Seven days that shook the blogosphere - Mobilizing protest in weblog communications
Seven days that shook the
blogosphere – Mobilizing protest in weblog communications Benedikt Köhler http://blog.metaroll.de 5. Oktober 2007
Introduction Question: How did the
mobilization of protest in the „Free Burma!“-blog action (http://free-burma.org) proceed? Data: Links in blog comments related to the topic „Burma“ between September 25 and October 2 2007 Method: Snowball sampling until sample was saturated (no more new links). German Blog „Basic Thinking“ as seed. Social network analysis (SNA) and visualization with Pajek and UCINET Numbers: 462 Blogs (networked nodes), 638 directed links between blogs (arcs)
Before the storm (September 25,
2007) The size of nodes is equivalent to their inﬂuence over the whole period. Gray circle in the middle: Basic Thinking (our seed blog).
The ﬁrst links (September 25,
2007) Isolated links among the German language blogs on the right. Purple node on the left: central actor SDRENG (IT). Dark gray: Lupe (CH).
Centers of gravity (September 27,
2007) Centers of mobilization emerge in the German language blogosphere. Isolated dyads and triads, e.g. at the top the Le Monde blogs (FR).
The leap (September 28, 2007)
Emanating from the central blogs, a number of sub-centers emerge. They are able to mobilize further blogs. A bridge forms between German and Italian blogs (Dario Salvelli).
Comment activity over time The
„leap“ is clearly visible: on September 28, 190 new links suddenly emerge between weblogs (roughly 30% of all links) Marked decline afterwards
Conclusions (tentative) Secret of rapid
mobilization could be the sparse interlinkage of the network (average 1.5 links/node) At the same time network is manifestly centralized → rapid dissemination of information in star shape German language blogosphere integrates three countries, but only weak ties to French and Italian weblogs. Different patterns of weblog communication (highly integrated Splinder community in Italy) Will those new links endure? Could they be reactivated when required?
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