Searching for "wechat"

WeChat surveillance

Chinese cyberspace is one of the most surveilled and censored in the world. That includes WeChat. Owned by Tencent, one of China’s biggest companies, the chat-meets-payment app has more than 1 billion monthly users in China and now serves users outside the country, too, although it does not divulge how many. Researchers say its use abroad has extended the global reach of China’s surveillance and censorship methods.

“The intention of keeping people safe by building these systems goes out the window the moment you don’t secure them at all,” says Victor Gevers, co-founder of the nonprofit GDI Foundation, an open-source data security collective.

Every day, Gevers scans the Internet for vulnerabilities to find unsecured databases, and he has exposed a large number of them, particularly linked to China.

more on WeChat and surveillance in this IMS blog

WeChat and blog combining social media

Parallel running of two social media from different countries: WeChat and blog for international students

Our work with Chinese students from the Confucius Institute (CI) at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) shed light on an interesting development: in the last several years, the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat dominates the social life of Chinese people, Chinese students in particular.

WeChat, like WhatsApp in Europe, Vkontakte in Russia, Weibo in China, or before its 2014 Orkut in Brazil ( seeks to create its own users’ momentum, and no differently from Facebook, expand that membership momentum from the host country to a global dominance (;  more citation comes here).

Based on the WeChat affinity of the Chinese students at the SCSU CI program, the program organizers faced difficulty applying other social media platforms, as part of the curricula of the host country. Namely, blog, as one of the widely used SM platform for creative writing (citation comes here), was contemplated as a SM platform for the Chinese students to journal their experience at the SCSU CI program. Since WeChat behaves rather like Facebook and Snapchat, the lack of opportunity to utilize widely available platform for rather lengthy narration (versus SMS/texting abilitis of Twitter and WeChat) convince the SCSU CI program organizers to seek the buy in by Chinese students into the blog initiative.

Pang (2018) builds a theory based on Ellison (2007) theory of “maintained social capital,” namely the ability of individuals to maintain values of social ties when geographically disconnected. Ping (2018) further narrows her research on Chinese students in Germany using Li and Chen (2014) findings about Ellison’s theory on students in a foreign environment and the necessity for these students to build a new circle of friends in the host country. According to Basilisco an Cha (2015), such environment was provided for Filipino students by using Facebook and Twitter.


2012 – The Most Favourable Mobile Messaging Apps among II.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Agur, C., Belair-Gagnon, V., & Frish, N. (2018). Mobile sourcing: A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps. Mobile Meida and Communication, 6(1), 53–70. 10.1177/2050157917725549
Borgerson, J. L. (2016). Scalable Sociality and 'How the World Changed Social Media': conversation with Daniel Miller. Consumption, Markets & Culture.
Chen, Y. (2017). WeChat use among Chinese college students: Exploring gratifications and political engagement in China. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 10(1), 25–43.
de Seta, G. (n.d.-a). Old people’s emoticons and generational distinction: Chinese families on social media. Retrieved from
de Seta, G. (n.d.-b). The infrastracturalization of Chinese digital platforms: A case study of WeChat. Retrieved from
Deng, S. (n.d.). A history and analysis of CALA's social media. Retrieved from
Gu, B., & Wang, X. B. (2015). The Communication Design of WeChat: Ideological as Well as Technical Aspects of Social Media. Communication Design Quarterly, 4(1). Retrieved from
Guo, L. (2017). WeChat as a Semipublic Alternative Sphere: Exploring the Use of WeChat Among Chinese Older Adults. International Journal of Communication, 21(11). Retrieved from
Mao – 2014 – Friends and Relaxation Key Factors of Undergradua.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Mao, C. (2014). Friends and Relaxation: Key Factors of Undergraduate Students’ WeChat Using. Creative Education, 05(08), 636–640.
Marian, R. (1916). Wechat comparison with its western competitors. University of Edinburgh Business School. Retrieved from
Masi, V. D. (n.d.). The world of the Chinese apps and their influence on the new generation. Retrieved from
Odini, L. (n.d.). Can WeChat become a world-beating app? Retrieved from
Pang – 2016 – Understanding key factors affecting young people’s.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from’s_WeChat_usage_An_empirical_study_from_uses_and_gratifications_perspective/links/587f3f9508aed3826af5bafd/Understanding-key-factors-affecting-young-peoples-WeChat-usage-An-empirical-study-from-uses-and-gratifications-perspective.pdf
Pang, H. (2016). Understanding key factors affecting young people’s WeChat usage: an empirical study from uses and gratifications perspective. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 12(3), 262.
Pang, H. (2018). Understanding the effects of WeChat on perceived social capital and psychological well-being among Chinese international college students in Germany. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 70(3), 288–304. 10.1108/AJIM-01-2018-0003
Proksell, M., & Seta, G. de. (n.d.). A cabinet of moments: Collecting and displaying visual content from WeChat. Membrana. Retrieved from
Ranjan, R. (2017, July 26). In China, social media is shaping the public discourse on Doklam stand-off A peek into the discussions on Weibo and WeChat. China Online. Retrieved from
Ruan, L. Y., Knockel, J., Ng, J., & Crete-Nishihata, M. (n.d.). One App, Two Systems: How WeChat uses one censorship policy in China and another internationally. Retrieved from
Run Zhi Zhu – 2015 – The Influence of Social Media on Sleep Quality A .pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Run Zhi Zhu, X. L. X. (2015). The Influence of Social Media on Sleep Quality: A Study of Undergraduate Students in Chongqing, China. Journal of Nursing & Care, 04(03).
Seta, G. de. (n.d.). Biaoqing: The circulation of emoticons, emoji, stickers, and custom images on Chinese digital media platforms. First Monday. Retrieved from
Sun, S. (2017). Enhancing International Students' Engagement via Social Media – A Case Study of WeChat and Chinese Students at a UK University. In INTED Proceedings. Valencia, Spain. Retrieved from
The Most Favourable Mobile Messaging Apps among IIUM Students. (2012), 3(12), 6.
Unpacking and describing interaction on Chinese WeChat: A methodological approach. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2018, from
Wang et al. – 2016 – Exploring the affordances of WeChat for facilitati.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Wang, Y., Fang, W.-C., Han, J., & Chen, N.-S. (2016). Exploring the affordances of WeChat for facilitating teaching, social and cognitive presence in semi-synchronous language exchange. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology.
Wei, H., & Ke, L. (2014). “New Weapons” of Ideological and Political Education in Universities—WeChat. SHS Web of Conferences, 6, 04001.

bibliographical data analysis nVivo

Bibliographical data analysis with Zotero and nVivo

Bibliographic Analysis for Graduate Students, EDAD 518, Fri/Sat, May 15/16, 2020

This session will not be about qualitative research (QR) only, but rather about a modern 21st century approach toward the analysis of your literature review in Chapter 2.

However, the computational approach toward qualitative research is not much different than computational approach for your quantitative research; you need to be versed in each of them, thus familiarity with nVivo for qualitative research and with SPSS for quantitative research should be pursued by any doctoral student.

Qualitative Research

Here a short presentation on the basics:

Further, if you wish to expand your knowledge, on qualitative research (QR) in this IMS blog:

Workshop on computational practices for QR:

Here is a library instruction session for your course

Once you complete the overview of the resources above, please make sure you have Zotero working on your computer; we will be reviewing the Zotero features before we move to nVivo.

Here materials on Zotero collected in the IMS blog:

Of those materials, you might want to cover at least:

Familiarity with Zotero is a prerequisite for successful work with nVivo, so please if you are already working with Zotero, try to expand your knowledge using the materials above.


Please use this link to install nVivo on your computer. Even if we were not in a quarantine and you would have been able to use the licensed nVivo software on campus, for convenience (working on your dissertation from home), most probably, you would have used the shareware. Shareware is fully functional on your computer for 14 days, so calculate the time you will be using it and mind the date of installation and your consequent work.

For the purpose of this workshop, please install nVivo on your computer early morning on Saturday, May 16, so we can work together on nVivo during the day and you can continue using the software for the next two weeks.

Please familiarize yourself with the two articles assigned in the EDAD 815 D2L course content “Practice Research Articles“ :

Brosky, D. (2011). Micropolitics in the School: Teacher Leaders’ Use of Political Skill and Influence Tactics. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 6(1).

Tooms, A. K., Kretovics, M. A., & Smialek, C. A. (2007). Principals’ perceptions of politics. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 10(1), 89–100.

It is very important to be familiar with the articles when we start working with nVivo.


How to use Zotero


How to use nVivo for bibliographic analysis

The following guideline is based on this document:

Bibliographical data analysis using Nvivo

whereas the snapshots are replaced with snapshots from nVivol, version 12, which we will be using in our course and for our dissertations.

Concept of bibliographic data

Bibliographic Data is an organized collection of references to publish in literature that includes journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, conference proceedings, reports, government and legal publications. The bibliographical data is important for writing the literature review of a research. This data is usually saved and organized in databases like Mendeley or Endnote. Nvivo provides the option to import bibliographical data from these databases directly. One can import End Note library or Mendeley library into Nvivo. Similar to interview transcripts, one can represent and analyze bibliographical data using Nvivo. To start with bibliographical data representation, this article previews the processing of literature review in Nvivo.

Importing bibliographical data

Bibliographic Data is imported using Mendeley, Endnote and other such databases or applications that are supported with Nvivo.  Bibliographical data here refers to material in the form of articles, journals or conference proceedings. Common factors among all of these data are the author’s name and year of publication. Therefore, Nvivo helps  to import and arrange these data with their titles as author’s name and year of publication. The process of importing bibliographical data is presented in the figures below.

import Zotero data in nVivo





select the appropriate data from external folder

select the appropriate data from external folder

step 1 create record in nVIvo


step 2 create record in nVIvo

step 3 create record in nVIvo


Coding strategies for literature review

Coding is a process of identifying important parts or patterns in the sources and organizing them in theme node. Sources in case of literature review include material in the form of PDF. That means literature review in Nvivo requires grouping of information from PDF files in the forms of theme nodes. Nodes directly do not create content for literature review, they present ideas simply to help in framing a literature review. Nodes can be created on the basis of theme of the study, results of the study, major findings of the study or any other important information of the study. After creating nodes, code the information of each of the articles into its respective codes.

Nvivo allows coding the articles for preparing a literature review. Articles have tremendous amount of text and information in the forms of graphs, more importantly, articles are in the format of PDF. Since Nvivo does not allow editing PDF files, apply manual coding in case of literature review.  There are two strategies of coding articles in Nvivo.

  1. Code the text of PDF files into a new Node.
  2. Code the text of PDF file into an existing Node. The procedure of manual coding in literature review is similar to interview transcripts.

Add Node to Cases






The Case Nodes of articles are created as per the author name or year of the publication.

For example: Create a case node with the name of that author and attach all articles in case of multiple articles of same Author in a row with different information. For instance in figure below, five articles of same author’s name, i.e., Mr. Toppings have been selected together to group in a case Node. Prepare case nodes like this then effortlessly search information based on different author’s opinion for writing empirical review in the literature.

Nvivo questions for literature review

Apart from the coding on themes, evidences, authors or opinions in different articles, run different queries based on the aim of the study. Nvivo contains different types of search tools that helps to find information in and across different articles. With the purpose of literature review, this article presents a brief overview of word frequency search, text search, and coding query in Nvivo.

Word frequency

Word frequency in Nvivo allows searching for different words in the articles. In case of literature review, use word frequency to search for a word. This will help to find what different author has stated about the word in the article. Run word frequency  on all types of sources and limit the number of words which are not useful to write the literature.

For example, run the command of word frequency with the limit of 100 most frequent words . This will help in assessing if any of these words remotely provide any new information for the literature (figure below).

Query Text Frequency

andword frequency search


word frequency query saved

Text search

Text search is more elaborative tool then word frequency search in Nvivo. It allows Nvivo to search for a particular phrase or expression in the articles. Also, Nvivo gives the opportunity to make a node out of text search if a particular word, phrase or expression is found useful for literature.

For example: conduct a text search query to find a word “Scaffolding” in the articles. In this case Nvivo will provide all the words, phrases and expression slightly related to this word across all the articles (Figure 8 & 9). The difference between test search and word frequency lies in generating texts, sentences and phrases in the latter related to the queried word.

Query Text Search

Coding query

Apart from text search and word frequency search Nvivo also provides the option of coding query. Coding query helps in  literature review to know the intersection between two Nodes. As mentioned previously, nodes contains the information from the articles.  Furthermore it is also possible that two nodes contain similar set of information. Therefore, coding query helps to condense this information in the form of two way table which represents the intersection between selected nodes.

For example, in below figure, researcher have search the intersection between three nodes namely, academics, psychological and social on the basis of three attributes namely qantitative, qualitative and mixed research. This coding theory is performed to know which of the selected themes nodes have all types of attributes. Like, Coding Matrix in figure below shows that academic have all three types of attributes that is research (quantitative, qualitative and mixed). Where psychological has only two types of attributes research (quantitative and mixed).

In this way, Coding query helps researchers to generate intersection between two or more theme nodes. This also simplifies the pattern of qualitative data to write literature.


Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, suggestions before, during or after our workshop and about ANY questions and suggestions you may have about your Chapter 2 and, particularly about your literature review:

Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS

Professor | 320-308-3072 | | | schedule a meeting: | Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTalk, Whatsapp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger are only some of the platforms I can desktopshare with you; if you have your preferable platform, I can meet you also at your preference.

more on nVIvo in this IMS blog

more on Zotero in this IMS blog

In the Age of AI

In The Age Of A.I. (2019) — This just aired last night and it’s absolutely fantastic. It presents a great look at AI, and it also talks about automation, wealth inequality, data-mining and surveillance. from Documentaries

13 min 40 sec = Wechat

14 min 60 sec = data is the new oil and China is the new Saudi Arabia

18 min 30 sec = social credit and facial recognition

more on deep learning in this IMS blog

Hong Kong and technology

more on facial recognition in this IMS blog

more on surveillance in this IMS blog


Xu Zhang. (2017). The Quality of Virtual Communities: A Case Study of Chinese Overseas Students in WeChat Groups. Global Studies Journal, 10(3), 19–26.
p. 23-24.
“Netnography” has been developed for online community researchers. It is “net” plus “ethnography,” which is based on the traditional ethnography and combines with the qualitative analysis for online interactive contents forms of virtual community members. The aim of doing netnographic research is to study the subculture, interactive process and characteristics of collective behaviors of online communities (Kozinets 2009). Follow the development of Internet technology, the web–based method is more convenient and cost–effect in data collection. Members in virtual groups create a large number of interactive texts, pictures, network expressions and other original information over time, which provides an extremely rich database to researchers. Moreover, from the data collection’s point of view, this online observation method will not interfere with the whole research process, which is better than questionnaires and quantitative modeling (Moisander and Valtonen 2006). Additionally, Kozinets (2009) also pointed that netnogrpahy emphasize on the research background, observers not only focus on the text during communications but also need to pay attention to the characteristics of language, history, meaning and communication types. Even parse fonts, symbols, images and photo data. These content of studies are significant in social communication, which is called “Cultural Artifact.” On the other hand, netnography is based on traditional ethnography as a methodology; therefore it inherits the research processes of ethnographic method. Kozients (2009) reinterpreted these procedures for netnography as Firstly, to determine the research target and understand its cultural characteristics; Secondly, to collect and analyze information; Thirdly, to ensure the credibility of interpretation; Fourthly, pay attention to research ethics; Lastly, to obtain respondents feedbacks. To make my research adapting to this guidelines, I make my research process as 1. To target on Plymouth Chinese overseas students and to explain the Chinese guanxi; 2. To collect and analyze data through the existing WeChat group created by Plymouth Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA); 3. To confirm the identity of key influencers in this virtual group; 4. To get feedbacks from respondent as much as possible.

What is Netnography from Harrison Hayes, LLC

digital literacy Confucius Institute

Levi Johnson and students SCSU Confucius Institute

Posted by InforMedia Services on Thursday, August 23, 2018

Plan for Fall 2018

August 23, 2018.

My name is Plamen Miltenoff and I will be assisting in your instruction today: Here is more about me: and more about the issues we will be discussing today:
As well as my email address for further contacts:

  1. Social Media for 2018
    1. WeChat and the connection to other social media
      1. building a community on WeChat
    2. SCSU Edublog
      1. the idea of a blog. the advantages compared to SM such as WeChat / Facebook
    3. Reflections
      1. Multimedia
    4. Connecting blogs to social media (WeChat and similar)
  2. Digital Literacy instruction
    1. what is digital literacy and how does it differ from other literacies? Why is it important?
      What other literacies must be considered when speaking about DL? E.g. media literacy:
    2. Internet Resources
        1. How do we search?
          1. Google and Google Scholar (more focused, peer reviewed, academic content)
          2. Digg, Reddit , Quora
          3. SCSU Library search, Google, Professional organization, (NASSP), Stacks of magazines, csu library info, but need to know what all of the options mean on that page
        2. Custom Search Engine:

        3. Basic electronic (library) search information and strategies. Library research services

        4. subject guide 3
        5. –Strategies for conducting advanced searches (setting up filters and search criteria)Filtersfilters
        6. ++++++++++++++++
          Search criteriasearch_criteria


    3. citation management software to organize bibliographic information
    4. Refwork
    5. Alternatives to Refworks (currently retired):
      1. Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote
      2. Fast and easy bibliographic tools:


Pre-Gamification for Adult Beginners: Minecraft, Facebook, Kano Computer Kit, (and WeChat)” – Instructional Implications for HIgher Education

kano computer kit. Comparable with RaspberryPi and Arduino

supposedly windows 10 has issues with multiplayer on Minecraft

Nebel, S., Schneider, S., & Rey, G. D. (2016). Mining Learning and Crafting Scientific Experiments: A Literature Review on the Use of Minecraft in Education and Research. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society19(2), 355-366.

Dodgson, D. (2017). Digging Deeper: Learning and Re-Learning with Student and Teacher Minecraft Communities. Tesl-Ej20(4),

OVERBY, A. a., & JONES, B. b. (2015). Virtual LEGOs: Incorporating Minecraft Into the Art Education Curriculum. Art Education68(1), 21-27.

Jackie Gerstein

more on gaming in this IMS blog

more on gamification in this IMS blog

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