring how audiences consume, share, and discuss entertainment online. The paper synthesizes recent social science research to deliver an overview of this growing field. Topics discussed include user-generated content, “viral” media, and the demographics of social network users. This empirical research examines the contexts, behaviors, and structures that drive influential entertainment online, adding valuable perspective to quantitative metrics.
The paper is free and available for download. Read more here.

HI releases exploratory case study of a data-driven and immersive story

A_New_Story_Updated_SmallOn July 19, HI released a report that explores methods for integrating data collection and evaluation into the creation of immersive, participatory stories. The report focuses on the project, My Sky is Falling, which chronicles the experiences of a foster care child through the lens of science fiction. The report discusses the challenges of this type of media work and presents a toolkit of research and design methods for creating and evaluating an immersive, narrative experience.

Filmmaker Magazine featured the report in their Summer 2013 Culture Hacker column. The full report is also available for download.

HI featured in Fast Company for work on the morality of language on television

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 10.50.11 AMOn July 2, HI Research Fellow John Voiklis was featured in an article in Fast Company Labs for his work on determining the types of moral language used in television. The article is part of a series, entitled Analytics 2.0, which focuses on the ways in which newly available streams of data are influencing how we understand journalism, marketing, and entertainment.

HI and BAVC release the Impact Playbook

The Harmony Institute and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) are proud to announce the release of the “Impact Playbook”—a resource for media makers that contains best practices and strategies for measuring impact. This joint project builds on HI’s participation at the 2013 Producers Institute for New Media Technologies. We worked collaboratively to understand the needs and workflows of today’s networked storytellers.

The Impact Playbook empowers media makers to use  data to effectively measure and communicate the impact of their work. While the need for effective impact measurement is widely acknowledged, media makers are tasked with finding insights from new distribution channels and data sources. The Impact Playbook addresses this issue by integrating data collection and analysis into the creative process. It is now available for download.


HI releases independent study of documentary Bully

On August 16th, HI released an independent study that analyzes the social media landscape surrounding the release of the documentary film, Bully. The study draws on data gathered over a five month period from link-shortening service, bitly, as well as from social media monitoring service and HI partner, Crimson Hexagon. HI research analyst, Alex Campolo, was the principle investigator. The report includes an examination of the effect of the film’s ratings controversy, audience responses over time, and the impact of “elite users” on social media.

The full report is available for download. For more information on this report and others, please see our case studies.

HI launches our new blog The Ripple Effect

We’ve launched our new blog! The Ripple Effect, run by the Harmony Institute, is an interdisciplinary site dedicated to commentary, analysis, and information on the influence of media and entertainment. It’s written for the interested public and tackles complex issues with clear, intelligent reporting, backed by strong evidence.

Our inaugural post takes a look at the impact of social media on the 2012 documentary Bully, analyzing data from a widely successful Change.org petition that launched the film into the public eye.

Check back often for the latest research and commentary by HI researchers and our partner organizations.


Former HI Science Fellow assesses Invisible Children


Beth Karlin, HI’s 2011 Junior Science Fellow, presented preliminary findings from her recent study of Invisible Children at the 2012 International Studies Convention in San Diego. Karlin’s paper, Power through Participation: Impacts of Youth Involvement in Invisible Children, examines how the organization uses media to mobilize and engage youth to promote social change.

Karlin’s extensive survey represents one of the most systematic studies of Invisible Children, an organization that recently captured worldwide media attention with the release of its highly viral “Kony 2012” video. Her paper discusses ways in which Invisible Children’s network has increased civic capacity among its young members and supporters.

To download a draft of the paper, click here.