Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon

 Dr Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon

Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon is a sociologist interested in the internet, social networks, and political engagement. Her research uses large-scale data to analyse the structure and content of political discussions, and how interactions evolve over time.

Profile

Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon graduated in sociology at the University of Barcelona. She came to Oxford as an MSc student, graduating with distinction at Lady Margaret Hall (2003-2004), and moved on to complete her DPhil in Sociology as a member of Nuffield College (2004-2007). Prior to coming to the OII, she held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the department of Sociology (2007-2008). She is still affiliated to Nuffield College as a Research Fellow, where she co-organises the OII-Nuffield Social Networks Seminar Series.

Sandra is broadly interested in how internet technologies shape the flow of information and how online networks influence exposure to ideas and debates. She is involved in several projects that explore the structure and evolution of political discussion networks, and that use the contents of those discussions to track public opinion. More information about these projects can be found on the projects page of her website.

Sandra is an editor of the OII-edited journal Policy and Internet.

Research interests

Internet and political engagement, threaded conversations, discussion networks, online deliberation, public opinion, sentiment analysis, social networks

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Associate, July 2013 -
  • Research Fellow, September 2008 - June 2013

Research

Current projects

Past projects

  • Public Opinion Indicators in Online Communication

    September 2012 - August 2013

    This project examines the research potential of online communication to gauge public opinion by reviewing different methods to draw public opinion indicators from online communication, focusing on what the public thinks and how they think about it.

  • Big Data: Demonstrating the Value of the UK Web Domain Dataset for Social Science Research

    February 2012 - February 2014

    This project aims to enhance JISC's UK Web Domain archive, a 30 TB archive of the .uk country-code top level domain collected from 1996 to 2010. It will extract link graphs from the data and disseminate social science research using the collection.

  • Leaders and Followers in Online Activism

    January - December 2012

    Where do political and policy-oriented mobilizations (such as e-petitions or organized protests) start and how are they sustained? What affects the propensity of people to join a mobilization, and hence, the mobilization's success?

  • Student Protests and Digital Media: The Campaign Against Tuition Fees

    April - October 2011

    How are digital media changing the way in which people mobilize for a collective cause? Why do some individuals take part in protest, and others not? These issues are investigated through the UK student campaign against raised tuition fees.

  • Social Feedback and the Emergence of Norms in the Production of Online Public Goods

    April - October 2010

    Investigating instances of collective action that have solved an old dilemma: why should people contribute to collective goods (eg online collaborative platforms) when, by being public, they can be enjoyed without making a contribution to their provision?

Publications

Articles

Presentations

  • González-Bailón, S., Jennings, W. and Lodge, M. (2009) The Private Gains of Public Office? Corporate Rewards of former High Public Officials in Britain. 5th UK Social Networks Conference, London, UK, 3-5 July 2009.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2009) Political Discussion Networks and the Structure of Deliberation. Harvard Political Networks Conference, Cambridge, MA, 11-13 June 2009.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2009) The Dynamics of Political Discussion Networks and Online Deliberation. Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, University of Wolverhampton, UK, 25 March 2009.
  • González-Bailón, S., Kaltenbrunner, A. and Banchs, R. (2009) Communities on the Web: Mechanisms Underlying the Emergence of Online Discussion Networks. WebSci'09: Society On-Line, Athens, Greece, 19-21 March 2009.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) The Mechanisms of Decentralised Politics. The Structure and Evolution of Online Political Discussion Networks. QMSS-2 2008 Workshop on Communication Networks on the Web, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 18-19 December 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) Online Political Discussion Networks. The Impact of Internet Technologies on the Structure and Intensity of Interactions. Brown Bag Seminar Series, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 4 November 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. and Murphy, T.E. (2008) When Smaller Families Look Contagious: a Spatial Look at the French Fertility Decline using an Agent-Based Simulation Model. The 5th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, Brescia, Italy, 1-5 September 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) When Smaller Families Look Contagious: a Spatial Look at the French Fertility Decline using an Agent-Based Simulation Model. The 38th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Budapest, Hungary, 26-30 June 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. and Noguera, J.A. (2008) Labour Market Behaviour, Unconditional Benefits, and Social Mechanisms: An Agent-Based Model. The 38th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Budapest, Hungary, 26-30 June 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) Traps on the Web: the Impact of Traditional Media on Online Traffic Flow. Forum of Research, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain, 14 May 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) The Importance of Gaining an Audience: Visibility and Reach on the Web 2.0 Age. Politics Web 2.0: an International Conference, Royal Holloway, London, 17-18 April 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) The Inner Digital Divide: How the Web Contributes (or not) to Political Equality. General Online Research Conference, Hamburg, Germany, 10-12 March 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2008) The Inner Digital Divide: How the Web Contributes (or not) to Political Equality. Sunbelt XXVIII International Social Network Conference, St Pete Beach, FL, 22-27 January 2008.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2007) The Inner Digital Divide: How the Web Contributes (or not) to Political Equality. Department of Sociology Seminar, University of Oxford, 12 November 2007.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2007) The Structure of the Political Domain: Hierarchy and Prestige on the Web. Sunbelt XXVII International Social Network Conference, Corfu, Greece, 1-6 May 2007.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2006) Asymmetries on the Web: Hierarchy and Prestige in the Political Domain. 3rd Conference on Applications of Social Network Analysis, Zurich, Switzerland, 5-6 October 2006.
  • González-Bailón, S. and Pujol, J.M. (2005) On the Mechanisms Underlying Social Capital Networks: a Simulation Experiment. European Social Simulation Association Conference, Koblenz, Germany, 6-9 September 2005.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2005) Social Capital and the Analysis of Civil Societies: an Account of Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Flaws. The 37th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Stockholm, Sweden, 5-9 July 2005.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2005) The Role of Dynamic Networks in Social Capital: a Simulation Experiment. The 37th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Stockholm, Sweden, 5-9 July 2005.
  • González-Bailón, S. (2004) Social Capital and the role of Dynamic Networks: a Conceptual Clarification in the Field of Political Participation. Social Capital ECSR Summer School, Trento, Italy, 22-27 August 2004.

Theses

  • González-Bailón, S. (2007) Mapping Civil Society on the Web: Networks, Alliances, and Informational Landscapes. DPhil Thesis, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

Working papers

Webcasts

  • The Bridges and Brokers of Global Campaigns

    The Bridges and Brokers of Global Campaigns

    Recorded on: 10 May 2013 Duration: 01:16:52

    Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses how online networks mediate contentious politics by analysing the global network and communication patterns of about 450,000 Twitter messages relating to the Occupy and 'indignados' movements.

  • Scale and Time: How to Slice Up Digital Data and Dig Up Relevant Trends

    Scale and Time: How to Slice Up Digital Data and Dig Up Relevant Trends

    Recorded on: 29 May 2012 Duration: 00:21:39

    Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon outlines the methodological challenges that social scientists should think about when analysing new media data. Recorded at a conference on new media and the social sciences, organised by the National Centre for Research Methods.

  • Society and the Internet Series. 9: Politics and Online Social Networks

    Society and the Internet Series. 9: Politics and Online Social Networks

    Recorded on: 24 January 2011 Duration: 00:04:54

    Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses the main themes of her lecture in the OII's "Society and the Internet" lecture series; use of the Internet to engage in the political process, and the Internet's effect on declining civic participation.

  • Social Media, So What? Assessing the Impact of Blogs and Social Media

    Social Media, So What? Assessing the Impact of Blogs and Social Media

    Recorded on: 18 September 2009 Duration: 00:44:27

    Can Web 2.0 tools (eg blogs, social networking and wikis) enhance our democratic freedoms? Or can we dismiss the socially egalitarian and politically democratic potential of these social media? Have any significant social impacts been ignored so far?

News

  • Conference Call for Papers: "Crowdsourcing Politics and Policy" (IPP2014)

    5 November 2013 Oxford Internet Institute

    We are pleased to call for papers for the 2014 Internet, Politics, Politics conference, convened by the OII for the journal Policy and Internet, in collaboration with the ECPR Standing Group on Internet and Politics.

  • A small group spreads twitter messages during Gezi protests

    13 June 2013 World Bulletin

    The main points of research by Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon and colleagues into how Twitter messages about the events in Turkey were spread rapidly both inside and beyond the borders.

  • The Dynamics of Information Diffusion in the Turkish Protests

    9 June 2013 The Monkey Cage

    Sandra-Gonzalez-Bailon writes about her work on the role of social networking sites in the political protests taking place in Turkey.  There is abundant evidence that social media have been pivotal in the spread of information she says.

  • 15M. nos vemos en las redes?

    14 May 2013 Eldiario.es

    Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon writes for Spanish language web site about the grass roots protest movement known as Los Indignados and also the 15-M Movement and the online mobilization of citizens against corruption and cuts.

  • From Chiapas to Tahrir. Networks and the Diffusion of Protest

    16 April 2013 World Politics Review

    Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon compares the communication methods used by the revolutionary Zapatista movement of the 1990s with those of the modern age that use new technologies and the Internet.

  • Barak Obama Facebook campaign sees 'likes' soar

    10 October 2012 BBC Technology

    Both candidates in the US Presidential race are using social media heavily to promote their cause. Commenting on evidence that this is not welcome to many voters, Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon says they must be wary of intruding on private digital lives.

  • Where did the revolution go?

    6 April 2012 AlJazeera

    Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon looks back on the online mediated protests of last year. Online networks reach a large number of people in a short time but what is left after the activity winds down? How much of a difference did the last revolution make?

  • Oxford research into online activism funded by Google

    3 April 2012 University of Oxford

    The Oxford Internet Institute has been awarded a grant of more than £40,000 to fund research into online political activism by Google. The year-long project will investigate which factors influence the success or failure online political mobilizations.

  • Tweet to Action

    16 December 2011 BBC R4 Today Programme

    What is the role of social media in the starting and spreading of mass movements? Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon talks about research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, which has been following trends on social networking sites such as Twitter.