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Becoming	
  data-­‐point	
  
Transmediale 2015 – Capture All
Carolin Gerlitz - University of Amsterdam
(based on joint wor...
Which data matters?
•  Data capture critique focuses on
calculation (Callon & Muniesa 2005):
the recombination of data-poi...
Making life
commensurable
•  First order metrics (Power 2004) :
likes, tweets, shares, pins, comments.
•  Second order met...
Delegating
commensuration
•  Digital media come with specific grammars of
action (Agre 1994) which invite & capture user
a...
Empirical data-point
critique
•  How to use digital research
methods not to repurpose but
to re-embed data-points?
•  Ongo...
Decomposing hashtags
•  Hashtags can take on different
functions: shout-out, frame (Gerlitz &
Rieder 2013); can be used by...
iPhone
Tweetdeck
Instagram Tribez
Tweetadder
Web
Hashtags per
device
iPhone
Instagram
Tweetadder
De- & recomposing metrics #iraq
De- & recomposing metrics
#callmecam
De- & recomposing metrics
#gameinsight
De- & recomposing metrics
#love
The happening of
commensuration
•  Commensuration is not enacted by
the metric itself.
•  Distributed accomplishment: use
...
Conclusion: Lively metrics
•  We do not count hashtags, we
calculate (detach and order) them
(Callon & Muniesa 2005).
•  S...
Thank you!
c.gerlitz@uva.nl
rieder@uva.nl
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Becoming data point

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Presentation at Transmediale Berlin 2015.

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Becoming data point

  1. 1. Becoming  data-­‐point   Transmediale 2015 – Capture All Carolin Gerlitz - University of Amsterdam (based on joint work with Bernhard Rieder UvA)
  2. 2. Which data matters? •  Data capture critique focuses on calculation (Callon & Muniesa 2005): the recombination of data-points. •  Not individual data-points matter, but the relations that can be created between them (Mackenzie 2012). •  But what do the initial data-points make countable and comparable in the first place?
  3. 3. Making life commensurable •  First order metrics (Power 2004) : likes, tweets, shares, pins, comments. •  Second order metrics: scores, recommendations, rankings, sentiment, dashboards. •  Commensuration allows to transform non-comparable qualities into common metric (Espeland & Stevens 1998). •  Similarity of data is not a property.
  4. 4. Delegating commensuration •  Digital media come with specific grammars of action (Agre 1994) which invite & capture user action in a standardised form. •  Grammars naturalise distinct use practices into comparable data points. •  But countability ≠ equivalence.
  5. 5. Empirical data-point critique •  How to use digital research methods not to repurpose but to re-embed data-points? •  Ongoing project on 1% random Twitter sample with Bernhard Rieder (2013, 2014). •  Metrics are epistemic devices. •  What do metrics not show? What are they animated by? Links Hashtags The Data Set 1% Random 1% sample 14-20. June 2014 Mentions Retweets Replies 16.8 15.8 58.1 32.9 18.2 Tweets Users 31.707.162 14.313.384
  6. 6. Decomposing hashtags •  Hashtags can take on different functions: shout-out, frame (Gerlitz & Rieder 2013); can be used by different social formations (Bruns & Stieglitz 2013). •  Understudied metric: device/source. •  Device as possible intervening variable (Gerlitz & Rieder 2014)? •  1.iPhone, 2.Android 3.Web •  Specific devices cater to specific hashtags in 1% sample.
  7. 7. iPhone Tweetdeck Instagram Tribez Tweetadder Web
  8. 8. Hashtags per device iPhone Instagram Tweetadder
  9. 9. De- & recomposing metrics #iraq
  10. 10. De- & recomposing metrics #callmecam
  11. 11. De- & recomposing metrics #gameinsight
  12. 12. De- & recomposing metrics #love
  13. 13. The happening of commensuration •  Commensuration is not enacted by the metric itself. •  Distributed accomplishment: use practices, platform interoperability, hijacking, spam, humans, bots.
  14. 14. Conclusion: Lively metrics •  We do not count hashtags, we calculate (detach and order) them (Callon & Muniesa 2005). •  Social media first order metrics like hashtags or tweets are lively metrics that invite users to write themselves into them. •  Animated by distributed actors. •  Data-point critique: public debate about what metrics make similar and calculable.
  15. 15. Thank you! c.gerlitz@uva.nl rieder@uva.nl

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