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Challenges of tracking topical discussion networks online

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Challenges of tracking topical discussion networks online

  1. 1. Challenges of tracking topical discussion networks online ICA 2010 Singapore, 25 June 2010 Tim Highfield Queensland University of Technology Lars Kirchhoff Sociomantic Labs Thomas Nicolai Sociomantic Labs
  2. 2. Topical discussion networks the collection of sites or users commenting on a particular event or issue, and the links formed between them
  3. 3. Twitter - trending topics, keywords, retweets - hashtag – e.g. #ica2010, #spill - 'flag tag' for World Cup Marc Smith and NodeXL [connectedaction.net] Blogs - keywords, links - collectives, communities
  4. 4. Network of Twitter users mentioning or linking to 'This is Perth' video, September 2009. Connections based on retweets.
  5. 5. Project overview comparative study of Australian and French political blogging January-August 2009: post/article content and out-links collected from blogs and media sites French sites: 217 active (148 blogs) 22,989 blog posts collected
  6. 6. Initial steps network formed between blogroll links from the 217 sites represented in sample (semi-permanent network) topical networks formed around specific themes or events, located within time periods and through keywords comparison of network and link types
  7. 7. Blogroll network: French political blogs
  8. 8. Tracking topical networks Pilot study: French political blog posts on the inauguration of Barack Obama [20 January 2009] Posts from 16-25 January 2009 isolated, out-links from these posts used for study Post titles and links containing keywords used to locate topical network
  9. 9. All out-links, 16-25 January 2009
  10. 10. Obama-specific topical network
  11. 11. Challenges Link types: blogroll vs. in-text Lifespan of links: for how long can in-text citations be treated as 'current'? Arbitrary boundaries to topical periods Representation of findings, avoiding cumulative data Link semantics
  12. 12. Further directions Additional case studies Dynamics, day-by-day linking Refinement of method Supporting content analysis Applications for non-blog networks
  13. 13. Tim Highfield t.highfield@qut.edu.au timhighfield.net twitter: @timhighfield Lars Kirchhoff lars.kirchhoff@sociomantic.com sociomantic.com twitter: @sociomantic Thomas Nicolai thomas.nicolai@sociomantic.com

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