Tracing Publics in the Australian Blogosphere: New Methods for International Communication Research
Tracing publics in the Australian blogosphereNew methods for international communication research<br />Axel Bruns <br />Jean Burgess<br />Queensland University of Technology<br />Lars Kirchhoff<br />Thomas Nicolai<br />Sociomantic Labs <br />http://mappingonlinepublics.net<br />
New Media and Public Communication: Mapping Australian User-Created Content in Online Social Networks<br />http://mappingonlinepublics.net<br />Australian Research Council (ARC): Discovery Project (2010-13) – $410,000<br />QUT (Brisbane), Sociomantic Labs (Berlin)<br /><ul><li>First comprehensive study of Australian social media use.
Computer-assisted cultural analysis: tracking, mapping, analysing blogs, twitter, flickr, youtube as ‘networked publics’
Builds on previous work of the research team (UCC, YouTube, blogosphere mapping)
Advances beyond established approaches - beyond political blogospheres, beyond snapshots
Addressing the problem of scale (‘Big Data’) and disciplinary change in media, cultural and communication studies.</li></li></ul><li>theoretical framework <br /><ul><li>changing media ecology (UCC and ‘mainstream’ media)
dynamics of public communication (emergent, event-based, affective)</li></ul>baseline empirical questions <br /><ul><li>levels of activity?
changes over time? </li></ul>methods<br /><ul><li>large-scale data gathering
development of computer-assisted techniques for both broad and recursively focused analysis
identification of key events, clusters and communities
close qualitative analysis</li></ul>advanced questions: cultural implications<br /><ul><li>Do matters of shared concern activate new connections among different communities/networks?
How do acute media ‘events’ transform the media ecology?</li></li></ul><li>Tools<br />Data Gathering<br />Blogs: In-house crawler & database + export tools<br />Twitter: Twapperkeeper - in-house crawler in development<br />Data Processing<br />Gawk – open source, multiplatform, programmable command-line tool for processing CSV documents<br />Textual Analysis<br />Leximancer – commercial (University of Queensland), multiplatform: extracts key concepts from large corpora of text, examines and visualises concept co-occurrence<br />WordStat – commercial, PC-only text analysis tool; generates concept co-occurrence data that can be exported for visualisation<br />Visualisation<br />Gephi – open source, multiplatform network visualisation tool<br />
Bushfires<br />Qld Election<br />Budget<br />New Sites Added<br />Overall Patterns of Activity (Jan.-Aug. 2009)From previous work by Bruns et al<br />
Blog Network (between known blogs only)(17 July to 27 August 2010 | 3.4 million links | Node size: Indegree | See: http://mappingonlinepublics.net/2010/09/22/mapping-the-australian-blogosphere-some-more/)<br />parenting<br />politics<br />food<br />arts & crafts<br />design and style<br />
12<br />towards international and transcultural research<br />re-emergence of ‘national’ frames (reterritorialisation; region-specific platform dominance; uptake beyond early adopters) <br />both culturally-bound and transcultural ‘issue publics’ (within and beyond the nation-state)<br />shared methodologies: possibilities for international comparative and/or collaborative work<br />eghashtags that are of interest across national boundaries<br />