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Narrative Tellership in Social Media


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Narrative Tellership in Social Media

  1. 1. Narrative Interaction in discussion forums and twitter<br />Dr Ruth Page<br />University of Leicester<br /><br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Interaction enabled by social media and narrative tellership (Ochs and Capps 2001)<br />Why social media is an important resource<br />Framework for familiar, reconfigured and innovative forms of tellership<br />Two case studies: <br />Discussion forums<br />Twitter<br />
  3. 3. Interaction and Tellership<br />“the extent and kind of involvement of conversational partners in the actual recounting of a narrative.”<br />(Ochs and Capps 2001, 24)<br />Low - high involvement<br />Second Stories (Sacks 1995)<br />Interlaced Stories (Norrick 2005)<br />Shared Stories (Georgakopoulou 2007)<br />Different kinds of relational work<br />Face-enhancing solidarity<br />Face-threatening displays of contradiction/power<br />
  4. 4. Social media <br />Social media as a category of CMC<br />Emerged from late 1990s-2000s<br />Forums, blogs, wikis, social network sites, microblogging, podcasts<br />Collaborative, enables dialogue, episodic, displays connection between narrator + networked audience<br />New formats + scale of adoption<br />
  5. 5. Social media statistics<br />By 2007, over 70 million blogs were indexed in the blogosphere.<br />In 2010, Facebook’s membership exceeded 500 million active users.<br />In 2011, Twitter reported that over 140 million tweets were being posted each day.<br />More video content is uploaded to YouTube in a 60 day period than the 3 major American TV networks produced in 60 years.<br />
  6. 6. Stories and Social Media<br />A larger project of how narrative dimensions are being transformed by a range of social media contexts<br />Linearity, Tellability, Tellership, Embeddedness and Moral Stance<br />Discussion forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, podcasts, video-logs<br />But for today: Tellership in early and more recent forms<br />
  7. 7. Research Questions<br />How are stories co-constructed across turn-taking patterns in discussion forums and tweet streams?<br />What are the structural features of these co-constructed stories?<br />What interpersonal work is accomplished between narrator and audience in the process of narrative co-construction? <br />
  8. 8. How new is social media?<br />Familiar<br />Ebooks (Project Gutenberg)<br />Podcasts (Storycorps)<br />Reconfigured<br />Blogs (diary writing)<br />Facebook updates (emotes)<br />Emergent/Innovative<br />Wikis<br />Voice threading in YouTube<br />
  9. 9. Social Media tellership: an overview<br />Spectrum of possibilities available from single to multiple tellership<br />But single tellership is relatively rare, while co-construction is increasingly important<br />Reconfigure turn-taking patterns from conversational narrative<br />Report of events (teller) <br />Evaluative assessment / request for clarification (audience)<br />
  10. 10. Narrative report + evaluative assessment<br />When I was at Botany with my friend um we were walking down the alley kind of way <br />And um all these um these people there were about eight of them<br />They were all guys<br />And they were um brown<br />And um and uh they started calling us mean names<br />And they were like teenagers<br />And um me and my friend we were kind of scared<br />They were trying to block our way<br />A: Oh crumbs I can imagine, was this uh recently?<br />Uh yeah that was about a month ago<br />
  11. 11. Co-tellership reconfigured<br />Distribution of turns across textual units<br />Are the multiple turns in separate textual units (e.g. blog post + comment)?<br />Or compressed into a single textual unit (e.g. a wiki page)?<br />Control of the text<br />Held by one person (e.g. an administrator or blogger)<br />Or shared equally between participants (e.g. forum posters)<br />
  12. 12. Options for tellership in social media<br />
  13. 13. Example 1: Discussion forums<br />Introduction to Forums as a web genre<br />Dataset:<br />Turn-taking in a forum thread is asynchronous but usually sequential<br />Report of events <br />Evaluative assessment<br />That's a really well balanced workout....not sure why you weren't pleased. You're back is crazy strong...hell, you're strong! How does all this strength translate to your big 3? Looks to me like it should transfer well. Ever thought about PL'ing comps for fun? I sure would if I had your strength.....<br />
  14. 14. Second Stories (Sacks 1995) <br />1. Adjacency in a sequence of turns, where a Second Story follows a first.<br />2. Parallels in story content, specifically where the second speaker will adopt a similar role in the narrative to that taken by the first speaker.<br />3. Pragmatic inter-relationship between the stories, where the second is used as an analysis of the first.<br />
  15. 15. Example: ‘Guys Staring at the Gym’<br />Here's the thing, it feels like NONE of the women at my gym do ANYTHING but CARDIO!!!! The cardio machines are constantly full and I am the ONLY chick even going NEAR the weights... Which is fine for them I guess, However the guys just stare at me, talk amongst themselves, it drives me NUTS.<br />I went to the gym tonight, walked in and saw there wasn't ONE girl in the whole gym... I LEFT.... that's right, didn't even complete a workout. I feel like crap about this, but honestly, its really awkward. <br />
  16. 16. Response stories<br />Agree with above post^<br />It was a little awkward for me too when I first started. I'm only one of a few ladies who uses the free weights, usually it's just me.<br />I'm so focused on my workout I don't even notice the guys any more! Earphones and music and I'm in my own zone.<br />Eventually, when they see you're committed and working hard, they'll come to respect you! Hell, my form is better than most of them anyways!<br />Take a deep breathe and concentrate on what you're doing...not on whats happening around you. You've as much right to be there as them!Good luck.... <br />
  17. 17. Facework of Second Stories<br />Promotes solidarity between 1st and 2nd tellers <br />Supports the affective rights and sociality rights of the group (Spencer-Oatey 2002)<br />Constructs an idealised image of a cohesive social identity for the group<br />(Of course, not all Second Stories are face-enhancing, but that’s another conference paper...)<br />
  18. 18. Tellership in Twitter<br />Introduction to Twitter<br />Posts = tweets (limited to 140 characters)<br />Updates, addressed messages, retweets<br />
  19. 19. Retweets<br />When one member forwards a message from someone else to all their ‘followers’<br />Reconfigures email forwarding<br />Involves two participants<br />Original author<br />Person who forwards + adds new material<br />
  20. 20. Format of a Retweet<br />Multiple turns are compressed into the same textual unit<br />Attribution enabled by use of “RT + @username”<br />Turn-taking represented in reverse order<br />[Retweeter’s comment] RT [original message]<br />
  21. 21. An example<br />
  22. 22. Dataset<br />52,000 tweets taken from 60 publically available Twitter accounts in June 2010<br />30 ‘celebrity’ figures<br />30 ‘ordinary’ accounts<br />What kind of material is added to a modified retweet?<br />
  23. 23. Evaluation of events<br />Outraged. RT @Laurapalooza: Staff at the MEN aren't letting people into the arena with cans in their hair. So many sad Little Monsters :(<br />Lady gaga: Wed, 02 Jun 2010 <br />Amazing! RT @rowdeezy227: in 1992 the NY State Appeals Court ruled that women have the right to go topless, just like men<br />MrsKutcher: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 22:26<br />
  24. 24. Alignment between tellers<br />FANTASTIC!! RT @Graceahhh I'm a 16 yr old who watched yr show and got encouraged to eat better an all natural. Lost 10lbs so far. Thanks!<br />Jamie_Oliver: Thu, 06 May 2010 12:29<br />That is SO you! :-) RT @fifi_box: locked myself out, credit cards cancelled, flat tyre now my phone just died...someone please put the voodoo doll down!!<br />DanniiMinogue: Wed, 28 April 2010<br />
  25. 25. Carry out face-enhancing work<br />Nice work T! RT @taylorphinney: Bunch sprint today... Got 7th!!! Pretty excited about that.<br />Lance Armstrong: Tue, 09 Feb 2010 15:38<br /> <br />Agreed! RT @NickKristof: "I am for sale" for 20k; horrifying LAT story of educated Afghan girl peddled by her brothers.<br />Aplusk: Wed, 06 Jan 2010 20:21<br />
  26. 26. Celebrity practice (Marwick and boyd 2011)<br />Celebrity updates: 12% were modified retweets<br />‘Ordinary’ updates: 5% were modified retweets<br />Celebrity practice amplifies general Twitter practice<br />Projected solidarity?<br />
  27. 27. Synthetic Personalization (Fairclough 1989)<br />Modified retweets are broadcasts of conversational snippets disseminated to millions, not dyadic turns between peers<br />Simulates solidarity rather than creating it: A return to mass broadcasting, not participatory culture (Jenkins 2006)<br />A strategy of containment, which acknowledges the power of the Twitter audience but uses this to shore up the hierarchy of mainstream celebrity as elite persons<br />
  28. 28. Summary<br />Social media enables new practices of narrative interaction and tellership.<br />Some are familiar (like forum threads)<br />Some are reconfigured (like modified retweets)<br />Both appear to promote face-enhancing relational work<br />But surface level solidarity can mask underlying structures of power<br />