Tweeting with the audience

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Tweeting with the audience

  1. 1. Tweeting with the audienceAudience research and participation using Twitter @ruthdeller @sheffieldhallamuni, @AHRC funded PhD candidate #meccsa2011
  2. 2. Tweeting with the audience• What is Twitter?• Theoretical context• Twitter and current affairs• Participation and interaction• Tweeting Revelations• Implications for media audience research- particularly for those interested in "old" media
  3. 3. What is Twitter?• Social networking service• 140 character updates• Following and being followed• Key question Whats happening?
  4. 4. What is Twitter?
  5. 5. What is Twitter?
  6. 6. What is Twitter?
  7. 7. Content of tweets• News• Debate• Sports• Weather• Media usage• Local issues• Memes / Jokes• Personal• Character role-play
  8. 8. Theoretical issues• Audience ‘activity’• Convergence – cross-media platforms, mobile media etc• ‘Produsage’ / Citizen journalism• Star/celebrity studies• Fan studies• Online community studies• Media in everyday life
  9. 9. Tweeting current affairs• Iranian elections: Green profile pictures (avatars), setting location as Tehran.• UK and US elections: Used as methods of interacting with politicians and media outlets, used as sources for news.• Stephen Gately, Dunblane, Trafigura etc - outrage and action.
  10. 10. Tweeting current affairs• Iranian elections: Green profile pictures (avatars), setting location as Tehran.• UK and US elections: Used as methods of interacting with politicians and media outlets, used as sources for news.• Stephen Gately, Dunblane, Trafigura etc - outrage and action.
  11. 11. Tweeting current affairs
  12. 12. Tweeting current affairs• High-profile opinion leaders• (Re-)Circulation of links• Accessibility• Immediacy• Visibility• Public sphere
  13. 13. Tweeting TV and radio audiences• ‘The invention of real-time social networking sites (this means Twitter) has added a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of Big Brother... now you can hold a conversation with anyone you want while its on and enjoy real-time tweeted commentary from celebs, pundits and randoms. Or, indeed, be one such commentator (Longridge, 2010: 146).
  14. 14. Tweeting TV and radio audiences• What has been your favourite Twitter experience? – ‘The group experience of tweeting about The X Factor on a Saturday night. It’s like having a lot of friends round and laughing’ (Mark Gatiss)• What’s the appeal of Twitter for you? – ‘It makes shows like The X Factor and The Apprentice even more fun. Everyone can join in as it goes out’ (Gareth Roberts)Cook (2011: 63)
  15. 15. Tweeting TV and radio audiences• ‘Liveness – that is, live transmission – guarantees a potential connection to our shared social realities as they are happening…‘Liveness’ naturalises the idea that, through the media, we achieve a shared attention to the realities that matter for us as a society. This is the idea of the media as social frame, the myth of the mediated centre. It is because of this underlying idea (suggesting society as a common space focused around a ‘shared’ ritual centre) that watching something ‘live’ makes the difference it does: otherwise why should we care that others are watching the same image as us, and (more or less) when we are?’ (Couldry, 2003: 97- 99)
  16. 16. Tweeting TV and radio audiences• Whenever telly or radio is on, wherever in the world, someone is tweeting.• Trending topics can identify watercooler television/radio, not just highly rated shows.• Those involved in the programmes often tweet along, asking or answering questions, providing commentary or links to additional resources.• Celebrities and public figures join in the conversation.
  17. 17. Tweeting TV and radio audiences
  18. 18. Tweeting TV and radio audiences
  19. 19. Tweeting TV and radio audiences• Too tired for Newswipe. Have to iPlayer it. Off to bed with a hot water bottle.• Band practice means late home. Going to miss the start of #TBOC [#TBOC = Tower Block of Commons, a Channel 4 life swap series where MPs lived on council estates]• Ok folks...what are we watching tonight?? If you provide a solid argument, I could be persuaded to DVR LOST & watch it later...• What should I watch 90120 or vampire dairies?• #tboc or #glee?
  20. 20. Tweeting TV and radio audiences• ‘Spoilers’• Hashtags to indicate series (e.g. #bb11 #bb12)• Trending is to be celebrated• Trending also causes British users to comment on what ‘America’ thinks: – ppl in America might think WTF is Jedward :) – Its funny. all american/people not in britain, are like.. "Jedward? What the hell? Edward and Jacob? Pathetic!"
  21. 21. Tweeting Revelations• Eight-part series of single documentaries on Channel 4, summer 2009.• First documentary, How to Find God was made by Jon Ronson and focussed on the Alpha course.• Ronson (@jonronson) is very active on Twitter and had tweeted about the programme during its production. He was online during and after its showing and invited questions.
  22. 22. Tweeting Revelations• Monitored Twitter for three hours before, during and after broadcast.• Searched for key terms and saved copies of tweets.• Invited people tweeting to an exit survey (week 1) and to a live chat or forum (weeks 2- 8).
  23. 23. ‘How to Find God’• 829 unique tweets during the period• Documentary maker Jon Ronson (@jonronson) was online throughout answering questions.• 447 tweets were either retweets or questions to Ronson (or replies to questions)• Exit survey RTed by Ronson and some other users; 80 replies in first two hours after broadcast.
  24. 24. Tweeting Revelations• Monitored several keywords, including alpha, c4, channel4, Channel 4, Channel Four, Revelations, How to Find God, Jon Ronson and @jonronson. A similar process was used each week.• Tweets counted and categorised into types (e.g. am watching, opinions, links, @replies) and content (e.g. personal experience, statement of beliefs, commentary).
  25. 25. ‘How to Find God’• "Accidentally". @jonronson you crafty peice of work! #alpha• @jonronson Ed sums up why I dont take Communion when Mam drags me to Mass back home. Tongues is just weird altogether #alpha• @jonronson Sorry Im late to the Alpha twitter party, was it uncomfortable waiting to see if anyone spoke in tongues? BTW Excellent film.
  26. 26. ‘How to Find God’• About to sit down and enjoy @jonronsons alpha course film on channel 4!• Documentary about Alpha Course on C4. If only good things came out of religion (and mild indoctrination), maybe it wouldnt make me so angry.• Watching a programme on the Alpha Course. Always wanted to go on it to further my knowledge but Im scared of who it could make me become.
  27. 27. Different perspectives• lol @ muslim school. muslim bitches be crazy. its funny when thr R 2 of them talking to the camera with head scarfs i cant tell whos talking.• Both mums have good attitude towards their daughters and reason behind decision for Muslim school is interesting
  28. 28. Different perspectives• Why is it when religious commentators mention the atheist bus campaign, they never mention religious ads telling people theyll go to hell.• is watching religious "thinkers" spout meaningless bullshit on some daft programme on C4.• Is finding channel 4s Revelations: how do you know God exists? so helpful and wishes everyone could watch it.
  29. 29. Humour• Watching Channel 4 doc about spiritualists. One of thems reading a newspaper called Psychic News. Obviously its for not very good psychics.• going to watch a tele programme about talking to the dead . Bit like when my missus talks to me.• Watching a programe on exhumation - just put me off my banana!• QOTD from The Exhumer on Chan4 "I didnt know which grave she was in so I said Id do a little digging".
  30. 30. Personal experience• Tonights "Revelations" (on C4+1 in 10mins if you arent watching it now) is about the Spiritualist Church. My family was involved; bizarre.• Watched programme about religious divorces within the Orthodox Jewish community. Got progressively angrier and remembered why I walked away.
  31. 31. The ‘mundane’• why am i watching "Divorce Jewish Style" rofll./ gotta have a bath like, but thats effort mannn.• soo hungry, gonna watch jewish divorce programme.
  32. 32. Tweeting Revelations• Quantitative and qualitative data that shows: – Which programmes/topics were discussed most, and how they were discussed. – Something (not always much) about the types of people involved in discussion – Some level of comparison between whether tweets are individual statements or discussion/interaction – How the presence of Ronson on Twitter impacted the discussion of his programme
  33. 33. Tweeting Revelations• Quantitative and qualitative data that shows: – Audiences ‘relating’ to texts – Variety of readings/understandings – Media in an ‘everyday’ / mundane context – Use of humour or seriousness in relation to different topics
  34. 34. Tweeting with the audience• Twitter useful as a platform to explore issues of: – Fandom and fan activity (Beliebers) – Interactivity and participatory cultures – Convergence between media forms and texts – The relationship between the old industry, texts and audiences – Liveness – Nationhood, regionality, race, gender and other identity issues
  35. 35. Tweeting with the audience• Twitter useful as a platform to explore issues of: – Advertising / promotion – Market dominance – Relationship between social media / new media forms – Linguistics
  36. 36. Tweeting with the audience• Twitter offers a variety of ways we can explore and understand (some types of) media audiences.• We need to consider our own position as participant observers.• Ethics - AOIR guidelines?• Alongside other technologies and social media outlets, poses a range of questions for our thinking about media in the 21st century.
  37. 37. References• Cook, B (2011), ’40 people every Doctor Who fan should follow on Twitter’ Doctor Who Magazine, issue 430, pp.60-63.• Couldry, N (2003), Media Rituals: A Critical Approach, London: Routledge.• Longridge, C (2010), Big Brother preview, heat, 19-25 June 2010, p. 146.

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