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Ad Hoc Innovation by Users of Social Networks: The Case of Twitter<br />Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns<br />Queensland University...
Source: AllTwitter<br />
Twitter Fundamentals<br />Core features:<br />140-character messages<br />Flat network structure: either public or private...
Twitter as User-Led Innovation<br />Major user innovations on Twitter:<br />@replies – mentions of user by name<br />@snur...
(news.com.au)<br />
#qldfloods Tweets<br />
Third-Party Innovation<br />Helper Websites:<br />URL shorteners: bit.ly, j.mp, t.co; also nyti.ms, tgr.ph, …<br />Photo/a...
The Twitter Innovation Ecology<br />Twitter and its API as a user toolkit:<br />Tools and rules which define an innovation...
Emergence of a cottage industry of commercial and non-commercial developer groups and solutions providers</li></li></ul><l...
Twitter and Third-Party Innovation<br />Embedding of user-generated solutions:<br />Functions to send and track @replies a...
Misunderstood User Innovations<br />Flawed implementation of retweets:<br />User-created manual retweet format allows for ...
The Battle for the URL Shortener Market<br />Twitter’s referrals ploy:<br />All URLs now automatically shortened to t.co l...
Twitter able to provide link traffic analytics
Overall demonstration of Twitter’s influence on traffic
Undermines third-party URL shortener ecosystem
Removes potential for ‘vanity’ URL shorteners</li></li></ul><li>Increasing API Access Restrictions<br />Original model:<br...
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Ad Hoc Innovation by Users of Social Networks: The Case of Twitter

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Paper presented at the Challenge Social Innovation conference, Vienna, 19 Sep. 2011.

Ad Hoc Innovation by Users of Social Networks: The Case of Twitter

  1. Ad Hoc Innovation by Users of Social Networks: The Case of Twitter<br />Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns<br />Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia<br />a.bruns@qut.edu.au – http://snurb.info/ – @snurb_dot_info<br />
  2. Source: AllTwitter<br />
  3. Twitter Fundamentals<br />Core features:<br />140-character messages<br />Flat network structure: either public or private, following public accounts is non-reciprocal and needs no approval<br />Any user can be publicly addressed by name<br />Public Twitter messages visible even to non-users<br />Technological basis:<br />Relatively open and powerful API<br />Thriving ecosystem of third-party clients and applications<br />
  4. Twitter as User-Led Innovation<br />Major user innovations on Twitter:<br />@replies – mentions of user by name<br />@snurb_dot_infoThanks for posting this paper! It looks great.<br />Retweets – reposting of messages by other users:<br />OK. This is getting silly. RT @Telegraph: Welsh harpist ready for Royal Wedding http://tgr.ph/fXw62f <br />Hashtags – tagging messages as belonging to a topic:<br />#socialnetworksAd hoc innovation by users of social networks: The case of Twitter http://t.co/4XC690A<br />
  5. (news.com.au)<br />
  6. #qldfloods Tweets<br />
  7. Third-Party Innovation<br />Helper Websites:<br />URL shorteners: bit.ly, j.mp, t.co; also nyti.ms, tgr.ph, …<br />Photo/audio/videosharing: twitpic, yfrog, twaud.io, …<br />Client applications:<br />Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Yoono, …(also for multiplatform social media updates)<br />Capture, tracking, visualisation:<br />Twittermap, Ushahidi Maps<br />yourTwapperkeeper, Streamgraphs, …<br />
  8. The Twitter Innovation Ecology<br />Twitter and its API as a user toolkit:<br />Tools and rules which define an innovation space:<br />“Toolkits for users … can increase the volume of user innovation. They also can channel innovative effort into directions supported by toolkits.” (Eric von Hippel)<br /><ul><li>Collaborative, ad hoc, user-led development of solutions to address a wide and diverse range of needs
  9. Emergence of a cottage industry of commercial and non-commercial developer groups and solutions providers</li></li></ul><li>Social Innovation during the Floods<br />Self-organisation:<br />Rapid establishment of #qldfloodshashtag<br />Ad hoc development of community structures<br />Highlighting of leading accounts, vigilant against disruption<br />Suspension of petty squabbles (e.g. state politics)<br />Innovation and rapid prototyping:<br />Adjunct hashtags (#Mythbuster, #bakedrelief)<br />Sharing and gathering of online resources<br />Additional tools (Google Maps, Ushahidi Maps)<br />Emergency services rapidly adopting social media tools (despite lack of established strategies)<br />
  10. Twitter and Third-Party Innovation<br />Embedding of user-generated solutions:<br />Functions to send and track @replies and retweets<br />Functions to track hashtag feeds, trending topics lists<br />Functions to support embedded links and images<br /> “Need-intensive tasks involved in developing a particular type of product or service are assigned to users, along with the tools needed to carry those tasks out. At the same time, solution-intensive tasks are assigned to manufacturers.” (Eric von Hippel)<br />
  11. Misunderstood User Innovations<br />Flawed implementation of retweets:<br />User-created manual retweet format allows for comments:<br />RT @Telegraph: Welsh harpist ready for Royal Wedding http://tgr.ph/fXw62f<br />OK. This is getting silly. RT @Telegraph: Welsh harpist ready for Royal Wedding http://tgr.ph/fXw62f<br />Twitter ‘button’ retweets are verbatim only:<br />
  12. The Battle for the URL Shortener Market<br />Twitter’s referrals ploy:<br />All URLs now automatically shortened to t.co links(even bit.ly, youtu.be, nyti.ms…)<br /><ul><li>All link referrals now pass through Twitter’s URL look-up
  13. Twitter able to provide link traffic analytics
  14. Overall demonstration of Twitter’s influence on traffic
  15. Undermines third-party URL shortener ecosystem
  16. Removes potential for ‘vanity’ URL shorteners</li></li></ul><li>Increasing API Access Restrictions<br />Original model:<br />Moderate API access for all developers and researchers<br />‘Whitelisting’ of accounts for greater access on request<br />New model:<br />Moderate developer access remains<br />Higher-volume access provided via official reseller Gnip<br />Volume pricing: US$1 per 10,000 tweets delivered<br />Unaffordable for non-commercial researchers and independent developers?<br />
  17. Twitter Ecosystem under Threat?<br />Corporate priorities:<br />Twitter forced to generate revenue and attract funding<br />Increasing focus on Twitter stars and celebrity culture<br />Twitter infrastructure changes geared towards promoting message dissemination and tracking, not conversation<br />User priorities:<br />Self-organised communication and information sharing<br />Effective interpersonal and group communication<br />Straightforward and user-friendly link and content sharing<br />Unencumbered third-party tools development<br />
  18. Image by Maproom Systems<br />
  19. Axel Bruns<br />Associate Professor<br />ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation<br />Creative Industries Faculty<br />Queensland University of Technology<br />Brisbane, Australia<br />Email: a.bruns@qut.edu.au<br />Twitter: @snurb_dot_info<br />Blog: http://snurb.info/<br />Produsage: http://produsage.org/<br />LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/snurb<br />More Information<br />Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond:From Production to Produsage(Peter Lang, 2008)<br />

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