e-book Real Drugs in a Virtual World: Drug Discourse and Community Online

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Here is the video I made for my dry run yesterday on Vimeo. More on that after my Qld holiday!

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Today I participated in the workshop Making sense of Twitter at the Communities and Technologies conference in Brisbane. My contribution was simply the idea that Twitter could be used in drug trend monitoring, as explained below:. Researchers have responded to this trend by conducting monitoring studies, including tracking websites that sell psychoactive substances e. Apart from Lange et al. Browsing through a small selection of these Tweets indicated that most of them purport to sell mephedrone and include URLs to vendor websites, while smaller proportions could be categorised as news, policy and research about the drug, as well as casual discussion among people who appear to use the drug.

I can see the potential for a number of studies using these data from Twitter.

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Drug trend monitoring could be enhanced by setting up a system to store and count the number of tweets containing drug terms, tracking trends over time. Geolocation may assist in understanding the potential for that drug being used in specific parts of the world. Hashtag analysis may indicate social networks of people who discuss these drugs. Analysis of Twitter could feed into current attempts to monitor drug vendor websites, as the purpose of most Tweets is to encourage sales.

Monitoring sites like FunnyTripz and YouTube could also assist in drug trend monitoring, especially in tracking the existence and use of new legal highs that are yet to come to the attention of health and legislative departments. Firstly — I learnt about this tool called Pirate Pad, which is like a public whiteboard that anyone can edit — what a fantastic tool for collaboration. I will save a version of this piratepad in case the link fails later down the track, but basically all the links are there.

trend monitoring – Drugs, Internet, Society

Axel Bruns and Jean Burgess at Mapping Online Publics shows us their process of extracting twitter datasets, cleaning and preparing them, and then analysing and visualising them. The essays confront issues related to the study of drug communication onli Drug Abuse NIDA funded research project on drug information and online drug-related communities. The essays confront issues related to the study of drug communication online, including the causal factors of abuse as discussed in online forums, the relationship between music and drug use in virtual communities, and the ways in which individuals assess the accuracy of online drug information.

This book highlights the variety of ways to examine drug use as a social problem and presents several theoretical perspectives valuable to online research. Real Drugs in a Virtual World is an enlightening and thought provoking read that will appeal to sociology students and those interested in virtual communities.

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Virtual Rehab - Substance Abuse (Drugs)

Sort order. Jul 20, Monica Barratt added it. This book is the first to be published on this topic, pretty much the same topic as my in-progress PhD thesis. More when I've finished reading!