Maggie Pulver is a 4th year doctoral student in the CIS program. Her research interests lie at the intersection of community engagement and social informatics, particularly in using the lenses of Actor-Network Theory and trace ethnography to explore social phenomena that occur across social media platforms among dynamic place-based communities in Hawai’i. Maggie is also a mother, a community engagement and educational outreach professional with the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) and member of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana (PKO).
Using some form of social media as a primary means of communication and engagement is now the norm for most communities. And yet, there seems to be a gap in the literature at the intersection of Community Engagement Research and Social Media Research, in particular with regards to using the rich large-scale data sets provided by these platforms to examine and better understand small-scale social phenomenon. The presented pilot study and proposed research framework puka (emerge) from this space, providing an example of Community-Based Participatory Research that focuses on the use of Instagram by the Kaho’olawe Community to communicate and engage with one another. Through the lenses of Community-Based Participatory Research, Actor-Network Theory and Papakū Makawalu, significant community members, hashtags and visual media content can be identified, along with patterns of evolution and engagement.