Mapping theAustralian TwittersphereAssoc. Prof. Axel Bruns, Dr. Jean BurgessARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industri...
Why Twitter?o Researching Twitter:   o Significant world-wide social network   o ~200 million users (but how many active?)...
New Media and Public Communication:     Mapping Australian User-Created Content            in Online Social Networkso Aust...
#hashtag Publicso #hashtags   o ‘#’ + keyword makes tweets easily discoverable and marks themes   o E.g. #ausvotes, #qldvo...
#ausvotes: Leaders                     http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
#qldfloods Tweets10 Jan 2011   11 Jan 2011   12 Jan 2011   13 Jan 2011   14 Jan 2011    15 Jan 2011                       ...
Towards Comparative Metrics                      http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
Beyond Hashtagso Publics on Twitter:   o Micro:   @reply and retweet conversations   o Meso:    hashtag ‘communities’   o ...
Understanding Australian Twitter Useo What is the Australian Twitter userbase?   o Large-scale snowballing project   o Sta...
The Australian Twittersphere?                    Follower/followee network:                    ~150,000 Australian Twitter...
The Australian Twittersphere?                    Follower/followee network:                    ~120,000 Australian Twitter...
Real Estate                                                      Jobs                                         Property    ...
Automatic Cluster Detection                   Follower/followee network:                   ~120,000 Australian Twitter use...
Automatic Cluster Detection                   Follower/followee network:                   ~120,000 Australian Twitter use...
#Hashtag Participation                Follower/followee network:                ~120,000 Australian Twitter users         ...
#auspol          Follower/followee network:          ~120,000 Australian Twitter users          (of ~950,000 known account...
#ausvotes            Follower/followee network:            ~120,000 Australian Twitter users            (of ~950,000 known...
#wikileaks             Follower/followee network:             ~120,000 Australian Twitter users             (of ~950,000 k...
#qldfloods             Follower/followee network:             ~120,000 Australian Twitter users             (of ~950,000 k...
#eqnz        Follower/followee network:        ~120,000 Australian Twitter users        (of ~950,000 known accounts by ear...
#egypt         Follower/followee network:         ~120,000 Australian Twitter users         (of ~950,000 known accounts by...
#aflgf         Follower/followee network:         ~120,000 Australian Twitter users         (of ~950,000 known accounts by...
#nrlgf         Follower/followee network:         ~120,000 Australian Twitter users         (of ~950,000 known accounts by...
#masterchef          Follower/followee network:          ~120,000 Australian Twitter users          (of ~950,000 known acc...
#eurovision              Follower/followee network:              ~120,000 Australian Twitter users              (of ~950,0...
#royalwedding           Follower/followee network:           ~120,000 Australian Twitter users           (of ~950,000 know...
theaustralian.com.au URLs                  Follower/followee network:                  ~120,000 Australian Twitter users  ...
abc.net.au URLs             Follower/followee network:             ~120,000 Australian Twitter users             (of ~950,...
ABC accounts           Follower/followee network:           ~120,000 Australian Twitter users           (of ~950,000 known...
Understanding Twitter Publicso #hashtags:   o   Useful coordinating mechanism for core discussion   o   Relatively easy to...
‘Big Data’ and the Digital Humanitieso Emerging needs in Twitter research:   o Unified, compatible methods and metrics for...
http://mappingonlinepublics.net/@snurb_dot_info@jeanburgess                               http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
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Mapping the Australian Twittersphere

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Paper presented at Digital Humanities Australasia 2012, Canberra, 30 Mar. 2012.

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Mapping the Australian Twittersphere

  1. 1. Mapping theAustralian TwittersphereAssoc. Prof. Axel Bruns, Dr. Jean BurgessARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and InnovationQueensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australiaa.bruns@qut.edu.au – @snurb_dot_info / je.burgess@qut.edu.au - @jeanburgesshttp://mappingonlinepublics.net/Dr. Lars Kirchhoff, Dr. Thomas NicolaiSociomantic Labs, Berlin, Germanyhttp://sociomantic.com/ http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  2. 2. Why Twitter?o Researching Twitter: o Significant world-wide social network o ~200 million users (but how many active?) o Varied range of uses: from phatic communication to emergency coordination o Healthy third-party ecosystem (for now) o Strong history of user innovation: @replies, #hashtags o Flat and open network structure: non-reciprocal following, public profiles by default o Good API for gathering data for research http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  3. 3. New Media and Public Communication: Mapping Australian User-Created Content in Online Social Networkso Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (2010- 13) – $410,000 o QUT (Brisbane), Sociomantic Labs (Berlin) o First comprehensive study of Australian social media use o Computer-assisted cultural analysis: tracking, mapping, analysing blogs, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube as ‘networked publics’ o Builds on previous work of the research team (UCC, YouTube, blogosphere mapping) o Advances beyond established approaches – beyond political blogospheres, beyond snapshots o Addressing the problem of scale (‘Big Data’) and disciplinary change in media, cultural and communication studies – natively digital methods o Studying society with the Internet (Richard Rogers) http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  4. 4. #hashtag Publicso #hashtags o ‘#’ + keyword makes tweets easily discoverable and marks themes o E.g. #ausvotes, #qldvotes, #qldfloods, #fail, #headdesk, #facepalmero Publics o Attend to matters of shared concern with some level of co-awareness o Varied in intensity and temporality o Emergent, constituted via discourse & affecto #hashtag publics o Not all hashtags constitute publics; Twitter doesn’t ‘contain’ publics o What are the various patterns in the dynamics of different hashtag-based publics? o What might account for these differences? http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  5. 5. #ausvotes: Leaders http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  6. 6. #qldfloods Tweets10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011 http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  7. 7. Towards Comparative Metrics http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  8. 8. Beyond Hashtagso Publics on Twitter: o Micro: @reply and retweet conversations o Meso: hashtag ‘communities’ o Macro: follower/followee networks Multiple overlapping publics / networkso What drives their formation and dissipation?o How do they interact and interweave?o How are they interleaved with the wider media ecology?o Twitter doesn’t contain publics: publics transcend Twitter http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  9. 9. Understanding Australian Twitter Useo What is the Australian Twitter userbase? o Large-scale snowballing project o Starting from selected hashtag communities (e.g. #ausvotes, #qldfloods, #masterchef) o Identifying participating users, testing for ‘Australianness’: o Timezone setting, location information, profile information o Retrieving follower/followee information for each account (very slow)o Progress update: o ~950,000 Australian users identified so far, ~21m connections  ~2 million Australian users in total? http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  10. 10. The Australian Twittersphere? Follower/followee network: ~150,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~550,000 known accounts by mid-2011) colour = outdegree, size = indegree http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  11. 11. The Australian Twittersphere? Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = outdegree, size = indegree
  12. 12. Real Estate Jobs Property HR Business Parenting Thematic Clusters Design Business Property Mums Craft Arts Web Social Media Creative Tech Food Perth PR Wine Marketing / PR Advertising IT Beer Tech Creative Social Design ICTs NGOs Fashion Utilities Farming Social Policy Beauty Services Agriculture Net Culture Adelaide Opinion Books Theatre Greens News Literature Film Arts Publishing ALP Hardline Progressives News @KRuddMPConservatives @JuliaGillard Radio Conservatives TV Music Journalists Triple J Talkback Dance Breakfast TV Hip Hop Cycling Celebrities Union Evangelicals Swimming NRL V8s Football Teens Christians Cricket Teaching Hillsong AFL e-Learning Schools Jonas Bros. Beliebers
  13. 13. Automatic Cluster Detection Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = clusters, size = indegree
  14. 14. Automatic Cluster Detection Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = clusters, size = indegree
  15. 15. #Hashtag Participation Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) size = indegree
  16. 16. #auspol Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #auspol tweets, size = indegree
  17. 17. #ausvotes Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #ausvotes tweets, size = indegree
  18. 18. #wikileaks Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #wikileaks tweets, size = indegree
  19. 19. #qldfloods Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #qldfloods tweets, size = indegree
  20. 20. #eqnz Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #eqnz tweets, size = indegree
  21. 21. #egypt Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #egypt tweets, size = indegree
  22. 22. #aflgf Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #aflgf tweets, size = indegree
  23. 23. #nrlgf Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #nrlgf tweets, size = indegree
  24. 24. #masterchef Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #masterchef tweets, size = indeg.
  25. 25. #eurovision Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #eurovision tweets, size = indegree
  26. 26. #royalwedding Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #royalwedding tweets, size = indeg.
  27. 27. theaustralian.com.au URLs Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = tweets with URLs, size = indegree
  28. 28. abc.net.au URLs Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = tweets with URLs, size = indegree
  29. 29. ABC accounts Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) blue: official, red: personal ABC accounts
  30. 30. Understanding Twitter Publicso #hashtags: o Useful coordinating mechanism for core discussion o Relatively easy to capture and analyse o Fails to capture non-hashtagged tweets about the topic o Good case studies, but very little comparative work to dateo National / global Twittersphere maps o Crucial contextual baseline for #hashtag case studies o Slow and laborious data gathering process, never complete o Very long-term perspective, beyond most funded projects o Indispensable for study of Twitter as a public space http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  31. 31. ‘Big Data’ and the Digital Humanitieso Emerging needs in Twitter research: o Unified, compatible methods and metrics for Twitter analysis  Tools and approaches shared at http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ o Powerful infrastructure for long-term, high-volume tracking of Australian public communication on Twitter  Data access requires substantial funding stream o Facilities for long-term data storage and preservation  Key roles for National Library, National Archives o Integration with related datasets (e.g. MSM content)  Need to address data interoperability questionso Twitter as a test case for digital humanities research o Widespread, open, public platform for everyday communication o Tool for observing society at scale through Internet research http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  32. 32. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/@snurb_dot_info@jeanburgess http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
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