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Elections

Social Media and Political Authenticity in the Calgary Mayoral Election

The final speaker in this panel at AoIR 2012 is Delia Dumitrica, whose interest is in how citizens conceptualise the use of social media in political communication. Her premise is that this can be understood as an attempt to discursively articulate wider issues of trust in politicians.

Social Media in the 2012 Danish Election

The second presenter in this session at AoIR 2012 is Sander Schwartz, who shifts our attention to the use of social media during the 2011 Danish election. His project drew on a panel of 6,000 volunteers whose Internet use was monitored, as well as on a survey of some 2,000 respondents from this group. The panel was representative of the wider Danish population; the survey group was self-selecting.

Around the World in 28 Days (and 14 Papers)

It’s that time of the year again, when I set off for the usual end-of-year round of conferences – and this year has turned out to be an especially busy one. As I write this, I’m already in Toronto for the inaugural workshop of a Canadian-funded, multi-partner research project on Social Media and Campaigning which is led by Greg Elmer of Ryerson University; this comes at an interesting time, of course, with electioneering south of the border in full swing. We’re already tracking the Twitter performance of both campaigns’ key accounts – more on that as it develops.

My next stop is Helsinki, where I’ve been invited to present two guest lectures to the international Masters students. The first of these will be an update of the keynote “Gatekeeping, Gatewatching, Real-Time Feedback: New Challenges for Journalism”, which I presented at the Brazilian Society of Journalism Researchers last year, and addresses the challenges faced by journalism in an always-on, social media-driven environment; the second presents the work which my Mapping Online Publics colleagues and I have done on “Social Media and Crisis Communication”.

Some Publications Updates (Mostly about Twitter)

OK, so to save this blog from turning completely into a conference blog (watch out for the Australia/New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference, starting next week), here’s a round-up of my most recent publications. Most of these build on our Twitter research – and you can find more detailed updates about those projects over at Mapping Online Publics.

I’ve had three co-authored journal articles published over the past few weeks. Of these, the most recent one is in First Monday, and was co-authored with Eugene Liang Yuxiang from the National Cheng Chi University in Taipei, following on from a workshop on Twitter and crisis communication research which took place there last October. In the paper, Eugene and I compare our approaches to tracking disaster-related communication on Twitter – I discuss our work with yourTwapperkeeper and Eugene outlines the infrastructure the Taiwanese team have built. For more, see:

Axel Bruns and Eugene Liang Yuxian. “Tools and Methods for Capturing Twitter Data during Natural Disasters.First Monday 17.4 (2012).

Two other publications are co-authored with my QUT colleague Jean Burgess, and appeared in Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice within two days of each other. The first of these is another methodology article, and outlines how our methods for Twitter research may be used by journalists and journalism researchers; it’s based on the paper we presented at the Future of Journalism conference in Cardiff in September 2011. More details are here:

CeDEM Lightning Talks, Part 1

Krems.
The final session at CeDEM 2011 is a series of five-minute lightning talks – so I’ll try to cover them all in two combined blog posts. Let’s see how we go…

The first speaker is Siobhan Donaghy, whose interest is in the transparency of electronic vote counting: after voting (using traditionally paper ballots and ballot boxes) has taken place, how are the results dealt with? Can technological solutions improve the counting process – and how can we keep the counting process transparent even though counting is no longer manual?

Uses of Political Blogging in the 2010 Swedish Election

Krems.
The next speaker at CeDEM 2011 is Jakob Svensson, who shifts our attention towards the individual in political participation. He does this against the background of the 2010 Swedish elections, which for the first time used social media in a significant way. Jakob focussed on Nina Larsson, a politician of the conservative Liberal’s Party, who used two blogs during her campaign.

Jakob notes the different forms of rationalities (deliberative, but especially also expressive) which are on display in such uses; beyond this, there is also a more instrumental use of social media to influence election outcomes, of course (at worst, this simply refers to naked political spin). All of this needs to be considered in a wider theoretical context of digital late modernity and networked individualism, of course. The process of individualisation opens up other spheres for participation, too – life politics, for example. Blogs and other social networking sites are sometimes seen as saviours for this, but there are strong critiques of such perspectives, too.

Some More Presentations to Finish the Year

As 2010 draws to a close, its perhaps appropriate that my last couple of conference presentations for the year take a somewhat retrospective nature, summarising and reflecting on the 2010 Australian federal election, with a particular view on what we’ve learned about the state of Australian journalism in general and the role of Twitter in election coverage and debate in particular. I’ll present both those papers at different conferences in Sydney this Friday (26 November):

Slides for both those presentations are below, and I’ll try and add audio later both with audio.

Election 2010: The View from Twitter (InASA 2010)

InASA ‘Double Vision’ 2010

Election 2010: The View from Twitter

Axel Bruns

  • 26 Nov. 2010 – International Australian Studies Association ‘Double Vision’ conference, Sydney

Though it may not have had a substantial effect on the eventual outcome, Twitter was a highly visible component of the 2010 Australian election coverage. During the campaign, the #ausvotes hashtag alone generated over 400,000 tweets. This paper provides an overview of key trends in Twitter-based discussion of the Australian election.

#ausvotes Twitter Activity during the 2010 Australian Election

Hamburg.
My own paper was next at ECREA 2010. Here’s the presentation – and I also recorded the audio for it, and will add it as soon as I can which is now attached to the slides. As it turned out, one of the other presenters in the session also broadcast the whole event to Justin.tvso go there to see it all in action (my presentation starts around 52 minutes in, and you can also see the other papers on our panel)…

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