The Universe in a ‘bucket’

This project will contribute to mapping the diversity of unbelief in Northern and Central Europe by using survey, social media and interview data across six countries (UK, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Norway, and Romania)… exciting huh? It has just started in January 2018 and will finish in June 2019.

In January I traveled to Amsterdam to attend a Winter School for digital research methods to better understand how we can use social media to measure networks of unbelief and what social media can tell us about nonreligion.

I’ve been currently working with a newly discovered tool called DiscoverText where I have been fetching ‘tweets’ using rules and filtering on the terms ‘belief’ or ‘believe’ in the same ‘tweet’ as ‘universe’ over 100 x 1 hour searches. This was a test to see if anything could be learned from a sentiment analysis – do people express the universe is working with or against them?

DiscoverText gives you the power to clean and code your data, whereby you can place the ‘universe’ in ‘buckets’ before adding them to your data sets. With the power of cluster analysis and machine learning, you’re soon able to see patterns of what people are discussing when they tweet about their beliefs and the universe.



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