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#Eurovision: Twitter as a Technology of Fandom

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#Eurovision: Twitter as a Technology of Fandom

  1. 1. #Eurovision: Twitter as a Technology of Fandom Axel Bruns, Tim Highfield, and Stephen Harrington ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia a.bruns | t.highfield | s.harrington @ qut.edu.au @snurb_dot_info | @timhighfield | @_StephenH http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  2. 2. TWITTER, TELEVISION, AND FANDOM • Twitter and television: – Key role for Twitter in second-screen activities – Major peaks in Twitter activity around televised events – Important factor in driving audiences back to live viewing (http://yearinreview.twitter.com/en/tps.html)
  3. 3. TWITTER AND TELEVISION • Four intersecting dimensions: – Tweeting about TV • Twitter as a virtual loungeroom, especially for live feedback – Tweets as audience research • Empirical evidence of ‘audiencing’ as it happens – Tweeting for TV • Direct incorporation into the show, especially live – Twitter-enhanced ways of watching TV • All of the above, and more – towards transmedia experiences (Harrington, Highfield, & Bruns, 2012)
  4. 4. TELEVISION HASHTAGS (AND MORE) • Hashtags: – Key mechanism for connecting audiences – Ability to reach beyond one’s personal follower network • Hashtags and television: – Often pre-advertised by shows and broadcasters, or created ad hoc by audiences – Easy for audiences to follow during the live broadcast (but do they, or do they only participate without reading?) • But also: – Dedicated accounts related to a specific show (broadcasters and celebrities; fans, including spoof accounts)
  5. 5. LIVE IS BACK • Twitter and the live experience: – Twitter is more effective for live coverage than Facebook: • Short messages + public hashtags = more immediate reach – Live audience communion around specific shows: • Sports and other live events, but also first-run broadcasts – Antidote to time-shifted viewing practices (PVRs etc.) – Broadcasters back in control of viewers’ experience – Sustaining a declining advertising market
  6. 6. #EUROVISION • Eurovision Song Contest: – Pan-European event, held since 1956 – Operated by European Broadcasting Union – One song entry per country, live performance on the night – Past winners include ABBA, Celine Dion, and Lordi • 2012: – Host city: Baku, Azerbaijan – 42 countries participating; two semis + final event – Votes from each country are tallied and decide winner – Television audience: 100+ million world-wide – Live broadcast throughout Europe; delayed in Australia
  7. 7. #EUROVISION AND TV • Cult following: – Change in audience attitudes over past decade – From earnest contest to ironic detachment – Eurovision as festival of pseudonational kitsch – Strong gay audience at least since Dana International win – Half-serious commentary on intra-EU relationships – Broadcast in Australia by minority PSB SBS since 1986 • Terry Wogan: – Long-standing BBC commentator (until 2008) – Famous for snarky, acerbic commentary – Similar tone adopted by many social media users
  8. 8. #EUROVISION, #SBSEUROVISION 2012 • Dates: – Semi-final 1: 22 May 2012 (SBS: 25 May 2012) – Semi-final 2: 24 May 2012 (SBS: 26 May 2012) – Final: 26 May 2012 (SBS: 27 May 2012) • Datasets: – #Eurovision: 22-28 May 2012; 688k tweets; 271k users – #esc: 22-28 May 2012; 167k tweets; 48k users – ‘Eurovision’: 22-28 May 2012; 1.2m tweets; 509k users – #SBSEurovision: 25-28 May 2012; 112k tweets; 20k users – Most activity during live broadcasts themselves: #Eurovision: 85%; #esc: 88%; #SBSEurovision: 98%
  9. 9. DISTRIBUTION OF ENGAGEMENT Broadcast and date #eurovision #esc Broadcast and date #sbseurovision Semi-final 1 214,579 tw, 47,416 tweets, Semi-final 1 39,950 tweets, (22 May – 6 hours) 82,913 users 13,715 users (25 May) 8486 users Semi-final 2 157,745 tw, 54,584 tweets, Semi-final 2 25,500 tweets, (24 May – 6 hours) 50,771 users 15,215 users (26 May) 6175 users Final 214,837 tw, 45,458 tweets, Final 45,213 tweets, (26 May – 10 hours) 133,475 users 21,994 users (27 May) 10,093 users Entire week 688,255 tw, 167,680 tw, Wider period 112,836 tweets, (22-28 May) 271,826 users 48,546 users (25-28 May) 20,418 users % tweets during 85.3% 87.9% % tweets during 98.1%* (shorter broadcast periods broadcast periods period tracked)
  10. 10. 1000 1500 2000 2500 500 0 21:00 21:03 21:06 21:09 Montenegro 21:12 21:15 21:18 21:21 tweets per minute 21:24 Albania 21:27 21:30 21:33 21:36 21:39 21:42 21:45 21:48 21:51 21:54 21:57 22:00 Russia 22:03 22:06 22:09 22:12 22:15 #EUROVISION: SEMI-FINAL 1 22:18 Ireland 22:21 22:24 22:27 22:30 22:33 22:36 22:39 22:42 22:45 22:48 22:51 22:54 22:57 Russia and Ireland advance 23:00
  11. 11. (http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/year/participant-profile/?song=27713) RUSSIA
  12. 12. (http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/year/participant-profile/?song=27733) IRELAND
  13. 13. 1000 1200 200 400 600 800 0 20:40 20:43 20:46 20:49 20:52 20:55 20:58 Albania 21:01 tweets per minute 21:04 21:07 21:10 21:13 21:16 21:19 21:22 Switzerland 21:25 21:28 San Marino 21:31 21:34 21:37 Russia 21:40 21:43 21:46 21:49 21:52 Austria 21:55 21:58 22:01 Ireland 22:04 #SBSEUROVISION: SEMI-FINAL 1 22:07 22:10 22:13 22:16 22:19 22:22 22:25 22:28 22:31 22:34 Results / technical problems 22:37 22:40
  14. 14. 1000 1200 1400 200 400 600 800 0 21:00 21:04 21:08 21:12 21:16 21:20 21:24 Albania / Lithuania 21:28 21:32 21:36 Russia 21:40 tweets per minute 21:44 21:48 21:52 21:56 Estonia 22:00 22:04 22:08 22:12 22:16 Greece 22:20 22:24 22:28 22:32 Spain 22:36 #EUROVISION: FINAL 22:40 22:44 22:48 Ireland 22:52 22:56 Ukraine 23:00 23:04 Start of voting period 23:08 23:12 23:16 End of voting period 23:20 23:24 23:28 23:32 Results tally starts 23:36 23:40 23:44 23:48 23:52 23:56 0:00 0:04 0:08 Mr. Lordi: Finnish results 0:12 0:16 0:20 0:24 0:28
  15. 15. 1000 1200 200 400 600 800 0 19:30 19:35 19:40 19:45 19:50 19:55 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:15 Russia tweets per minute 20:20 20:25 France 20:30 Italy 20:35 20:40 20:45 20:50 20:55 Romania 21:00 21:05 21:10 Sweden / Turkey 21:15 21:20 21:25 Malta 21:30 21:35 Ireland 21:40 #SBSEUROVISION: FINAL 21:45 Ukraine 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:05 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:45 22:50 22:55 Mr. Lordi: Finnish results 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:15 23:20 23:25 23:30
  16. 16. MR. LORDI: FINNISH RESULTS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npQ8LpV2jG0)
  17. 17. (http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/year/participant-profile/?song=27943) THE WINNER: SWEDEN
  18. 18. #EUROVISION, 22-28 MAY 2012 Spain Turkey Greece Serbia Sweden Jedward Malta France Albania UK Human Rights Italy Ireland (indegree 10+)
  19. 19. #ESC, 22-28 MAY 2012 Sweden Sweden Serbia Sweden Italy Germany Austria (indegree 10+)
  20. 20. NOTABLE RESULTS • Hashtag divergence: – #Eurovision vs. #esc: Europe vs. Sweden, Germany, … – Different lead users for each hashtag community – Performers and broadcaster accounts prominent – Language differences, but also interconnections • #SBSEurovision: – Separate hashtag for delayed telecast – Effective at least for Australian east coast audiences (AEST): substantial ‘live’ audience in spite of pre-determined outcome – Limited engagement by central / western viewers, due to further timezone differences
  21. 21. NOTABLE RESULTS • Terry Wogan’s legacy continues: – Strong focus on (quasi-) comedy acts (e.g. Russia, Ireland) – Clear evidence of ironic viewer detachment (and ironic voting?) – Comedians prominent amongst most retweeted accounts: RT @Queen_UK: Ok people, get voting for Greece. If only for the look on the faces of European central bankers. #eurovision – But also reactions against national stereotyping: Do you enjoy casual racism? Join the Twitter conversation at #SBSeurovision
  22. 22. FURTHER OUTLOOK • Opportunities for broadcasters: – Strong engagement by audiences: • Possibility for more direct incorporation of tweets – Important to understand diverging motivations for participation: • E.g. general audiences vs. dedicated fans of specific acts • Open questions: – Who is represented here? • Dedicated fans may seek to game the system – Depth vs. breadth of engagement: • Few highly active users or many less active participants?  Potential distinction between ‘fandom’ and ‘audiencing’
  23. 23. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ @snurb_dot_info @jeanburgess @_StephenH @DrTNitins @timhighfield @cdtavijit

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