Looking for the right tool to do research on open Facebook pages

I’m interested in doing research on open Facebook pages, but haven’t quite found the tool I need. Maybe you are able to help me out?

My social network via NameGenWeb

My social network via NameGenWeb

As part of the research project I’m part of (Social media and agenda setting project in election campaigns), I’m looking into different ways to analyze and compare likes, shares, number of comments, etc. on open Facebook pages. I’m also considering tools to analyze comments. So far, I’ve looked at these tool (some in more details than others):

  • Netvizz (sociale network analysis)
  • NameGenWeb (social network analysis – only your personal network)
  • eMind (political trend analysis on Twitter, online newspapers, blogs, etc, but not FB)
  • Discover Text (text analysis)
Could Facebooks Graph API be part of the sollution?
Or do you have any other suggestions?

7 thoughts on “Looking for the right tool to do research on open Facebook pages

  1. If you’re considering a SNA tool (where you can play around with a lot of different options when it comes to comparing different features (likes, comments, ties, social capital etc) this is an excellent start http://badm.au.dk/research/research-groups/dome/domecourses/domecourses2013/introductory-social-network-analysis/ I took the course myself in 2010 and I’ve used it in my own research. Professor Schøtt is a student of Burt and one of the leading persons within SNA – and the location is outstanding 🙂

  2. Good suggestion, Lene! I hadn’t heard about the Danish social network course, but I will certainly look into that. I’ve had my eyes on this Coursera course in Social Network Analysis, starting up next week.

    However, there are many tool that allow you to analyse your own network in great details, such as Netvizz, NameGenWeb, but also Wolfram Alpha. However, if you want to analyse (in a structured way) interaction on open Facebook pages, those tools don’t seem to be that helpful.

  3. There are several possibly interesting tools out there, and as always, YMMV. I’m shooting from the hip here, but to clarify to yourself what you need and get some useful input and/or support, you might want to approach some of the commercial providers that provide specific support for academia, like Ayasdi with their http://www.ayasdi.com/inquiry/academic-trial.html. Their response might help you along, anyway. Perhaps also worth checking out could be http://www.digitalreasoning.com/synthesys/synthesyscloud/, or – if you have your own hardware and developer resources – maybe http://www.clips.ua.ac.be/pages/pattern…?

  4. Thanks for your suggestions! The tools you mentioned, Stian, looks really impressive, but maybe too complex for this part of my project. However, they are bookmarked. Beathe, the Device Analyzer project is amazing, those data will really give us some brilliant insight into mobile user patterns.

  5. It is a shame that the Facebook Open Graph API went the way of the dinosaur. It was a very good source of data for years before the flow was shut off to an insignificant trickle without free text search. As a result, our work on DiscoverText.com has focused on the free Twitter Search API (rate limited but very useful) and the Gnip PowerTrack 2.0 for Twitter (premium paid service with no rate limits and powerful filters on enhanced metadata) for our social media work. This data is open, rich, abundant, and relatively stable over time.

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