Social Feed Manager
GW Libraries can collect social media data for research, archiving, and academic purposes. We developed the Social Feed Manager software to support campus research about social media including Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Sina Weibo platforms.
If you’re studying Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or Sina Weibo, you can collect data for your research using Social Feed Manager.
Social Feed Manager is hosted and run by GW Libraries and harvests data and websites from free public sources provided by the platforms. You can receive data in several formats, including CSV, Excel, and JSON. Social Feed Manager is open source software developed by the Libraries (on Github). We can also recommend additional strategies for collecting social media from various platforms.
In addition to heping you collect your own data, we share selected Twitter datasets for download for research purposes at GWU only via our Tweetsets data platform.
Example published research using data from SFM:
- Nikki Usher, Jesse Holcomb, Justin Littman, Twitter Makes It Worse: Political Journalists, Gendered Echo Chambers, and the Amplification of Gender Bias
- Babak Bahador, Robert Entman & Curd Knüpfer, Who’s Elite and How the Answer Matters to Politics
- Tawnya Azar, Inside and Outside the Literary Marketplace: The Digital Products of Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie
- Audrey Alexander, Digital Decay: Tracing Change Over Time Among English-Language Islamic State Sympathizers on Twitter
- Danny Hayes and Jennifer Lawless, Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era
- Bailey Mohr, Campaign Messaging & Engagement on Twitter in the 2014 U.S. Senate Elections, supported by the Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prize.
If your class is studying Twitter or other social media platforms, we can give a class session on how to use SFM to collect data, use existing datasets, and provide your class with data for academic use.
We can provide advice for your grant proposal where it involves gathering social media data:
- Working with you to set up Social Feed Manager to query platforms and collect data.
- Providing sample datasets.
- Advising on purchasing datasets or firehose access from a third-party reseller.
About the project
Social Feed Manager was funded by a three-year National Historical Publications and Records (NHPRC) Innovation grant. Under this grant, we released a new version of SFM that allows students and researchers to directly develop their own social media collections. Our current grant also supported sharing recommendations around collection development and metadata for social media collections and archives. More information about the project.
SFM was initially funded by an IMLS Sparks! Innovation Grant and supported the development of the first version of Social Feed Manager.
Additional resources on Social Feed Manager
- Social Feed Manager documentation
- Project site, with blog posts and resources about our work
- Social Feed Manager Project Background (blog post)
- Informing Social Feed Manager at GW (blog post)
Data management and dataset resources
- Data Management Guide: Data Management Plan Tool access, metadata resources
- Social Science Data Resources