The power and promise of social media as a resource and tool for doing social research is widely recognised and much vaunted. Social media data are becoming an increasingly attractive resource for social scientists, but the question remains as to what exactly we might want to do with data like these. This study describes a small-scale interdisciplinary project in medical sociology which instigated the development of an innovative method for making practical use of ‘big data’ drawn from Twitter. What results is a depiction of how a collaboration between software developers, requirements engineers and social scientists demonstrated a need for a new method of data capture, a description of the method by which that need was addressed, and a discussion of the value of the insights that can be drawn through using that method.
User-Driven Data Capture: Locating and Analysing Twitter Conversation about Cystic Fibrosis without Keywords