Dr. Itai Himelboim
About: Dr. Himelboim, director of the SEE Suite, studies the role social media plays in news, politics and international communication. Through applying network analysis, he examines political talk and information flow.
Ph.D. (2008) – School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
M.A. (2003) – Department of Political Science (emphasis on Political communication), Tel-Aviv University
B.A. (1999) – Department of Communication and Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University
Research Interests and Activities
My research involves computer-mediated social networks and their implications for political communication, international communication and the news. I examine political discussions on online forums and the micro-blogging social media Twitter, as well as international networks, based on foreign news reporting and the flow of information technologies. The role of news media, traditional and online, in political communication is examined via their websites and their presence in social media spaces.
Taking a network-related theoretical approach to research is natural to communication as a discipline, as it focuses on the relationships and communication patterns among Internet users, individuals and organizations. This is valid particularly in online spaces that merge interpersonal and mass communication. Across online technologies, I identify the naturally occurring patterns of communications among social actors in online spaces; how these patterns indicate how we choose our information sources; who the most connected users – hubs – in these networks are; and what role news media plays in these primarily interpersonal-communication spaces.
My research has been published in top journals in the field, including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Research, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC) and Journal of Public Relations Research. These and other studies have been presented in major national and international conferences in the field.
Abstract: In the current highly fragmented (social) media landscape, brands must increasingly rely on their own consumers to reach out to new potential consumers. Taking a social networks approach, the current study examines patterns of consumer engagement with brands on social media, identifying the major clusters as well as key users and messages that are […]Read More
Abstract: The diffusion of social networks platforms opened the door to a new age of peer to peer distributed advertising content widely referred to as viral advertising. The current study proposes a social networks approach to the study of viral advertising. Expanding beyond the conventional retweets metrics to include Twitter mentions as connection in the […]Read More
Abstract: Social movements are increasingly using social media, and Twitter in particular, to reach existing and new publics and advance their mission. While historically movements had to rely on traditional media to connect with such publics, via social media any user can share content, helping to connect the key players within the movement to new […]Read More
I teach in the area of new communication technologies and social networks. I developed and teach Network Analysis of Social Media (JRMC 8240) for graduate students and Social Media Analytics (TELE 4450/NMIX 4200) at the undergraduate level. I also teach the graduate level seminar Mass Communication and Society (JRMC 8030), focusing on new communication technologies and undergraduate classes entitled Media and Technology (Tele 3290), Digital Media Production (Tele 4290/NMIX 4110) and Media Research and Theory (Tele 3410).