Mapping the Australian Networked Public Sphere <ul><li>Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Tim Highfield   ARC Centre of Excellence ...
Mapping Blog Networks <ul><li>Standard methodology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>find blogs (search, Technorati, specific blog pl...
Key Problems <ul><li>Technology limitations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>crawlers and scrapers often lack sophistication </li></...
Our Approach <ul><li>Process stages (Australian political blogs as test case): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>data gathering and pr...
Patterns of Activity (Jan.-Aug. 2009) Bushfires Budget Artefact Qld Election New Sites Added
Content Analysis: Individual Blogs
Content Analysis: Political Blogosphere 4-5 August 2009
Next Steps <ul><li>ARC Discovery Project, 2010-12 (Axel Bruns and Jean Burgess) </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the population: <...
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Mapping the Australian Networked Public Sphere

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Paper presented at the International Communication Association conference, Singapore, 25 June 2010.

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Mapping the Australian Networked Public Sphere

  1. 1. Mapping the Australian Networked Public Sphere <ul><li>Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Tim Highfield ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Brisbane, Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Lars Kirchhoff, Thomas Nicolai Sociomantic Labs, Berlin, Germany </li></ul>Image by campoalto
  2. 2. Mapping Blog Networks <ul><li>Standard methodology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>find blogs (search, Technorati, specific blog platform, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>identify links (on current page)  crawl to linked pages  repeat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>capture (scrape) text and other details (not always included) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>plot link network structure, correlate with blog content patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problems in blog mapping: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>defining and identifying the population to be mapped </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>determining which links are relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>method of plotting links, identifying blog clusters, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>correlating link network structure and blog themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tracking changes over time </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Key Problems <ul><li>Technology limitations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>crawlers and scrapers often lack sophistication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to distinguish: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>posts – comments – ancillary / functional texts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>discursive links – blogroll links – functional links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>want to slice data in different ways: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>select blog activity for specific days, weeks, months </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>select blog content and links for specific blogs or blog clusters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Analytical limitations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>patterns of interlinkage tell only part of the story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>maps provide only a temporary snapshot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>want to understand: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what clusters have in common </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and how they change over time </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Our Approach <ul><li>Process stages (Australian political blogs as test case): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>data gathering and processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>track large number of (broadly) political Australian blogs through RSS feeds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>scrape blog content for newly posted entries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>separate blog post content from ancillary materials / separate discursive links from other link types </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(grow master list of blogs as required) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>content analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>combine extracted blog post content (per blog, per cluster, per timeframe, …) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>automated analysis to identify key themes and keywords </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>currently using Leximancer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>network analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>combine extracted link information (overall, per timeframe, per cluster, …) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>automated network mapping to identify lead blogs and clusters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>currently using Gephi </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>combined analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. comparative content analysis for lead blogs and clusters in the link network </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. correlation of blogosphere patterns with external factors (parallel themes in mainstream media, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Patterns of Activity (Jan.-Aug. 2009) Bushfires Budget Artefact Qld Election New Sites Added
  6. 6. Content Analysis: Individual Blogs
  7. 7. Content Analysis: Political Blogosphere 4-5 August 2009
  8. 8. Next Steps <ul><li>ARC Discovery Project, 2010-12 (Axel Bruns and Jean Burgess) </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the population: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From political blogs to Australian blogs in general </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Snowball / network crawler approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Map the blogosphere: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long-term map of frequent interlinkages, clusters of blog communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short-term maps of ad hoc networks around current events and themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trending topics and correlations with mainstream media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns of information flow, structures of dissemination and influence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extend to other online publics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter , Flickr , YouTube – what can we track, what publics do we find? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are these spaces interconnected? </li></ul></ul>

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