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RELIGION, SOCIAL MEDIA AND
THE WEB ARCHIVE
Peter Webster
Webster Research and Consulting
@pj_webster / @WebsterRandC
webst...
Internet/Web Archive Studies
Internet Studies Web Archive Studies
Present-focussed Past-focussed
Data to order Dealing wit...
The web-archived Facebook
http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/43188236/
The web-archived Facebook
http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20100614102751/http://www.facebo
ok.com/nickclegg
The web-archived Twitter
http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20100612011716/http://twitter.com/
nick_clegg/
Archiving: a common issue
Web 1.0 Social networks
Technical Databases, Javascript,
streaming media
… + password protection...
Rates of decay of shared
content
Using event-centric social media data
2009-12:
• after 12 months: 11% lost, 20% archived
...
The web its own archive?
Open UK Web Archive 2004-13 comparison.
@anjacks0n http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/webarchive...
Common requirements
• national/international archiving
frameworks
• better partnerships between scholars &
archivists
• in...
But also...
To reintegrate study of social networks
with that of the web, to understand:
• shared content outside social n...
Religious organisations &
social media: issues
• 'official' participation in social networks
• rates of adoption
• denomin...
JISC UK Web Domain Dataset
(1996-2013)
• copy of Internet Archive holdings for .uk
• bought by JISC, held by British Libra...
Two pilot enquiries, using UK
Host Link Graph (1996-2010)
Extracted subset of data: inbound links to a list of
social medi...
Pilot Study 1. Rates of adoption:
evangelical churches
• Sample of 350 congregations linking to
Evangelical Alliance
• Hyp...
Rates of adoption: evangelical
churches
• 48% engaged with at least one social
media channel
• Many blogs:
bishopmike.word...
Pilot Study 2: Rates of
adoption: creationism in UK
Creationism:
• anti-evolutionary account of human origins
• modern
• a...
Creationism in UK Host Link
Graph
Based on analysis of in-bound links to a
sample of hosts:
• noted by other creationists,...
A creationist visitor attraction
Creationist organisations &
social media: first recorded
links
One unusual early adopter, Noah's Ark Zoo
Farm
2006: flickr...
But most creationist sites
much less engaged
Links to:
Many bloggers (again)
YouTube (a few)
2008: biblicalcreation.org.uk...
Next steps
• larger samples, both of social media
channels and creationist/evangelical hosts
• qualitative study of what t...
QUESTIONS ?
Peter Webster
peter@websterresearchconsulting.com
@pj_webster / @WebsterRandC
peterwebster.me
websterresearchc...
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Religion, social media and the web archive: Peter Webster at International Conference on Web and Social Media, Oxford 2015

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Slides for a keynote speech at a workshop on religion and social media at ICSWM in Oxford, 26 May.

I argued that the study of the live web has been too far separate from the study of the archived web, and there is much to gain from reuniting them. I also presented preliminary findings from two case studies into the rates of social media adoption by Christian organisations in the UK.

More details and resources at https://sites.google.com/site/religiononsocialmedia/

Published in: Internet
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Religion, social media and the web archive: Peter Webster at International Conference on Web and Social Media, Oxford 2015

  1. 1. RELIGION, SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE WEB ARCHIVE Peter Webster Webster Research and Consulting @pj_webster / @WebsterRandC websterresearchconsulting.com
  2. 2. Internet/Web Archive Studies Internet Studies Web Archive Studies Present-focussed Past-focussed Data to order Dealing with traces Data as data Data as artefact Social-scientific ? Humanistic?
  3. 3. The web-archived Facebook http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/43188236/
  4. 4. The web-archived Facebook http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20100614102751/http://www.facebo ok.com/nickclegg
  5. 5. The web-archived Twitter http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20100612011716/http://twitter.com/ nick_clegg/
  6. 6. Archiving: a common issue Web 1.0 Social networks Technical Databases, Javascript, streaming media … + password protection, social relationships Legal Copyright, defamation, data protection … + international context with unclear ownership Access Often permission based At discretion of provider Organisational Many national web archives Not (yet) any open archives of social network content
  7. 7. Rates of decay of shared content Using event-centric social media data 2009-12: • after 12 months: 11% lost, 20% archived • after 30 months: 27% lost, 41% archived • or, loss of c 0.02% per day after 12 months [Aldeen & Nelson (2012), http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.3026 ]
  8. 8. The web its own archive? Open UK Web Archive 2004-13 comparison. @anjacks0n http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/webarchive/2014/10/what-is-still-on- the-web-after-10-years-of-archiving-.html
  9. 9. Common requirements • national/international archiving frameworks • better partnerships between scholars & archivists • integration of archive provision for both dataset and artefact
  10. 10. But also... To reintegrate study of social networks with that of the web, to understand: • shared content outside social networks • representation of social networks elsewhere • link structures between them
  11. 11. Religious organisations & social media: issues • 'official' participation in social networks • rates of adoption • denominational patterns of adoption • patterns of integration in traditional web estate
  12. 12. JISC UK Web Domain Dataset (1996-2013) • copy of Internet Archive holdings for .uk • bought by JISC, held by British Library • 60TB of data • no direct access to content • prototype search at webarchive.org.uk/shine • derived datasets in public domain (including UK Host Link Graph) at data.webarchive.org.uk
  13. 13. Two pilot enquiries, using UK Host Link Graph (1996-2010) Extracted subset of data: inbound links to a list of social media domains (including major blog platforms.), eg. 2008 | newsimg.bbc.co.uk | youtube.com | 45 2008 | archbishopofyork.org.uk | flickr.com | 1 2002 | secularism.org.uk | geocities.com | 1
  14. 14. Pilot Study 1. Rates of adoption: evangelical churches • Sample of 350 congregations linking to Evangelical Alliance • Hypothesis: that evangelicals quick to embrace new means of evangelism
  15. 15. Rates of adoption: evangelical churches • 48% engaged with at least one social media channel • Many blogs: bishopmike.wordpress.com asbojesus.wordpress.com ywamcarlisledtsasia2007-08.blogspot.co.uk • 6% engage with Twitter, 13% with FB
  16. 16. Pilot Study 2: Rates of adoption: creationism in UK Creationism: • anti-evolutionary account of human origins • modern • a minority feature of evangelicalism • 2006: campaign around school science
  17. 17. Creationism in UK Host Link Graph Based on analysis of in-bound links to a sample of hosts: • noted by other creationists, secularist campaigners • Mostly ignored by mainstream media and the academy • … and by the bulk of evangelical churches [ http://peterwebster.me/2014/11/18/reading-creationism-in-the-web-archive/ ]
  18. 18. A creationist visitor attraction
  19. 19. Creationist organisations & social media: first recorded links One unusual early adopter, Noah's Ark Zoo Farm 2006: flickr.com 2009: twitter.com (@Noahs_Ark_Zoo) 2010: facebook.com ( https://www.facebook.com/noahsarkzoo )
  20. 20. But most creationist sites much less engaged Links to: Many bloggers (again) YouTube (a few) 2008: biblicalcreation.org.uk, amen.org.uk 2009: biblicalcreationministries.org.uk, truthinscience.org.uk Twitter/FB none (except Noah's Ark Zoo)
  21. 21. Next steps • larger samples, both of social media channels and creationist/evangelical hosts • qualitative study of what the recorded links represent in individual pages • benchmarking rates of adoption against other content types (eg. Roman Catholics, or secularist/humanist sites)
  22. 22. QUESTIONS ? Peter Webster peter@websterresearchconsulting.com @pj_webster / @WebsterRandC peterwebster.me websterresearchconsulting.com

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