Hi I’m Dr. Tristan Hotham, I am a researcher and writer.

I research social media and politics, I consult upon digital media’s impact upon the world and how to research social media. I am the Founder of the Social Media Research Centre, a research house and consultancy that seeks to make social media research better.

I am an expert in social media platforms, from TikTok to Facebook and Twitter. I have extensive experience examining social media phenomena including; elections, audiences, interactions, news content, communications flow, engagement, big tech policy, social media regulation, content approaches, party politics and campaigning. I utilise a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine the black box of social media.

I hold an ESRC funded PhD at the University of Bath – my thesis was titled; “How do political parties use Facebook and what does it offer to their campaigns?“. My work examined the Facebook phenomenon and its role as a campaign tool. I questioned the impact Facebook is having as a campaign tool online, alongside its wider implications for parties campaigning in an era of party change. Alongside a PhD, I also hold two Master’s degrees from the Universities of Bath and Durham, alongside a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Exeter.

I have also worked as a research consultant for Whotargets.me, which gave me new skills in dissemination and media outreach. My experiences and skills led me to found the Social Media Research Centre, a research house and consultancy focused on making social media research better. We have advised and researched for a growing selection of charities, think tanks and businesses.

I or my work has been featured in media such as the BBC, New York Times, Reuters, Guardian, Evening Standard and The Economist.

I also create videos for the public, you can watch them over on my YouTube channel. If you are interested in social media’s impact on the world and how to examine digital platforms you should also check out the Social Media Research Centre’s YouTube channel, alongside the Centre’s Social Media? Meet Politics podcast.

I am always looking to collaborate, build new research avenues and engage with stakeholders, so if you have any opportunities please contact me or reach me via my LinkedIn profile or Twitter.

Here is a short video I have made to introduce myself:

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My latest blog posts

Innovation via desperation – Twitter Fleets

Twitter Fleets are not necessary, nobody on the network was calling for them, and their implementation shows that Twitter has more interest in following the crowd than genuinely innovating. Instead, what we now have is social networks innovating from a position of desperation, focused on ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

© Tristan Hotham, 2021