Chicago Politicians on Twitter

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Slides as presented at MPSA 2012.
Paper abstract:
This paper uses data from 1,042 tweets posted by or mentioning Chicago Aldermen or Mayor Rahm Emanuel to examine how Chicago politicians use social media. Twitter provides a public communication medium in which constituents and their representatives can have two-way conversations that others can witness and record, and we used qualitative and social network methods to examine conversations between Chicagoans and representatives in city government. We coded the contents of each tweet over the two-week time period (e.g., official business, fundraising) and created representations of the social networks created by the users’ following behaviors. These networks indicate who receives politicians’ tweets and help identify the audiences for political messaging in social media. Our analysis indicates that Chicago’s Aldermen and Mayor use Twitter for social conversations more often than political ones, and that only a small number of Aldermen dominate the resulting conversation networks.

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Chicago Politicians on Twitter

  1. 1. CHICAGO POLITICIANSON TWITTERLibby HemphillMatthew A. ShapiroJahna OtterbacherCharise AngdersonIllinois Institute of Technologyinfo@casmlab.orghttp://www.casmlab.org/projects/publicofficials/
  2. 2. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherProject team• Libby Hemphill• Matt Shapiro• Jahna Otterbacher• Charise Angderson• Drexler James• W. David WorkIllinois Institute of Technologyinfo@casmlab.orghttp://www.casmlab.org/projects/publicofficials/
  3. 3. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherOverview• Chicago overview• Twitter overview• Network analysis• Content analysis• Next steps
  4. 4. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and Otterbacher CHICAGO
  5. 5. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and Otterbacher
  6. 6. April 12, 2012 Shapiro, Hemphill, and Otterbacher
  7. 7. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and Otterbacher TWITTER
  8. 8. Shapiro, Hemphill, and Otterbachertwitter home
  9. 9. April 12, 2012 Shapiro, Hemphill, and OtterbacherTwitter conventions• @username and .@username• #hashtag• RT and MT
  10. 10. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and Otterbacher NETWORKS
  11. 11. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherCharacteristics of the Aldermen NetworkNodes (Everyone) 14,828 Egos (Aldermen) 27 Alters (Everyone else) 14,821Ratio of Egos to Alters 548.93Edges (Total) 40,199 Edges (Reciprocal) 14,993 Edges (One-way) 25,206Density 0.00016Average Distance 2.87Average Clustering Coefficient 0.226 (random = 0.00014)Diameter 4 (random = 27)
  12. 12. Segregated Audiences
  13. 13. Core-periphery?
  14. 14. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and Otterbacher CONTENT
  15. 15. April 12, 2012 Shapiro, Hemphill, and OtterbacherCoding for actionCode DefinitionPersonal non-business oriented messages or notes, suchmessage as holiday greetings or other personal sentimentsInformation a message that provides a fact, opinion, link to an article, position on an issue, or resourceRequesting requests that constituents take some action likeaction signing a petition or votingFundraising requests donations or contributionsOfficial business official business in City Council, including voting, committee and Council meetingsLocation or non-official activities including trips, meetings withActivity constituents, lobbyists, or activities in the home ward
  16. 16. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherMechanical Turk
  17. 17. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherInter-coder reliabilityCode % agreement Fleiss’ κInformation 67 0.34Location or Activity 77 0.30Personal message 70 0.26Requesting action 99 0.22Fundraising 90 0.14Official business 90 0.14Self promotion 94 0.05Direct communication* 64 0.29
  18. 18. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherFrequency of contentCode N % of TweetsInformation 1568 50%Location or Activity 694 22%Personal message 824 26%Requesting action 201 6%Fundraising 25 1%Official business 197 6%Self promotion 94 3%
  19. 19. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherHashtag Frequencies 25 20 15 10 5 0
  20. 20. April 12, 2012 Shapiro, Hemphill, and OtterbacherHashtags x Aldermen
  21. 21. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherIn and Out Groups Core Periphery Factions 1 2 1 21 0.589 0.557 1 0.061 0.0212 0.056 0.052 2 0.189 0.568
  22. 22. 4/12/12 Hemphill, Shapiro, and OtterbacherNext Steps• Ward and Alderman characteristics*• Redrawn ward map• NATO• Citizen side
  23. 23. April 12, 2012 Shapiro, Hemphill, and OtterbacherContact us• Libby Hemphill (libby.hemphill@iit.edu)• Matt Shapiro (mshapir2@iit.edu)• Jahna Otterbacher (jotterba@iit.edu)• Illinois Institute of Technology• info@casmlab.org• http://www.casmlab.org/projects/publicofficials/

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