Tag Archives: social media

instagram your food

I just searched for #food on Instagram and received 27189059 photos back!

In my broader work, I have seen tagged instagrams of food people are about to eat at restaurants. The posting of one’s plate became popular on Flickr and Facebook, but has seen a dramatic increase on Instagram. Not only have filters been key to crafting a particular visual aesthetic, but Instagramming bizarre, shocking, and beautifully presented food has become increasingly popular. In my book, I discuss a notion of ‘update cultures’, where we have seen an increasing social trend of updating the world about our lives. This can be seen when people travel and post to Facebook during their trip about their experiences. Additionally, they may be more likely to Instagram their restaurant experiences while traveling.

I have been doing work on instagram use during Superstorm sandy and have found that instagrams of food and pets had a humanizing effect during the disaster.

In the world of restaurants, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor, and other sites have been seen as important social media to bringing customers to restaurants. Because Instagram uses hashtags, it is able to leverage patterns of ‘electronic word-of-mouth’ (eWOM) similar to Twitter. Scholarship on social media has shown that eWOM recommendations from one’s social media network carry much more weight than anonymous reviews. This extends to Likes and Check-Ins too. This has been something tested broadly in marketing scholarship under the notion of ‘earned’ rather than ‘bought’ advertising. One tweet or Instagram promoting a particular restaurant has a powerful effect on consumption, which sociologists should pay attention to!

Collaborative Organizations and Social Media


I am running a small conference today titled ‘Collaborative Organizations and Social Media’. The program features invited speakers Nicole Ellison (UMich), George Ritzer (UMD), Peter Gloor (MIT), and Jennifer Earl (University of Arizona). Further details of the program can be found at Slides of individual talks can be downloaded via the ‘Download’ button after you select individual papers.

We are also live streaming the event at Please feel free to participate in the event and to join the discussion via our Twitter hashtag of #2013COSM.

We will also be publishing videos of the talks on our proceedings webpage shortly.

In my research of large Twitter data sets, I have been regularly studying trending topics. Most of the time, trending topics encourage monologic behavior on Twitter. For example, see the relatively monologic network graph below of #ThreeWordsSheWantsToHear (a hashtag which warrants serious  critical, dialogic engagement of gender issues).

#ThreeWordsSheWantsToHear Network Graph

I have been investigating the #accidentalracist hashtag from this past Monday (April 8, 2013). The hashtag formed in response to the new Brad Paisley and LL Cool J song titled ‘Accidental Racist’ (video below).

The Huffington Post labeled the song ‘a controversial one, to say the least’ and features the singer donning a Confederate flag. Forbes observed that the song set ‘off a firestorm on social media’.

Given the controversial nature of this hashtag, I was curious whether the tag was encouraging monologic or more dialogic behavior. It turns out that the 1504 tweets I sampled (from 9:56 p.m. to 11:18 p.m. UTC on April 8, 2013) actually exhibited far more interaction than one would expect in a trending topic-based network. Take a look at the social network analysis map below and let me know your thoughts!

#accidentalracist social network map

#accidentalracist social network map


And, as @sociographie, mentioned in a Twitter chat we had, it is important not to solely prioritize relationships in a network graph of trending topics. That is why I have retained isolates. Below, you can also find some aggregate information on the tweets.

Top URLs in Tweet in Entire Graph Entire Graph Count 28 21 17 10 5 4 3 3 2 2
Top Domains in Tweet in Entire Graph Entire Graph Count 28 27 23 17 13 10 4 4 4 3
Top Hashtags in Tweet in Entire Graph Entire Graph Count
accidentalracist 1493
llcoolj 26
bradpaisley 23
intentionalbeatdown 17
thewalkingdead 7
negrobush 5
occupy 5
ows 5
oppression 5
llcooljoke 4