Archiving the Immediate: How and Why Archives Should Approach Social Media

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Paper presented at Archiving the Iconic, Sydney, 20 Oct. 2011.

Paper presented at Archiving the Iconic, Sydney, 20 Oct. 2011.

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  • 1. Archiving the Immediate: How and Why Archives Should Approach Social Media
    Assoc. Prof. Axel BrunsARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane, Australia / @snurb_dot_info
  • 2. Why Social Media?
    Social Media:
    Facebook: 10+ million users in Australia
    Twitter: 1-2 million users in Australia
    User-generated content and discussions
    Themes from the personal to the public
  • 3. Background: Researching Twitter
    Mapping Online Publics:
    ARC Discovery project, 2010-12: Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns and Dr. Jean Burgess, QUT
    Methodology and outcomes:
    Further projects on social media and crisis communication under development
    Tools for Twitter analysis:
    yourTwapperkeeper: API-based data capture
    Gawk – open source, multiplatform, programmable command-line tool for processing CSV documents
    WordStat – commercial, PC-only text analysis tool; generates concept co-occurrence data that can be exported for visualisation
    Gephi – open source, multiplatform network visualisation tool
  • 4. #spill: 23 June 2010, 6-7 p.m.
  • 5. #spill: 23 June 2010, 7-8 p.m.
  • 6. #spill: 23 June 2010, 8-9 p.m.
  • 7. #qldfloods Tweets
    10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
  • 8. #qldfloods @replies
    mainstream media
  • 9. #qldfloods Themes
    From CCI Report on the use of Twitter in the Queensland floods – Shaw et al. (forthcoming, 2011).
    Every 20th tweet coded.
  • 10. #ausvotes: Leaders
  • 11. #ausvotes: Themes
  • 12. #ausvotes: Discussion Network(17 July to 25 Aug. 2010 / All @replies / Node size: Indegree / Node colours: betweenness centrality)
  • 13. #royalwedding (29 Apr. 2011)
  • 14. Why Do We Care?
    Historical significance:
    Social media coverage as a first draft of the present
    Especially Twitter: flat, open, self-organising network
    First-hand, unfiltered, direct insights into Australians’ views
    Rich data on specific events and on long-term trends
     We archive journalistic publications, so why not this?
    Readily available, but easily lost:
    Access to rich data (and metadata) through standard APIs
    Especially on Twitter, limited immediate ethical concerns
    Ephemeral content which is lost to posterity unless archived
    ‘Big data’, but far from unmanageable
     Better start archiving now than make up for lost material later
  • 15. How to Archive Social Media
    U.S. Library of Congress already receives full feed of all tweets
    Made accessible after six-month delay (from when? to whom?)
    Potential to join partnership or set up similar deal for Australia?
    Twitter access to high-volume tweet feeds via
    Flat fee + volume cost of US$1/10,000 tweets received
    Potential to negotiate discount for Australian public archives?
    Different levels of inclusiveness in tracking
    Track all Australian Twitter users? Top 500,000? Top 100,000?
    Raw datasets in standard formats, and/or in-house processing
    Show leadership in developing ethical usage protocols
  • 16. Filipinos
    Marketing / PR
    Perth / PR
    News / Business
    Latika Bourke
    Australia on Twitter
    Journalism / Politics / News
    Annabel Crabb
    Leigh Sales
    Fashion / Style / Parenting
    Malcolm Turnbull
    Marie Claire
    ABC News
    Fashion / Magazines
    Celebrities / Media
    Joe Hockey
    Mia Freedman
    Laurie Oakes
    Sunrise on 7
    Music / Triple J
    Tony Abbott
    Julia Gillard
    Matt Preston
    Kevin Rudd
    Triple J
    Teens / TV Hits
    Wil Anderson
    (follower/followee network – 140,000 most connected Australia users, of 550,000 processed so far)
    Football (Soccer)
    7pm Project
    Teens / Short Stack
    Hamish and Andy
  • 17. The Promise of ‘Big Data’ Research
    Insights on Australian public communication on Twitter:
    Micro: @reply and retweet conversations
    Meso: hashtag ‘communities’
    Macro: follower/followee networks
     Multiple overlapping publics / networks
    Evidence of processes in the Australian public sphere:
    What drives the formation and dissipation of online publics?
    How do they interact and interweave?
    How are they interleaved with the wider media ecology?
    How is information disseminated across complex networks?
  • 18.