Social Media Issue Publics
in Australia
Axel Bruns
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Queensl...
SOCIAL MEDIA RESEARCH AT QUT
•

ARC Centre of Excellence for
Creative Industries & Innovation
(national, based at QUT)
–

...
CRISIS COMMUNICATION
KEY CHALLENGES IN CRISIS COMMUNICATION
• Information dissemination:
– Crisis communication strategies of emergency service...
THE QUEENSLAND FLOODS COMMUNITY
•

Self-organisation:
–
–
–
–

•

Rapid establishment of #qldfloods hashtag
Ad hoc develop...
#QLDFLOODS 2011: MOST VISIBLE USERS
#QLDFLOOD(S) 2013: MOST VISIBLE USERS
#EQNZ: VISIBILITY OF LEADING ACCOUNTS IN EACH EVENT
JUST THE FACTS: SELECTIVE RETWEETING
CRISIS EVENT COMPARISON

#qldfloods 2011
#qldfloods 2013
#eqnz 2011
#eqnz 2013
INFORMATION DISCOVERY
KEY CHALLENGES
• Identification:
– Unforeseen events: need to track more than keywords („big data‟)
– Potential to identif...
#QLDFLOODS FROM TOOWOOMBA TO BRISBANE
10 Jan 2011

11 Jan 2011

12 Jan 2011

13 Jan 2011

14 Jan 2011

15 Jan 2011
#EQNZ: KEY THEMES
#EQNZ: MENTIONS OF THE CTV BUILDING

Graph: Avijit Paul
(@cdtavijit); see
Paul & Bruns (2013)
SOCIAL MEDIA AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION
•

Social media research:
–
–
–
–

•

Develop better tools and metrics for evaluatin...
SOCIAL MEDIA AND / IN SOCIETY
UNDERSTANDING TWITTER PUBLICS
•

#hashtags:
–
–
–
–

•

Useful coordinating mechanism for core discussion
Relatively easy ...
TWITTER AND SOCIETY
•

Richard Rogers:
–
–
–

•

Needs:
–
–
–
–

•

From “studying the Internet” to “studying
society with...
THE AUSTRALIAN TWITTERSPHERE?

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by...
Real Estate
Property

Jobs
HR
Business

Parenting

THEMATIC CLUSTERS
Design
Web
Creative

Perth
Marketing / PR

Farming
Ag...
#HASHTAG PARTICIPATION

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by early ...
#QLDFLOODS

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012)
colour...
#EQNZ

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012)
colour = #e...
#AUSPOL

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012)
colour = ...
#AUSVOTES (2010)

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012)
...
THEAUSTRALIAN.COM.AU URLS

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by ear...
ABC.NET.AU URLS

Follower/followee network:
~120,000 Australian Twitter users
(of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012)
c...
HOW GILLARD‟S MISOGYNY SPEECH WENT VIRAL

@abcnews
15 mins. elapsed
30 mins. elapsed

Journalists
1 hour elapsed

Feminists
2 hours elapsed
3 hours elapsed
4 hours elapsed
5 hours elapsed
complete network (75 hours elapsed)
LONGITUDINAL STUDIES
AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS ON TWITTER

(data to June 2013)
@TONYABBOTTMHR‟S FAKE FOLLOWERS

(11/12 Aug. 2013)
BIG BIG DATA: THE FIRST MILLION TWITTER IDS
Twitter IDs 1-1,000,000 (48,000 accounts still in existence)
(see http://mappi...
NEW ACCOUNT CREATION AROUND CRISES
http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
@snurb_dot_info
@jeanburgess
@dpwoodford
@timhighfield
@lena_sauter
@_StephenH
@quods
@so...
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Social Media Issue Publics in Australia

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Paper presented at the IBM Research Colloquium 2013: Living in an Instrumented World, Melbourne, 12 Nov. 2013.

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Social Media Issue Publics in Australia

  1. 1. Social Media Issue Publics in Australia Axel Bruns ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland University of Technology a.bruns@qut.edu.au @snurb_dot_info http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  2. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA RESEARCH AT QUT • ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (national, based at QUT) – Project: Media Ecologies & Methodological Innovation • New methods to understand the changing media environment • Role of social media, especially Twitter http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ – Project: Social Media in Times of Crisis • Focus on crisis communication • Partnerships with Queensland Department of Community Safety, Eidos Institute http://cci.edu.au/floodsreport.pdf
  3. 3. CRISIS COMMUNICATION
  4. 4. KEY CHALLENGES IN CRISIS COMMUNICATION • Information dissemination: – Crisis communication strategies of emergency services / emergency media organisations – Evaluating effectiveness and resonance – Maintaining public visibility of social media accounts outside of acute crisis situations • Information discovery: – (Early) detection of crisis events in social media feeds – Identification and evaluation of crisis-relevant information – Correlation of crowdsourced information with other crisis data
  5. 5. THE QUEENSLAND FLOODS COMMUNITY • Self-organisation: – – – – • Rapid establishment of #qldfloods hashtag Ad hoc development of community structures Highlighting of leading accounts, vigilant against disruption Suspension of petty squabbles (e.g. state politics) Innovation and rapid prototyping: – – – – Adjunct hashtags (#Mythbuster, #bakedrelief) Sharing and gathering of online resources Additional tools (Google Maps, Ushahidi Maps) Emergency services rapidly adopting social media tools (despite lack of established strategies)  „Go where they are‟ rather than „build it and they will come‟  See CCI Report: #qldfloods and @QPSMedia: Crisis Communication on Twitter in the 2011 South East Queensland Floods (http://cci.edu.au/floodsreport.pdf)
  6. 6. #QLDFLOODS 2011: MOST VISIBLE USERS
  7. 7. #QLDFLOOD(S) 2013: MOST VISIBLE USERS
  8. 8. #EQNZ: VISIBILITY OF LEADING ACCOUNTS IN EACH EVENT
  9. 9. JUST THE FACTS: SELECTIVE RETWEETING
  10. 10. CRISIS EVENT COMPARISON #qldfloods 2011 #qldfloods 2013 #eqnz 2011 #eqnz 2013
  11. 11. INFORMATION DISCOVERY
  12. 12. KEY CHALLENGES • Identification: – Unforeseen events: need to track more than keywords („big data‟) – Potential to identify emerging events from overall activity patterns • Evaluation: – Real? Hoax? Metaphor (“the bank has collapsed”)? – May need semantic analysis, user profiling, independent verification • Incorporation: – Correlation and integration with standard emergency data sources – Timeframes: how long until crowdsourced information expires?
  13. 13. #QLDFLOODS FROM TOOWOOMBA TO BRISBANE 10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
  14. 14. #EQNZ: KEY THEMES
  15. 15. #EQNZ: MENTIONS OF THE CTV BUILDING Graph: Avijit Paul (@cdtavijit); see Paul & Bruns (2013)
  16. 16. SOCIAL MEDIA AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION • Social media research: – – – – • Develop better tools and metrics for evaluating social media communication In-depth analysis of communication patterns reveals how social media are used Real-time analytics: highlight key current issues, identify weak signals of crisis Monitor and improve effectiveness of social media communication strategies by emergency services Social media uses: – Inform, share, amplify, support, reassure, organise – Need to track and work with user community: follow their conventions (e.g. #eqnz hashtag) – Two-way communication where feasible – more than broadcast messages – Provide community with tools to self-organise for resilience
  17. 17. SOCIAL MEDIA AND / IN SOCIETY
  18. 18. UNDERSTANDING TWITTER PUBLICS • #hashtags: – – – – • Useful coordinating mechanism for core discussion Relatively easy to capture and analyse Fails to capture non-hashtagged tweets about the topic Good case studies, but very little comparative work to date National / global Twittersphere maps – – – – Crucial contextual baseline for #hashtag case studies Slow and laborious data gathering process, never complete Very long-term perspective, beyond most funded projects Indispensable for study of Twitter as a public space
  19. 19. TWITTER AND SOCIETY • Richard Rogers: – – – • Needs: – – – – • From “studying the Internet” to “studying society with the Internet” Social media as a global / national / local sensor network Social media issue publics as indicators of current concerns, topics, trends More comprehensive theories of social media communication More flexible and powerful research methods, beyond the Twitter hashtag More interdisciplinary research teams and approaches Better research infrastructure for accessing, processing, analysing, visualising „big data‟ Katrin Weller, Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Merja Mahrt, and Cornelius Puschmann, eds. Twitter and Society. New York: Peter Lang, 2014. @twitsocbook
  20. 20. THE AUSTRALIAN TWITTERSPHERE? Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = outdegree, size = indegree
  21. 21. Real Estate Property Jobs HR Business Parenting THEMATIC CLUSTERS Design Web Creative Perth Marketing / PR Farming Agriculture IT Tech News Food Wine Creative Design Social ICTs Fashion Beauty Utilities Services Net Culture Opinion News ALP Progressives Craft Arts Beer NGOs Social Policy Greens Hardline Conservatives Social Media Tech PR Advertising Mums Business Property Books Literature Publishing Adelaide Theatre Film Arts @KRuddMP @JuliaGillard Conservatives Journalists Radio TV Music Triple J Talkback Breakfast TV Cycling Celebrities Dance Hip Hop Union Evangelicals NRL Swimming V8s Football Cricket AFL Christians Teaching Hillsong e-Learning Schools Teens Jonas Bros. Beliebers
  22. 22. #HASHTAG PARTICIPATION Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) size = indegree
  23. 23. #QLDFLOODS Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #qldfloods tweets, size = indegree
  24. 24. #EQNZ Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #eqnz tweets, size = indegree
  25. 25. #AUSPOL Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #auspol tweets, size = indegree
  26. 26. #AUSVOTES (2010) Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #ausvotes tweets, size = indegree
  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. HOW GILLARD‟S MISOGYNY SPEECH WENT VIRAL @abcnews
  30. 30. 15 mins. elapsed
  31. 31. 30 mins. elapsed Journalists
  32. 32. 1 hour elapsed Feminists
  33. 33. 2 hours elapsed
  34. 34. 3 hours elapsed
  35. 35. 4 hours elapsed
  36. 36. 5 hours elapsed
  37. 37. complete network (75 hours elapsed)
  38. 38. LONGITUDINAL STUDIES
  39. 39. AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS ON TWITTER (data to June 2013)
  40. 40. @TONYABBOTTMHR‟S FAKE FOLLOWERS (11/12 Aug. 2013)
  41. 41. BIG BIG DATA: THE FIRST MILLION TWITTER IDS Twitter IDs 1-1,000,000 (48,000 accounts still in existence) (see http://mappingonlinepublics.net/2013/04/08/the-first-million-ids-on-twitter/)
  42. 42. NEW ACCOUNT CREATION AROUND CRISES
  43. 43. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ @snurb_dot_info @jeanburgess @dpwoodford @timhighfield @lena_sauter @_StephenH @quods @socialmediaQUT – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/
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