American Beefonthe Net(13 Nov2008)

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  • 1. American beef on the Net : Online presence about U.S. beef import in S. Korea
    • Han Woo PARK
    • Department of Communication & Information
    • YeungNam University, Korea (South)
    • [email_address]
    • http://www.hanpark.net
    •  
    • Woo Young CHANG
    • Division of International Relations
    • Catholic University of Daegu, Korea (South)
    • Work-in-progress
    • Many thanks to research assistants and Dr. Bruns
  • 2. This research examines how the issue of ‘US Beef Imports to South Korea’ during the May and June of 2008 was diffused on Korea’s blogosphere. We begin with illustrating the socio-cultural background to the case under study, followed by a theoretical discussion of Korea’s politicized cyberspace.
  • 3. Socio-cultural background to the case under study Direct motivation: Korean government’s action to import a beef of cattle older than 30 months, which is known to have considerable potential of ‘ mad cow disease ’ from the US A public expression against neo-liberal policies of new President MB Lee (e.g., privatizing nat’l health care system)
  • 4. Concerns Amnesty Int’l identified Unnecessary or excessive use of police force, including the misuse of police and security equipment during the protests Arbitrary arrest and detention A lack of adequate training of the police A lack of police accountability
  • 5. A theoretical discussion of Korea’s politicized cyberspace Core-peripheral structure of diffusion Similar to ‘Slash dot effect’ in the US, ‘ Daum-Agora ’(DA) effect arises DA, an web-based discussion media, has been playing a tremendous role in raising public awareness and providing an investigative reporting abut US beef
  • 6. Theoretical controversy of Balkanization Unjustified temporal effect: Some negative evidences about deepening divide Simplified media usage model: Shifting from DailyMe to Produsage Limited to political cooperation issues in a well-connected social world: ‘ Collective intelligence ’ certainly occurs in some (loose) contexts
  • 7. Theoretical controversy of Mobilization Several factors involved: Socio-political-cultural constraints and practices (e.g., regulation, policing, IT infra, power-distance etc.) Inter-media agenda setting: Influential conventional media’s impact on users Competitive media market: Obsolete DailyMe Increasing media education: Multiple site-browsing and balanced approach
  • 8. There's been some fantastic work in this field already- from Yochai Benkler 's work on 'commons-based peer production' to Michel Bauwens 's 'p2p production', from Alvin Toffler 's seminal 'prosumers‘ to Charles Leadbeater and Paul Miller's 'Pro-Ams' . I think it's fair to say that most if not all of us working in this field see these developments as an important paradigm shift - a "leap to authorship" for so many of the people participating in it, as Douglas Rushkoff has memorably put it . Henry Jenkins asked Axel Bruns: Produsage? Its defining traits?
  • 9. I define produsage as "the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement" , but that's only the starting point. Again, it's important to note that the processes of produsage are often massively distributed, and not all participants are even aware of their contribution to produsage projects; their motivations may be mainly social or individual, and still their acts of participation can be harnessed as contributions to produsage
  • 10. Collective Intelligence Theory by Surowiecki
    • Three kinds of problems related to CI
    • Cognition, Coordination, Cooperation
    • Online environments where the crowd becomes wise; Balkanization may decline but mobilization may increase
    • Diversity, Independence, Decentralization
  • 11. Research questions What is the nature of online network among citizens about US beef issue? How and to what extent is the structure of citizen’s online participation altered during a protest against US beef imports?
  • 12. Selection of research site
    • The frequently-read entries(FRE) written by DA blog-reporters during May and June of 2008
    • collected with search queries: mad cow disease, US beef, candle light protest
    • entries more than 10,000 views
    • External entries trackbacked to FRE
  • 13. Research Methods
    • RQs are examined based on various kinds of data to discover the hidden political blogosphere to enhance and/or lessen citizen engagement with the issue
    • Content analysis of blog postings based on bloggers’ political positions on the US beef import and other MB Lee’s policies
    • Network analysis among citizen bloggers in terms of trackback
    • Long-tail analysis using replies, trackbacks, and views to blog postings
  • 14. FRE Trackbacked blogs No. of entries No. of bloggers No. of entries No. of trackbackers May 111 75 387 237 June 152 83 409 240
  • 15. Profile of FRE bloggers
    • Male bloggers over females
    • Mostly from Seoul area where cultural elites reside in
    • Interesting finding
    • Professional journalists from minor press
    • Some active group-blogs
    • Full-time/independent bloggers
    • Some oversea Korean bloggers
  • 16. FRE analysis shows that polarization about US beef import become weaker with a significant increase in neutral position (10 -> 55, p=0.000) N=152 June N=111 May Neutral Neutral 36.18%
  • 17. Analyses about other issues Other issues related to Lee’s neo-liberal policy programs were not salient in both FRE and the trackbacked in terms of their occurrence frequencies (FRE: 25 entries, Trackbacked 22 during May and June) However, the excessive use of police force emerged as a new agenda among trackbackers during June: ProGov (20.5%), Neutral(31.1%), AntiGov (48.4%)
  • 18. Network analysis among FRE bloggers 28 bloggers are consistent for 2 months, that is, ‘ Core ’ group produced 19 and 14 entries Central bloggers are related to media industry Network becomes sparser over time The majority of pro-import bloggers are isolated Betweenness of neutral bloggers is not high
  • 19. Central bloggers in indegree, May Bloggers Indegree centralities Gender Residence Occupation Trackbackers Trackbacks chchtan 6 9 M Seoul 뉴시스 기자 mongu 4 4 M Gyeongsang 전문블로거 idomin 4 4 Mixed Gyeongsang 경남도민일보 hands 4 4 F Seoul 미디어스 기자 jkspace 3 4 M Seoul 건축가 pdjournal 3 3 Mixed Seoul PD 저널 parismadame 3 3 F Overseas 주부 kimjongbae 3 5 M Seoul 시사평론가 ( 김종배 ) ccdm1984 3 3 Mixed Seoul 민주언론시민연합 radiostar11 3 3 M Seoul 웹디자인관련 회사원
  • 20. Central bloggers in outdegree, May Bloggers Outdegree centralities Gender Residence Occupation Trackbackers Trackbacks dongnae 15 25 F Unknown Unknown yjua 7 8 F Seoul 메디컬투데이 기자 wantkorean 6 12 M Seoul 대학교 강사 neopet71 5 6 M Seoul 무역회사직원 totobox 4 4 F Gyeongsang 공부방 강사 daidalos 4 4 F Seoul 주부
  • 21. Networks among FRE, May N=75 May
  • 22. Central bloggers in indegree, June Bloggers Indegree centralities Gender Residence Occupation Trackbackers Trackbacks sisain 5 5 Mixed Seoul 시사인 블로그 2kim 4 5 Mixed Gyeongsang 김주완 ( 남 ), 김주훤 ( 녀 ) 로서 경남도민일보의 팀블로거 팀블로그 운영자 mediaus 4 5 Mixed Seoul 미디어스 블로그 ctzxp 3 3 M Seoul 월간 [ 말 ] 박형준 기자 kimjongbae 3 9 M Seoul 시사평론가 ( 김종배 ) hangulo 2 5 M Seoul 전문블로거 photohistory 2 3 M Seoul 회사원 migojarad 2 3 M Gyeongsang 고등학생 ( 고 3) peoplepower21 2 2 Mixed Seoul 참여연대 블로그 chchtan 2 3 M Seoul 뉴시스기자 medwon 2 3 M Seoul 의대생 showbiz 2 3 M Seoul 기업 대표 urijeri 2 2 M Seoul 교회목사
  • 23. Central bloggers in Outdegree, June Bloggers Outdegree centralities Gender Residence Occupation Trackbackers Trackbacks luvyooz 21 35 M Seoul 모름 okhong 7 8 M Seoul 민주노동당 국회의원 ( 홍희덕 ) may 5 5 M Seoul 무직 2kim 4 4 Mixed Gyeongsang 김주완 ( 남 ), 김주훤 ( 녀 ) 로서 경남도민일보의 팀블로거 팀블로그 운영자 newzealandstory 3 3 M Overseas 대학생 sisain 2 4 Mixed Seoul 시사인 블로그 ddokbaro 2 2 M Unknown 모름 hangulo 2 3 M Seoul 전문블로거 , 뉴스보이기자 ( 객원 ) sdlp 2 2 Mixed Seoul 민주노동당 서울지역 대학생당원들 팀블로그블로그
  • 24. Networks among FRE, June N=83 June
  • 25. Profile of Trackbackers Items May June Consistent group No. of trackbackers 237 240 85 Also included in the FRE 25 (10.55%) 25 (10.42%) 22 (25.88%)
  • 26. Just like Wikipedians, FRE bloggers contribute to the continuing extension and improvement of American beef-related online resource, observe this common property with some engagement, and are rewarded from this ongoing process as their level of involvement changes overtime Bruns emphasizes, “ That’s why I suggest that they are neither simply users nor producers (and they’re certainly not consumers): they’re produsers instead ”
  • 27. Network from trackbackers to core FRE group, May
  • 28. Network from trackbackers to core FRE group, June
  • 29. Structural change over time: Disappearing long-tail participation An over-time result shows that the agenda-setting function of head bloggers (A-list) , whose entries were included more than two times in the FRE, become stronger than that of tail bloggers in terms of writings , views, replies, and trackbacks
  • 30. Items   May (115 entries by 75 bloggers) June (152 entries by 83 bloggers) >= 2 entries 1 entries 1-2 >= 2 entries 1 entries 1 – 2 No. of bloggers 16 (21.3%) 59 (78.6%) 57.3%   21 (25.3%) 62 (74.7%) 49.4% No. of entries 56(48.7%) 59(51.3%) 2.6% 90 (59.2%) 62 (40.8%) -18.4% Views 1,960,069 2,686,944 726,875 5,141,674 2,336,210 -2,805,464 Replies 6,612 10,345 3,733 14,254 10,404 -3,850 Trackbacks 347 476 129 443 341 -102
  • 31. What makes the structure of comm. network change over time? Aggressive state intervention for cyberspace Distorted reporting of conservative media on mass candlelight protests Gradual decrease of rally participants Becomes peripheral agenda among citizens
  • 32. Discussions The results indicate that there is indeed a change in terms of online discourse and network structure over this short span of time Balkanization and Mobilization theories need to be modified and discussed in terms of new ‘produsage’, ‘crowd wisdom’, and ‘long-tail’ concepts