Rethinking User-Generated Content
Conceptualization and Application of the Concept of Media-Stimulated
Interpersonal Commu...
1 | Introduction: People talk about the news offline…

Conversations about mass-media content
 Interpersonal conversation...
1 | Introduction: People talk about the news offline…

Different theoretical approaches to such conversations






N...
1 | … and online

Sources: Dnevnik.si; Twitter.com; reddit.com; Manca Kosir
February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universi...
1 | … and online

People talk about the news online
 SNS: Facebook
» One third of German SNS users discusses content from...
2 | The concept of media-stimulated interpersonal communication



Offline: „interpersonal communication about topics in...
Public Online MSIC

February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 7
2 | The concept of media-stimulated interpersonal communication

SNS
Mass-media content on news
websites
Integrated
servic...
2 | The concept of media-stimulated interpersonal communication

Classification of Public Online MSIC: Different Topics an...
3 | User Comments as public MSIC
 Popularity: User comments as the most popular category of public MSIC (Singer et al.,
2...
3 | User Comments as public MSIC

… they are interactive

… they do not meet
journalistic standards

… their publication
c...
4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC

What are the similarities and differences between traditional
conversations ...
4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC

 Different kinds of communication have already compared with regards to the...
4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC

Processes
Communication stage
Publicity
Deliberateness
Persistence
Asynchron...
4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC

Audiences

Offline MSIC

User comments

Addressees

Attendees

Journalists, ...
4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC
Functions

Offline MSIC
•

Cognitive-based

Affective-based

Bridging mass-me...
5 | Summary and Discussion

 “News audiences have transformed but the people remain the same.”
 The processes and audien...
Thank you for your interest!
Marc Ziegele
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Department of Communication
ziegele@uni-m...
References (I)
 Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., Xenos, M. A., & Ladwig, P. (2013). The "Nasty Effect:" O...
References (II)
 Reardon, K. K., & Rogers, E. M. (1988). Interpersonal versus Mass Media Communication.: A false Dichotom...
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Rethinking User-Generated Content. Conceptualization and Application of the Concept of Media-Stimulated Interpersonal Communication

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Presentation at the COST Action Conference "The Future of Audience Research" in Ljubljana, February 5-7, 2014

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Rethinking User-Generated Content. Conceptualization and Application of the Concept of Media-Stimulated Interpersonal Communication

  1. 1. Rethinking User-Generated Content Conceptualization and Application of the Concept of Media-Stimulated Interpersonal Communication Presentation at the COST Action Conference, Ljubljana February 5-7, 2014 February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 1
  2. 2. 1 | Introduction: People talk about the news offline… Conversations about mass-media content  Interpersonal conversations about mass-media content are a permanent part of peoples’ everyday social interactions (McQuail, 2008; Katz, 1964) » » 85% of the participants of a quantitative survey had talked about mass-media content in the week before the interview (Gehrau & Goertz, 2010) In a participatory observation, 75% of the conversations analyzed referred to mass-media content (Kepplinger & Martin, 1986)  Many of these conversations refer to topical public issues in the news media February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 2
  3. 3. 1 | Introduction: People talk about the news offline… Different theoretical approaches to such conversations      News diffusion research: Consequences of mass-media exposure Agenda setting: Intervening variable Deliberation research: Process of collective decision making Uses & Gratifications: Motivation to consume mass-media content Cultural studies: Interactive negotiation or appropriation February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 3 e.g., Sommer, 2010
  4. 4. 1 | … and online Sources: Dnevnik.si; Twitter.com; reddit.com; Manca Kosir February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 4
  5. 5. 1 | … and online People talk about the news online  SNS: Facebook » One third of German SNS users discusses content from newspapers at least once a month (Busemann 2013) » Facebook‘s „talking about this“ News site Spiegel Online Bild Tagesschau Subscribers 549.137 1.296.388 219.625 „Talking about this“ 57.440 204.804 17.509 Interaction rate 10.5% 15.8% 7.9%  Microblogging: Twitter » A considerable amount of tweets refers to news articles (Maireder, 2011; Kwak et al., 2010; Java et al., 2007)  Social News Aggregators: Digg » Between one third and half of the postings analyzed refer to content from news websites (Rölver, 2008; Thelwall, 2008; Pohorecki, 2012) February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 5
  6. 6. 2 | The concept of media-stimulated interpersonal communication   Offline: „interpersonal communication about topics in the news“, „political conversation“, „conversations about the news“ (e.g., Lazarsfeld et al., 1965; de Boer & Velthuijsen; Kim et al., 1999) Online: „user-generated content“, „participatory journalism“, „audience interactivity“ (Ruiz et al., 2011; Singer et al., 2011; Yoo, 2011)  Shared social practice behind the different spheres: Talking about content from the news or mass-media, respectively Media-Stimulated Interpersonal Communication (MSIC)   „media-stimulated“: Any type of mass-media content can serve as the inspiration and the primary subject of the communication “interpersonal”: Emphasizes their social and potentially interactive character  Any communication can be conceptualized as MSIC as long as it was initiated by a particular mass-media stimulus and as long as this mass-media stimulus can be identified in the ongoing conversation or discussion February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 6
  7. 7. Public Online MSIC February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 7
  8. 8. 2 | The concept of media-stimulated interpersonal communication SNS Mass-media content on news websites Integrated services Immediate discussion Uncontrolled secondary diffusion Controlled secondary distribution Integrated public spheres Partially integrated public spheres Fragmented public spheres Classification of Public Online MSIC: Different Spheres Personal Publishing Social news aggregators Forums and chats Institutionalized platform pages SNS Video platforms Institutionalized Personal Publishing Blogs Microblogging February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 8
  9. 9. 2 | The concept of media-stimulated interpersonal communication Classification of Public Online MSIC: Different Topics and Functions Focus: Topics of public interest Microblogging Blogs February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität MainzFocus: Topics of& Oliver Quiring | 9 | Marc Ziegele personal interest Primary function of MSIC: Diffusion Primary function of MSIC: Discussion User comments on news websites
  10. 10. 3 | User Comments as public MSIC  Popularity: User comments as the most popular category of public MSIC (Singer et al., 2011; Weber, 2013)  Change: By commenting on news items, users have obtained a more visible role in the “interpretation stage” of the journalistic news production (Domingo, 2008; Reich, 2011; Thurman, 2008)  Effects: User comments can influence how a large proportion of a news website’s audience uses mass-media content, for example with regards to individual opinion formation (Anderson et al., 2013; Lee & Jang, 2010; Walther et al. , 2010)  Participation: Opinion expression and interactivity in user comments could contribute to shaping a democratically valuable discourse on topics of public interest (Boczkowski & Mitchelstein, 2012; Freelon, 2010; Ruiz et al., 2010) February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 10
  11. 11. 3 | User Comments as public MSIC … they are interactive … they do not meet journalistic standards … their publication criteria are inclusive … they are visibly media-stimulated Reich, 2011; Ruiz et al., 2011; Singer, 2009; Ziegele & Quiring, 2013 February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 11
  12. 12. 4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC What are the similarities and differences between traditional conversations about the news and online comments? February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 12
  13. 13. 4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC  Different kinds of communication have already compared with regards to their processes, audiences, and structures » Mass communication and interpersonal communication (e.g., Chaffee & Mutz, 1988; Reardon & Rogers, 1988) » Different manifestations of online communication (e.g., Walther, 1996; Neuberger, 2009)  The following analysis is based on an extensive literature review. For illustration purposes, citations from a qualitative study with 25 users who comment on the news are used.  Consider that such classifications can only consider “regular cases” February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 13
  14. 14. 4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC Processes Communication stage Publicity Deliberateness Persistence Asynchronity Realized interactivity Offline MSIC Before, during, and after media consumption Private Rather low Low Low Rather high When I discuss the news offline, I can reach five or ten people, maybe. But online, I’m addressing a far bigger audience (…). (m, 24, reg.) User comments After media consumption Integrated Rather low High Rather high Low to average Many participants just want to deliver their opinion but they just do not want to get into serious discussions. (m, 47, reg.) February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 14
  15. 15. 4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC Audiences Offline MSIC User comments Addressees Attendees Journalists, other users, “the public” Anonymity Low Moderate Communities of common bonds Communities of common interests Rather homogenous Rather heterogeneous Kind of interpersonal community Audience diversity How often do you ask your unfamiliar neighbor if he wants to discuss a political topic? Rarely! Instead, this happens on the internet, thanks to anonymity (m, 22, reg.) Online, I am confronted with opinions that I am not familiar with. And that’s different when I discuss with my friends because we already know the positions and arguments of each other (m, 26, occ.) February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 15
  16. 16. 4 | Comparing User Comments and offline MSIC Functions Offline MSIC • Cognitive-based Affective-based Bridging mass-media events with personal experiences • Knowledge-building/-testing • Emotional and playful appropriation of media content User comments • Bridging mass-media events with personal experiences • Knowledge-building/-testing • Public articulation, critic and control Emotional and playful appropriation of media content • • Social- and identity-based Collectivization of the group • • • Search for reciprocal affirmation • One third of the participants really elaborates on the topic, another third can join the conversation more or less successfully, and the last third tries to disturb the discussion. (m, 47, reg.) Catharsis Focus on informational exchange Search for disagreement Most importantly, I feel better after I commented because then I have “vomited” my opinion. (m, 25, occ.) February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 16
  17. 17. 5 | Summary and Discussion  “News audiences have transformed but the people remain the same.”  The processes and audiences of user comments have approached the characteristics of mass communication. But the content of the communication and specific functions resemble traditional conversations about the news.  Considering research about ‚traditional‘ MSIC in online research thus provides a better understanding of why people engage with news items online. February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 17
  18. 18. Thank you for your interest! Marc Ziegele Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz Department of Communication ziegele@uni-mainz.de February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 18
  19. 19. References (I)  Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., Xenos, M. A., & Ladwig, P. (2013). The "Nasty Effect:" Online Incivility and Risk Perceptions of Emerging Technologies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, online first. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12009.  Boczkowski, P. J., & Mitchelstein, E. (2012). How Users Take Advantage of Different Forms of Interactivity on Online News Sites: Clicking, EMailing, and Commenting. Human Communication Research, 38, 1–22.  Boer, C. de, & Velthuijsen, A. S. (2001). Participation in conversations about the news. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 13(2), 140– 158.  Busemann, K., Fisch, M., & Frees, B. (2012). Dabei sein ist alles - zur Nutzung privater Communitys. Media Perspektiven, (5), 258.  Chaffee, S. H., & Mutz, D. C. (1988). Comparing mediated and interpersonal communication data. In R. P. Hawkins, Wiemann J. M., & Pingree S. (Eds.), Sage annual reviews of communication research: Vol. 16. Advancing communication science. Merging mass and interpersonal processes (pp. 19–43). Newbury Park: Sage.  Freelon, D. G. (2010). Analyzing online political discussion using three models of democratic communication. new media and society, 12(7), 1172– 1190. Retrieved from http://nms.sagepub.com/content/12/7/1172.full.pdf+html  Gehrau, V., & Goertz, L. (2010). Gespräche über Medien unter veränderten medialen Bedingungen. Publizistik, 55(2), 153–172.  Java, A., Song, X., Finin, T., & Tseng, B. (2007). Why we twitter: understanding microblogging usage and communities. In ACM (Ed.), Proceedings of the 9th WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD 2007 workshop on Web mining and social network analysis (pp. 56–65). New York: ACM.  Katz, E., & Lazarsfeld, P. F. (1964). Personal influence: The part played by people in the flow of mass communication. New York: Free Press.  Kepplinger, H. M., & Martin, V. (1986). Die Funktion der Massenmedien in der Alltagskommunikation. Publizistik, 31, 118–128.  Kim, J., Wyatt, R. O., & Katz, E. (1999). News, talk, opinion, participation: The part played by conversation in deliberative democracy. Political Communication, 16, 361–385.  Kwak, H., Lee, C., Park, H., & Moon, S. (2010). What is Twitter, a Social Network or a News Media? In ACM (Ed.), Proceedings of the Nineteenth International WWW conference (WWW2010), April 26-30, Raleigh, NC (pp. 591–600). ACM.  Lazarsfeld, P. F., Berelson, B., & Gaudet, H. (1965). The people's choice: How the voter makes up his mind in a presidential campaign. (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.  Lee, E.-J., & Jang, Y. J. (2010). What Do Others' Reactions to News on Internet Portal Sites Tell Us? Effects of Presentation Format and Readers' Need for Cognition on Reality Perception. Communication Research, 37, 825–846.  Maireder, A. (2011). Links auf Twitter. Wie verweisen deutschsprachige Tweets auf Medieninhalte?  McQuail, D. (2008). McQuail's mass communication theory (5. ed.). London: Sage.  Neuberger, C. (2009). Internet, Journalismus und Öffentlichkeit. Analyse des Medienumbruchs. In C. Neuberger (Ed.), Journalismus im Internet. Profession - Partizipation - Technisierung (pp. 19–105). Wiesbaden: VS.  Pohorecki, P., Sienkiewicz, J., Mitrovic, M., Paltoglou, G., & Holyst, J. A. (2012). Statistical Analysis of Emotions and Opinions at Digg Website: arXiv:1201.5484. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1201.5484v2 February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 19
  20. 20. References (II)  Reardon, K. K., & Rogers, E. M. (1988). Interpersonal versus Mass Media Communication.: A false Dichotomy. Human Communication Research, 15(2), 284–303.  Reich, Z. (2011). User Comments: The transformation of participatory space. In J. B. Singer, A. Hermida, D. Domingo, A. Heinonen, S. Paulussen, T. Quandt, … (Eds.), Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers (pp. 96–117). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.  Ruiz, C., Domingo, D., Micó, J. L., Díaz-Noci, J., Meso, K., & Masip, P. (2011). Public Sphere 2.0? The Democratic Qualities of Citizen Debates in Online Newspapers. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 22, 463–487.  Singer, J. B. (2009). Separate Spaces: Discourse About the 2007 Scottish Elections on a National Newspaper Web Site. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 14, 477–496.  Singer, J. B., Hermida, A., Domingo, D., Heinonen, A., Paulussen, S., Quandt, T., …Vujnovic, M. (Eds.). (2011). Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.  Sommer, D. (2010). Nachrichten im Gespräch: Wesen und Wirkung von Anschlusskommunikation über Fernsehnachrichten. Reihe Rezeptionsforschung: Vol. 20. Baden-Baden: Nomos.  Thelwall, M. (2008). No place for news in social network web sites? Online Information Review, 32(6), 726–744.  Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-Mediated Communication: Impersonal, Interpersonal, and Hyperpersonal Communication. Communication Research, 23, 3–43.  Walther, J. B., DeAndrea, D., Kim, J., & Anthony, J. C. (2010). The Influence of Online Comments on Perceptions of Antimarijuana Public Service Announcements on YouTube. Human Communication Research, 36(4), 469–492.  Weber, P. (2013). Discussions in the comments section: Factors influencing participation and interactivity in online newspapers' reader comments. New Media & Society, online first.  Yoo, C. Y. (2011). Modeling Audience Interactivity as the Gratification-Seeking Process in Online Newspapers. Communication Theory, 21, 67–89.  Ziegele, M., & Quiring, O. (2013). Conceptualizing Online Discussion Value. A Multidimensional Framework for Analyzing User Comments on MassMedia Websites. In E. L. Cohen (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 37 (pp. 125–153). New York: Routledge. February 4, 2014 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | Marc Ziegele & Oliver Quiring | 20

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