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.

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

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