Future of Journalism Conference 2013
Cardiff, September 12th 2013
FOLLOW-UP COMMUNICATION
IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
A comparative...
Analysis of structural constraints to the public sphere under the
conditions of new media enabling “self-government”
The “...
► Follow-up Communication on the Internet
 Traditional concept: interpersonal communication which relies on mass
media co...
An approach for empirically testing differences and similarities by comparing
media coverage and related communication in ...
Research Questions: “Follow-up Communication in the Blogosphere”
RQ1: What kind of network structure describes the follow-...
► G8-Summit Heiligendamm 2007
Selected Issue: G8-Summit Heiligendamm
 Contested political occasion (“counter-issue“ with several demonstrations);
high ...
► Internal and external networks of follow-up communication
Indymedia
Spiegel
Online
(external) network border
Blogs
Determination of relevant units through a hybrid selection process
 Keyword: „Heiligendamm“ (issue-centred selection)
 I...
► Findings (RQ1)
Blog Postings per Day
(in percent, shares for each network cluster„s follow-up communication identified i...
# 1125.01.2012 # 1125.01.2012
Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medien-
forschung
Forschungs- und Lehrbereich Ne...
► Findings (RQ1)
Network of Follow-up
Communication (only Reactions)
 Identified link connections among
contributing blog...
Coverage Follow-up Communication
Main topic of article/posting Spiegel Online
(n=184)
Indymedia
(n=265)
Spiegel
Online- on...
Type of external link destination
Spiegel Online-
only (n=972)
Indymedia-only
(n=415)
Shared reactions
(n=540)
Total
(n=19...
►Results (RQ 1):
Popular links in the follow-up communication blog network
(sorted by Indegree, network analysis)
64
34
34...
 The follow-up communication in blogs is mainly focused on selected
media items and articles
Contributions of Spiegel Onl...
 Most investigated blogs are published by independent single authors (77%,
n=239). Author collectives (16%) as well as bl...
► Outlook
 Issue-specific filter mechanisms in participatory, network-based media demand
a comparative design
Identificat...
Thank you!
Dr. Christian Nuernbergk
Department of Communication Science
and Media Research (IfKW)
Ludwig-Maximilians-Unive...
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#FOJ2013 Follow-up communication in the blogosphere

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A comparative study of bloggers linking to professional and participatory media. Do bloggers refer to a broad range of viewpoints and do they evaluate and comment on linked material? Through a combined content and network analysis of 323 blogs, this study reveals that bloggers primarily give attention to a small selection of articles on a given topical basis.

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#FOJ2013 Follow-up communication in the blogosphere

  1. 1. Future of Journalism Conference 2013 Cardiff, September 12th 2013 FOLLOW-UP COMMUNICATION IN THE BLOGOSPHERE A comparative study of bloggers linking to professional and participatory media Dr. Christian Nuernbergk
  2. 2. Analysis of structural constraints to the public sphere under the conditions of new media enabling “self-government” The “networked public sphere”  Benkler (2006): Network structures on the Internet exhibit an ordered system of filtering, intake and synthesis  Critiques about democratising effects and openness remain: fragmentation (Sunstein, 2007) vs. concentration (Hindman, 2009) New emerging news production models and opportunities for user contributions  Professional and participatory media; complementarity rather than competition (Neuberger & Nuernbergk, 2010)  public follow-up communication: “networked conversation“? Cooperative mode and decentralised peer-review?
  3. 3. ► Follow-up Communication on the Internet  Traditional concept: interpersonal communication which relies on mass media content, therefore making mass communication a primary subject in discussions (Sommer, 2010; Eble, 2012).  Network-based media allows follow-up communication to become publicly mediated; “public mode of interpersonal communication“ (Haas/Brosius, 2011)  (More) transparency regarding user’s preferences and contents: abilities to connect and to contribute combined with observability, searchability, and replicability of social media postings  Collaborative filtering as a result of networked content (Benkler, 2006; Schmidt 2011) Selectivity and content diversity of public follow-up communication: Adding, or reinterpreting information? (Reese et al. 2007; Xenos 2008) Openness of follow-up communication structures: Dynamics in the contributors‟ network? (Nahon, 2011)
  4. 4. An approach for empirically testing differences and similarities by comparing media coverage and related communication in network-based citizen media:  Transparency: Which actors and issues are made visible in professional mainstream media and in network-based citizen media?  Validation: Do discourses correspond among professional media and network-based citizen media? Which differences can be found regarding specific issues (evaluation of sources, attributions, framing)?  Social navigation: How interconnected are professional media and citizen media through linking patterns and other marked referrals to each other (e. g. citing sources or other contributors‟ views)?  Identity formation: What kind of collective identity formation can be observed? How do contributors in network-based media express and communicate differences to professional media in their coverage? ► Dimensions for an examination of filter mechanisms in the networked public-sphere:
  5. 5. Research Questions: “Follow-up Communication in the Blogosphere” RQ1: What kind of network structure describes the follow-up communication induced by professional and participatory news media in the blogosphere? RQ2: What kind of bloggers select, comment and link to professional and participatory content?
  6. 6. ► G8-Summit Heiligendamm 2007
  7. 7. Selected Issue: G8-Summit Heiligendamm  Contested political occasion (“counter-issue“ with several demonstrations); high relevance and newsworthiness (main media event)  Clear time frames and good searchability  Increase of media-related participation and resonance in the social web discussing this issue Method: combining content analysis and network analysis:  In focus: Online press coverage, which induces follow-up communication in the blogosphere  Selected time period: two weeks around the summit (May 28th to June 10th, 2007)  A related study researching print media (Rucht & Teune, 2008) offers possibilities to compare online and offline differences
  8. 8. ► Internal and external networks of follow-up communication Indymedia Spiegel Online (external) network border Blogs
  9. 9. Determination of relevant units through a hybrid selection process  Keyword: „Heiligendamm“ (issue-centred selection)  Identification of relevant articles in the archives of Spiegel Online and Indymedia (media-centred selection)  Creating a archive-based list with specific URLs to each article  Collection and saving of all articles with LexiURL Linklist Analyser (Wolverhampton Cybermetrics Group, Mike Thelwall)  Transformation of all URLs into automated search requests by using LexiURL and the blog search engine Technorati (see Thelwall & Hasler 2007; Bruns 2007; Erlhofer 2010)  Open identification of follow-up communication for each URL; reflection of search behaviour  All result lists generated by Technoraty were archived with LexiURL  Crawling of outlinks on these lists (= results referring to blog posts) and final collection of all relevant 423 postings for content analysis procedures.
  10. 10. ► Findings (RQ1) Blog Postings per Day (in percent, shares for each network cluster„s follow-up communication identified in the time period from 28th May to 29th 2007, content analysis 2007) 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% nur Spiegel Online-Anschlusskomm. (n=247) nur Indymedia-Anschlusskomm. (n=104) gemeinsame Anschlusskomm. (Spiegel Online und Indymedia verlinkt) (n=70) Only reactions to Spiegel Online-articles (n=247) Only reactions to Indymedia-articles (n=104) Shared reactions (blog postings linking to articles of Spiegel Online as well as Indymedia) (n=70) Phasis of late- following reactions in blogposts after 11th June Time period Number of nodes Share in % (n=323) Growth in %* Number of edges Share in % (n=115) Growth in %* 28.05.-29.05.2007 13 4,0 4,0 0 0 0 30.05.-31.05.2007 35 10,9 6,9 2 1,7 1,7 01.06.-02.06.2007 71 22,0 11,1 7 6,1 4,4 03.06.-04.06.2007 130 40,3 18,3 21 18,3 12,2 05.06.-06.06.2007 199 61,6 21,3 68 59,1 40,8
  11. 11. # 1125.01.2012 # 1125.01.2012 Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medien- forschung Forschungs- und Lehrbereich Neuberger  Network of all identified and analysed blogs which link to relevant articles of Spiegel Online or Indymedia (325 nodes, 477 edges)  Three clusters green: only reactions to Indymedia red: only reactions to Spiegel Online blue: shared reactions  „Networked conversation?“ ► Findings (RQ1) Network of Follow-up Communication
  12. 12. ► Findings (RQ1) Network of Follow-up Communication (only Reactions)  Identified link connections among contributing blogs (323, nodes, 115 edges)  Three clusters green: only reactions to Indymedia red: only reactions to Spiegel Online blue: shared reactions
  13. 13. Coverage Follow-up Communication Main topic of article/posting Spiegel Online (n=184) Indymedia (n=265) Spiegel Online- only (n=246) Indymedia- only (n=104) Shared reactions (n=70) Total (n=420) Protest (in general) 33 61 23 54 24 31 Security measures/ Police violence at protests 14 22 21 25 37 25 G8-summit happenings (in general) 11 1 12 5 0 8 Government’s arguments 7 0 3 0 0 2 Protestors’ arguments 7 2 1 0 1 1 Globalisation (in focus) 4 0 2 0 1 1 Climate change (in focus) 13 0 5 0 1 3 Media coverage about event or related protests 4 6 25 14 30 23 Other focus 8 8 9 2 4 6 Cramer’s-V= .357, p< .001 ►Results (RQ 1): Main topics in the coverage of Indymedia, Spiegel Online and in the sample of their follow-up communication in blogs (in %)
  14. 14. Type of external link destination Spiegel Online- only (n=972) Indymedia-only (n=415) Shared reactions (n=540) Total (n=1927) Professional-edited news sites (in affiliation with traditional media) 38,6 29,2 34,6 35,4 Professional-edited news sites (Internet-only) 3,6 4,1 6,9 4,6 Community-edited news sites 1,5 0,7 0,9 1,2 Weblogs (external), Twitter (linked accounts) 17,2 18,6 23,5 19,3 Protest websites 13,9 24,3 15,4 16,6 Governmental websites, political parties, public administration and police websites 3,4 4,1 3,5 3,6 Justice (court websites) 0,7 0,7 0,6 0,7 Associations, unions 1,1 0,0 1,3 0,9 Main Internet portals, search engines 11,8 13,3 9,1 11,4 Other websites 8,1 5,1 4,3 6,4 Manual calculation. n-values comprise all external links (including multiple relations if more than one posting from an analysed blog linked to same external destination) ►Results (RQ 1): Outgoing links: share of external destination types resulting from network clusters in the follow-up communication (in %)
  15. 15. ►Results (RQ 1): Popular links in the follow-up communication blog network (sorted by Indegree, network analysis) 64 34 34 27 26 25 24 19 19 17 16 16 15 15 15 13 13 13 12 12 11 10 9 9 9 9 9 0 20 40 60 80 de.wikipedia.org g8-tv.org heise.de/tp welt.de jungewelt.de spiegelfechter.com sueddeutsche.de ndr.de tagesschau.de youtube.com spreeblick.com politblog.net netzeitung.de stern.de taz.de stefan-niggemeier.de polizei.mvnet.de zeit.de bild.t-online.de g-8.de zdf.de heise.de citronengras.de faz.net focus.de freie-radios.net gipfelsoli.org Only nodes with indegree ≤ 2: 144 of 757 nodes, 233 of 1505 edges node colour: red (activist sites, protest against g8), blue (external weblogs, main Internet portals), yellow (professional-edited news media), black (blogs in the follow-up communication promoting links; non-classified sites).
  16. 16.  The follow-up communication in blogs is mainly focused on selected media items and articles Contributions of Spiegel Online as well as Indymedia disparately provoked follow-up communication in the blogosphere  Moderately connected clusters of blogs which bridge reactions to Indymedia as well as Spiegel Online Functional filtering based on a common and small selection of blog postings which receive attention regarding a specific topic (center-periphery pattern) Most blog reactions remain isolated in the blogosphere. This indicates that public follow-up communication does not necessarily switch into an interactive mode of “networked conversation” (also few reciprocal ties) The contributors‟ network leads to similarities regarding the distribution of received comments (indicates filter-effectivity)  Topical patterns in the media are only partially reflected in the related follow-up communication: blogs link more often to articles with criticism on the media‟s conduct and highlight aspects which were less covered. ► Summary (RQ 1)
  17. 17.  Most investigated blogs are published by independent single authors (77%, n=239). Author collectives (16%) as well as blogs provided by political organisations (4%) are less common [2010]  Low level of gender equality: 6% women„s share (n=96)  Low level of direct activism: 8% participated in a G8-protest rally  Signs of political partisanship: Positioning on a „left-right continuum” difficult in most of the cases; leftists‟ share (20%, n=261)  „A-List“: 3% (n=323) belong to the German Top100 blogs  Visibility: 23% (n=261) don„t show any incoming links according to Google  Activity level: 35% (n=255) were updated at least five times in the last 30 days [2010]  A minority of blogs exhibits signs for a journalistic affiliation of their author or publisher (9%, n=258) [2010] ► Results (RQ 2) Who participated? Characteristics of contributing bloggers
  18. 18. ► Outlook  Issue-specific filter mechanisms in participatory, network-based media demand a comparative design Identification of similar patterns regarding link formation, networking and re-communication of content for examination of filter effectivity (homophily, polarisation, centralisation) Additional analysis of comments attached to blog postings  Study revealed that networking is rather not indicating endorsement Future research should also focus on context of links  Further research is needed to examine the diffusion of news in network-based media and specific processes of amplification in issue-related social networks Considering external factors in the diffusion of social news (Transparency regarding algorithms and code) Temporal analysis: Filter dynamics
  19. 19. Thank you! Dr. Christian Nuernbergk Department of Communication Science and Media Research (IfKW) Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München nuernbergk@ifkw.lmu.de twitter.com/nuernbergk fb.com/pages/Lehrstuhl-Prof-Neuberger

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