Twitter and the new regime of audience measurement
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Twitter and the new regime of audience measurement



Presentation at the "Düsseldorf Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Twitter Analysis", 14./15.9.2011

Presentation at the "Düsseldorf Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Twitter Analysis", 14./15.9.2011



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Twitter and the new regime of audience measurement Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Twitter and the new regime of audience measurement
    Düsseldorf, 14.9.2011
  • 2. Context & Agenda
    • Work on social web and audience is part of…
    • 3. … research programme „Betweenreception, interaction, andproduction– changingusers‘ rolesin convergingmedia“ at the Hans-Bredow-Institute
    • 4. Upcoming 2.5-year-project „(Re-)Discovery oftheaudience“ (fundedby DFG)
    • 5. Short report „Audiencemetrics 2.0“ for ZDF
    • 6. Various research & publication projects on the transformation of the public sphere
    Perspectives on „audience“ and „audience measurement“
    Twitter and audience measurement
    An emerging regime?
    Audience Measurement
    2 of 10
  • 7. Three Perspectives on Audience
    Audience as recipients
    • Audience as sum of all receivers of media content;
    • 8. Considered to be more or less active (passive consumption vs. active selection and engagement with media content)
    Audience as product
    • „manufactured audience“ asmaincommodityproducedbymediaindustry(Smythe1977)
    • 9. „audience labor“ as dominant activity: media consumption as reproduction of capitalist workforce and training to participate in capitalist consumption society
    Audience as empowered networks
    • Produsageas new mode of media use (Bruns 2008)
    • 10. Participative mediation is complementing technical and professional mediation in networked public spheres (Neuberger/Nuernbergk/Rischke 2009)
    • 11. Audience management as important part of self-disclosure and privacy in personal public spheres (Schmidt 2011)
    Audience Measurement
    3 of 10
  • 12. Regimes of audience measurement
    • Regime of audience measurement: relatively stable constellation of actors, technologies and practices which produce, with specific interests and within specific power relations, accepted data on size, composition and activities of media audience.
    • 13. Regime of audience measurement in TV has stabilized over 60+ years: Usually monopolized system of „joint industry committees“ where broadcasters and advertisers put out tenders to specialized research companies (big players: AGB-Nielsen, TNS, GfK Telecontrol)
    • 14. Trends in broadcast media audience measurement (following Bermejo 2009)
    • 15. Automated, non-reactive „while you watch“-measuring
    • 16. Individualized (instead of household-based) measuring
    • 17. Measuring contact with smaller / shorter pieces of content
    • 18. Near-live transfer and aggregation of measured data
    Twitter (and other online media) is furthering these trends
    Audience Measurement
    4 of 10
  • 19. Articulatingthe audience on Twitter
    Twitter’s communicative architecture is…
    … organizing communication and information selection along articulated social connections (followers – followees)
    • Structures of the networked audience (clustering; centrality-periphery-patterns, etc.) can be measured
    … making visible communicative references (@-replies; Re-Tweets; Fav’s; common hashtags; …)
    • Reach, fluidity and viral spread of de-bundled „microcontent“ as well as of particular issues can be assessed
    • 20. Follow-up communication“ can be monitored
    … making these information available via API’s
    • Both structure and communication (content & dynamic) within audience is accessible to others
     Twitter is affording extended metrics for audience measurement
    Audience Measurement
    5 of 10
  • 21. Metrics 2.0
    Audience Measurement
    6 of 10
  • 22. Assessingthequalityofindicators
    • For media companies (as for others interested in twitter metrics), various aspects of data quality are important, but yet unanswered
    Manipulation: e.g. Fake-Accounts & Astroturfing; buyingfollowers & retweets; Twitter Spam
    2nd orderreactivity: real usersgiveincorrect personal informationbecausetheydon‘ttrusttheintermediary
    Openingthe „blackbox“: Howisdataconstructed by twitter or other services? Whatalgorithmsareusedtomeasureinfluence, popularity, centrality, etc.?
    Puttingmetricsintocontext: e.g. over time; comparedtootheractivities; comparedtoindicatorsfrom different platforms
    Audience Measurement
    7 of 10
  • 23. Emerging regime?
    • Regime ofaudiencemeasurement: relativelystable constellation of actors, technologiesandpractices which produce, withspecificinterestsandwithinspecific power relations, accepteddata on size, composition and activities of mediaaudience.
    • 24. Twitter is not only affording communication, but also aggregating and providing data – control over code and data provides powerful position
    • 25. Additional actors include (media) companies, market researchers, academic researchers, consulting agencies, … who develop and establish their own methods and reports (e.g. Deutsche Twittercharts; Social Media Ranking; …)
    • 26. Rapid technological innovation in terms of procedures and algorithms to automate the monitoring, aggregation, analysis, display etc. of audience data
    • 27. No stable constellation… yet?
    • 28. Twitter - for monetarization - as well as (media) companies – for evaluation of their activities on Twitter - have interest in establishing agreed-upon indicators and procedures
    • 29. Technological dynamic, possibly also the transnational and transculturual nature of Twitter might prohibit stabilization of measurement regimes
    • 30. Combination of science, control, consensus on procedure and trust has allowed previous regimes to emerge (Bourdon/Méadel 2011) – will the same happen with Twitter?
    Audience Measurement
    8 of 10
  • 31. Reflecting the implications
    • Changing regime of audience measurement is bringing about new questions
    • 32. How to compensate the working audience, when audience measurement is becoming „a process of appropriation – commercialization or commodification – of interactivity“ (Bermejo 2009, 149)
    • 33. Are the „people formerly known as the audience“ also becoming self-aware as an audience? Might this even lead to strategic action (e.g. collectively exerting power to influence indicators)?
    • 34. How is privacy and data protection maintained when all personal and interaction data is stored and monitored? Can informed consent to data-mining be pre-supposed?
    • 35. … [probably many many more.. ]
    Audience Measurement
    9 of 10
  • 36. Thank you!
    Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt
    Warburgstr. 8-10, 20354 Hamburg
  • 37. Literature
    • Bermejo, F. (2009): Audience manufacture in historical perspective: from broadcasting to Google. In: New Media & Society, 11(1/2): 133-154.
    • 38. Bourdon, J.; Méadel, C. (2011): Inside television audience measurement: Deconstructing the ratings machine. In: Media, Culture & Society, 33(5): 791-800.
    • 39. Bruns, A. (2008): Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond. From production to produsage. New York u.a.: Peter Lang.
    • 40. Neuberger, C.; Nuernbergk, C.; Rischke, M. (2009): Journalismus im Internet: Profession, Partizipation, Technisierung. Wiesbaden: VS.
    • 41. Schiffers, O. (2010): Tools und Kennzahlen für das Social Web. In: Brauckmann, P. (Hg.): Web-Monitoring. Konstanz: UVK. 267-286.
    • 42. Schmidt, J. (2011): (Micro)Blogs: Practices of Privacy Management. In: Trepte, S.; Reinecke, L. (Eds.): Privacy Online. Heidelberg: Springer.
    • 43. Smythe, D. (1977): Communications: blindspot of Western Marxism. In: Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, 2(2): 1-27.