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Beyond the stars: Interpreting discourse cohesion in Twitter as an indicator of community

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Beyond the stars: Interpreting discourse cohesion in Twitter as an indicator of community

  1. 1. Beyond the stars: Interpreting discourse cohesion in Twitter as an indicator of community Cornelius Puschmann, University of Düsseldorf / Institute for Internet and Society DIATA 11 Workshop 15. September 2011, Düsseldorf Sonntag, 25. September 11
  2. 2. This talk: an idea, a suggestion, bits of data #1 How are conversations conducted on Twitter and what issues emerge with establishing coherence? #2 How and why is @-messaging used among members of a specific community? #3 How can conversations (rather than friends/ followers) be used to measure social cohesion? Sonntag, 25. September 11
  3. 3. User timeline single timeline Sonntag, 25. September 11
  4. 4. „all friends“ view aggregation of the timelines of other users Sonntag, 25. September 11
  5. 5. Time and the „all friends“ view Lovely weather this morning! Sonntag, 25. September 11
  6. 6. Time and the „all friends“ view Lovely weather this morning! @cornelius Same over here! Sonntag, 25. September 11
  7. 7. Time and the „all friends“ view Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? @cornelius Same over here! Sonntag, 25. September 11
  8. 8. Time and the „all friends“ view Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? @cornelius Same over here! Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com Sonntag, 25. September 11
  9. 9. Time and the „all friends“ view Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? @cornelius Same over here! Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com RT @parker Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com Sonntag, 25. September 11
  10. 10. Time and the „all friends“ view Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? @cornelius Same over here! Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com RT @parker Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com Breaking news about something: http://something.com (via @zeigor, @parker) Sonntag, 25. September 11
  11. 11. Time and the „all friends“ view Point in time #1 Point in time #2 Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? @cornelius Same over here! Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com RT @parker Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com Breaking news about something: http://something.com (via @zeigor, @parker) Sonntag, 25. September 11
  12. 12. Time and the „all friends“ view Point in time #1 Point in time #2 Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? conversation @cornelius Same over here! Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com RT @parker Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com Breaking news about something: http://something.com (via @zeigor, @parker) Sonntag, 25. September 11
  13. 13. Time and the „all friends“ view Point in time #1 Point in time #2 Lovely weather this morning! @adeline nice! how have you been lately? conversation @cornelius Same over here! Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com RT @parker Okay, this is interesting: http://something.com Breaking news about something: http://something.com (via @zeigor, @parker) Twitter doesn‘t lend itself well to conversation. Sonntag, 25. September 11
  14. 14. Premise Twitter conversation individual tweet Sonntag, 25. September 11
  15. 15. Premise Twitter conversation individual tweet Thesis: Examining longer stretches of discourse rather than individual tweets is methodologically superior in some research contexts. Sonntag, 25. September 11
  16. 16. Celebrities vs. casual Twitter users In [Twitter‘s] follower-following topology analysis we have found a non-power-law follower distribution, a short effective diameter, and low reciprocity, which all mark a deviation from known characteristics of human social networks. - Kwak, Lee, Park & Moon, 2010 Sonntag, 25. September 11
  17. 17. Celebrities vs. casual Twitter users [C]elebrity practice reinforces unequal power differentials. While Twitter users who do not use the site instrumentally may think of their followers as friends or family, celebrity practice necessitates viewing followers as fans. - Marwick and boyd, 2011 Sonntag, 25. September 11
  18. 18. Celebrities vs. casual Twitter users celebrities (RL and SoMe) casual users many followers fewer followers # friends < # followers # friends = # followers small % of followers are larger % of followers are conversation partners conversation partners people who communicate people who don‘t professionally (e.g. artists) communicate professionally broadcasting, performance conversation Sonntag, 25. September 11
  19. 19. The data 1 I conducted a pilot study of 10 “casual“ German and Austrian Twitter users in Spring 2011. 2 Central issues of the study were privacy and self-disclosure. My approach combined email 3 interviews with diachronic content analysis. 4 I followed this up with a study of 25 video game enthusiasts on Twitter. Sonntag, 25. September 11
  20. 20. Types of tweets in the pilot study 33% n = 4052 54% 12% 2% @-messages Retweets Tweets containing URLs other Tweets Sonntag, 25. September 11
  21. 21. Sonntag, 25. September 11
  22. 22. Sonntag, 25. September 11
  23. 23. Approach of the gamer study • studied a community of German-speaking gamers • tracked 24 users for a period of 6 weeks • collected ~50k tweets • 38k of these were @-messages • recruited subjects through an informer Sonntag, 25. September 11
  24. 24. Time S Text 14:15:40 Gary Diese User-Review zu From Dust auf Metacritic hat mich restlos überzeugt! http://... 14:16:51 Bob @Gary Habe Metacritic all die Jahre unterschätzt :P @Gary @Steve Wollt ihr auf dem Pressetag der GC jetzt eigentlich irgendwas 14:18:30 Chris kreatives machen? @Steve @Gary Könnte mir vielleicht ne kleine HD-Cam ausleihen, aber keine Ahnung 14:19:56 Chris wieviel Speicher die hat und ob gute Qualität @Bob Ich bin einfach vom Stil des Schreibers überrascht. Wer so "sophisticated" 14:24:57 Gary schreiben kann, muss Ahnung haben! @Chris Ähhh... der @Steve klärt das schon ab. Ich fänd's cool, aber ich bin Mittwoch 14:25:50 Gary schon ziemlich ausgelastet. 14:26:47 Chris @Gary wieso was musst du denn machen? @Chris Termine, mein Freund! Alles voller Termine. Ich muss auch vor den Anderen 14:27:20 Gary mein Mittagessen zu mir nehmen ;) 14:27:26 Bob @Gary True Art is Incomprehensible! True Art is Offensive! ^^ Sonntag, 25. September 11
  25. 25. Friends/Followers for user Gary Sonntag, 25. September 11
  26. 26. Conversation network for user Gary Sonntag, 25. September 11
  27. 27. Observations Usage of Twitter differs so significantly from one user group 1 to another that the claim of it being a channel for broadcasting can be contested. Users conduct surprisingly long and structured 2 conversations with recurring communicative partners. A surprisingly large number of these 3 partners are neither friends or followers of the users. Sonntag, 25. September 11
  28. 28. Thank You for your attention! Sonntag, 25. September 11

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