Social Media Semantics: Analysing meanings in multimodal online conversations

Mehmet Mehmet, Rodney Clarke, Karlheinz Kautz

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


There is a growing need to comprehensively understand how messages and online conversations construct and convey meanings especially when they are likely to be distributed across multiple social media platforms. This paper introduces a framework to address this need, the Social Semiotic Multimodal (SSMM) framework based on multimodal extensions to Systemic Functional Linguistics, a semiotic theory of language. The framework uses a set of expansion resources, to reveal how the meanings of social media messages are chained together to form online conversations. These meanings are frequently distributed across more than one social media platform. This semantic approach is exemplified using a case study, the Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 campaign. The framework is used to identify meanings associated with various social media conversations called Themed Clusters. The findings demonstrate the utility of semantic approaches for IS research and practice to analyse meanings within social media messages and how they form online conversations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2014)
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding a Better World Through Information Systems
Place of PublicationUnited States
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2015
Event2014 International Conference on Information Systems: ICIS 2014 - University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 14 Dec 201417 Dec 2014


Conference2014 International Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleBuilding a Better World through Information Systems
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
OtherICIS is the major annual meeting of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), which has over 4,000 members representing universities in over 95 countries worldwide. It is the most prestigious gathering of academics and practitioners in the IS discipline, and provides a forum for networking and sharing of latest ideas and highest calibre scientific work amongst the IS profession. Each year, over 1,000 IS academic professionals from around the world participate in the conference program, which includes about 60 sessions and 180 presentations, in addition to keynotes, CIO panels and research panels.

The theme of ICIS 2014 is Building a Better World through Information Systems. ICIS 2014 will be hosted by The University of Auckland Business School, in Auckland, New Zealand.
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