What Twitter Reveals about Virginia Tech's Future: An Analysis of Content Related to the Beyond Boundaries Initiative
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This research analyzes social media (specifically Twitter) to gauge different aspects of life at Virginia Tech for the Beyond Boundaries initiative. We were interested in using Twitter data to understand people’s perceptions unaltered by the researcher. Other sources of data collection for Beyond Boundaries invited people to share their ideas through an idea bank, participate in an input session, comment on committee work, or submit a personal video. These data collection methods rely on people’s interest in participating. Participants know that their answers are being analyzed in some way. Social media, as a data source, does not include this barrier to research. Although we were interested in learning about particular topics related to the future of Virginia Tech, we also were interested in learning from the data. What discussions were taking place that we might not have identified through our background research? Were conversations about Virginia Tech positive or negative? We were open to what the data had to offer. This provides context to our method of learning from and refining a large data set of over 1 million tweets.