Connected Life 2014

Connected Life 2014 was a day-long student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging internet research. Bringing together participants and attendees from across the social sciences, Connected Life fostered collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of better understanding of the internet and its many effects.

It took place on 12 June 2014 at Balliol College, Oxford. We would like to thank all of our presenters, panelists, un-conference moderators and all other attendees for making this event a great success!



9:00 Registration
9:30 Keynote Address

Dr Nick Anstead (@NickAnstead), Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), will be giving the keynote speech for Connected Life 2014. His talk will be focusing on the various exciting facets of connectedness and set the stage for thought-provoking discussions throughout the day.

10:30 Break and Refreshments
10:45 Presentation Round 1

Connected Life is a space for emerging researchers to present their work in an oral presentation. Each presentation will be 10 minutes, followed by a lively discussion.

< Culture and identity >

  • Stefanie Duguay
    Playing with fire on Tinder: examining digitally delegated authenticity claims on a dating application
  • Chen-Ta Sung
    A preliminary study of food photos mediating Taiwanese online identity on Facebook: a case study of Chinese food culture unfolding on a global social media platform
  • Leo Mercer
    The Internet: how it affects art and poetry

< Governance >

  • Sébastien Broos
    Competing one-way essential complements: the forgotten side of the net neutrality story
  • Dr Marcelo Thompson
    The (moral) responsibility of Internet intermediaries
  • Rebecca Watkins
    Fragmented ownership and the fencing in of digital virtual possessions

< Education >

  • James Robson
    Teachers’ peer-to-peer online engagement: a critical look at the structures embedded in online social space
  • Braden O’Neill
    Health literacy and the Internet: experiences evaluated in a randomized trial
  • Henriette Arndt
    Incidental vocabulary learning through reading blogs vs. watching YouTube videoblogs
11:45 Presentation Round 2

< Empowerment and activism >

  • Wybo Wiersma
    The Internet as a catalyst for social movements: a tentative simulation of social mechanisms in the context of the Arab Spring, Indignados and Occupy movements
  • Xiao Han
    The rise of women’s individualised empowerment in China: individual agency, social networks, and online communication in the blogosphere
  • Dr Lijun Tang and Desai Shan
    Rights defence on China’s Internet: what do unheard cases reveal

< Law >

  • Javier Solana
    The importance of law in embracing innovation
  • Edward Woodhouse
    Navigating the cybersea: assessing the potential for international internet governance through the Law of the Sea

< Digital divides >

  • Dr Bianca Reisdorf
    A case for “Disconnected Life”?!
  • Marco Haenssgen
    How mobile phones facilitate healthcare seeking in rural India and China: the five A’s
12:45 Lunch
1:30 Poster and Visualisation Fair

Our conference features posters and visualisations across a wide range of emerging Internet research. While these are accessible all day, this session provides a dedicated space to discuss posters with the researchers individually.

  • Gili Vidan and Frank Hangler
    Could You Afford Facebook Messenger in Cameroon?
  • Anna Orlova
    Youth participation in Internet governance – a European perspective
  • Joao Araujo Monteiro Neto
    Can I Google your Soul? The regulation of legal protection to privacy in the electronic personal data management context: The Internet paradigm, the deconstruction of privacy and the Legal Matrix.
  • Sasjkia Otto
    Science in the headlines: the stakes in the social media age
  • Serena Bilanceri
    Analysing Interaction in Virtual Spaces: Ethnicity and Identity in Virtual Worlds
  • Xinxin Long
    How Chinese national news media negotiate foreign platforms: a case study on the use of propaganda to construct and reinforce sino-foreign distinction
  • Rinatania Anggraeni Farjriani
    ICT in Social Community: Carpooling Based on Twitter
  • Marilou Polymeropoulou
    Chipmusic: Visualizing a case of a Networked Digital Music
  • Andrea Jimenez
    Collaborative innovation in resource-constrained environments: The case of tech hubs in East Africa
  • Sietse Wieringa
    Using a Virtual Social Network to create Clinical Guidelines
2:00 Un-conference Round 1

In the un-conference session, moderators briefly outline a topical question of their research in order to provide a spring board for the group discussion. The aim of the un-conference sessions is to provide a forum for discussion about topics of general interest in a specific research area.

  • Virtual economies and virtual selves
    Moderators: Dr Vili Lehdonvirta, Cristina Miguel, Matthew-Tyler Jones
  • Censorship, surveillance, and sharing: who controls our information?
    Moderators: Dr Joss Wright, Dana Polatin-Reuben
  • Big data in interdisciplinary research
    Moderators: Dr Eric Meyer, Tom Nicholls
2:45 Un-conference Round 2

  • The rise and fall of the MOOCs: a technical fix for higher education?
    Moderators: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Dr Isis Hjorth
  • Connected Life = Disclosed Life: privacy and the right to be forgotten
    Moderators: Professor Luciano Floridi, Stefano Canali
  • Tracing connectedness: mixed-methods research
    Moderators: Heather Ford, John Frame, Jack Armitage
3:30 Break and Refreshments
4:00 Panel Discussion

During the last session of Connected Life, we will jointly explore the conference’s theme of Connectedness with panelists working in this area from very different points of view – including social networks research, digital governments, crowdsourcing, complemented with a privacy and  philosophy perspective on connectedness.

5:00 Drinks Reception

We finish the day with a drinks reception, providing more opportunities to connect with other researchers in the field of Internet research, and will also announce the prizes for the three best oral presentations and posters!

7:00 End of the conference


Connected Life 2014 was run by MSc and DPhil students at the Oxford Internet Institute. All members of the 2014 Organising Committee are listed below.

Elizabeth Dubois, Lead Organiser
Elizabeth is an OII DPhil student. Her research focuses on the role of personal influence in political communication networks.

Ulrike Rauer, Lead Organiser
Ulrike is an OII DPhil student researching the influence of the Internet on healthcare provision and health outcomes.

Sarah Lefkowith, Marketing, PR, and Web Site
Sarah is an OII MSc student interested in knowledge, persuasion, and how the Internet and social networks affect online and offline behavior.

Mor Rubinstein, Marketing, PR, and Web Site
More is an OII MSc student whose interests are in Open Data and the usage of non-technical groups in open source communities.

Allison Mishkin, Event Management
Allison is an OII MSc student focusing on internet psychology, social media and identity formation, and children/adolescent’s technology use.

Khairunnisa Haji Ibrahim, Submissions Coordinator
Kairunnisa is an OII DPhil student interested in the digital representation of places and how these affect sense of place and place-making activities. She is also interested in the production, management, and consumption of user-generated content, crowdsourcing, and online mapping.


We are grateful for the generous support provided by the Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute, the Oxford Internet Institute, and O’Reilly Publishers.

The Oxford Internet Institute

The Oxford Internet Institute was founded in 2001 as an academic centre for the study of the societal implications of the Internet. Grounded in a determination to measure, understand, and explain the Internet’s multi-disciplinary interactions and effects, our research projects bring together some of the best international scholars within a multi-disciplinary department at one of the world’s top research universities. We are committed to being an informed, independent, and nonpartisan source of the highest quality analysis and insight in all our research and policy-related activities. Find out more about the Oxford Internet Institute, including details of our faculty, postgraduate programs, and ongoing research, or contact for any questions.

The Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute

The Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute was established in 2010 to cultivate and support interdisciplinary research in Balliol College, straddling the humanities, the social sciences, and the physical and medical sciences. The Institute gives Senior Members and Graduate Students the opportunity to propose and develop advanced research that requires contributions from more than one discipline, has high potential impact, and may be radical or speculative. Participation from elsewhere in the University is welcome, but the research must be led by one or more Balliol Fellows, Lecturers, or Graduate Students.

The Institute supports both gestation projects and more fully-fledged projects. Good interdisciplinary research sometimes requires a period of open-ended exploration and time to build strong teams. Gestation projects therefore have relatively low barriers to entry and fairly modest cost allowing experiential freedom with low risk. They can also be more mature in conception or development, but simply small in scale or require only modest resources. Fully-fledged projects are more mature and oriented towards more sharply defined outcomes. They may require more resources, possibly leveraging the BII to attract external funding.

For more information, please see the BII website. A BII WebLearn site is available to logged-in users: you can ask to join by contacting the relevant lead investigator or by emailing


The Connected Life Best Poster Award and Best Paper in Digital Social Research was generously sponsored by O’Reilly Publishers.

The O’Reilly Best Poster Award recognised the best poster or visualization presented at Connected Life 2014 while the O’Reilly Award for the Best Paper in Digital Social Research recognised a course paper from the Oxford Internet Institute’s “option courses” that best made use of digital research methods (such as coding, APIs, scraping, etc.) to answer a social science research question.

Follow them on Twitter: @OReillyUK


Oxford Internet Institute logoBalliol Interdisciplinary Institute logoO'Reilly logo