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Tweeting Along with Political Talkshows

The next speaker at ASMC14 is Evelien D'heer, whose focus is on the use of Twitter as a backchannel to a Flemish political TV talkshow, Terzake. The show has now appointed a 'conversation manager' to guide the Twitter discussion, following a public Twitter spat over the quality of the programme: after criticism of the show's quality by a user, a patronising tweet from the programme makers was widely criticised, and the conversation manager is meant to improve producer/audience relations again.

In this case, then, social media and journalistic logics co-define the programme and its meanings. Evelien's project investigated this process by conducting interviews with programme makers, newsroom observations, network analyses of the Twitter conversation, and interviews with tweeting audience members. This approach is able to compare stated expectations with observations of actual behaviour, on both sides.

Online Backchannels to Television Broadcasts in Spain

The next "Compromised Data" is Mariluz Sánchez, who is taking a socio-semiotic approach to the intersection between television and the Internet. This transforms the concept of interactivity, revolutionising reception and enabling the development of transmedia storytelling where viewers develop relationships with the content through various platforms.

Various resources are available to viewers online, promoting consumption and building loyalty towards the programming. Industry is now providing direct access to audiences, and viewers' ability to provide direct feedback can be seen as a form so social empowerment. Mariluz analysed these resources by examining the resources listed on the first five pages of Google search results for specific TV shows, excluding BitTorrent and other download resources.

Second-Screen Tweeting on Belgian TV

The next presentation in this AoIR 2013 panel is by Pieter Verdegem and Evelin D'Heer, whose interest is in the role of Twitter in second-screen viewing. Twitter has been pushing this very strongly, but is social TV actually something new? We've seen attention to the social uses of television at least since the 1990s, through ethnographic research, but the use of social media has spread these practices further and connected users more widely.

Twitter can be a useful tool for measuring audience participation, but we also need to take into account the Twitter userbase in each country - in Belgium, some 20% of the population are said to be on Twitter, for example, but that group is neither demographically representative nor are they necessarily all active participants.

Some Recent and Upcoming Work

When this site goes quiet, it’s usually because work is exceptionally busy. My apologies for the long silence since the launch of our major collection A Companion to New Media Dynamics – a range of projects, variously relating to the uses of social media in crisis communication, of Twitter in a number of national elections, of social media as a second-screen backchannel to televised events, and of ‘big data’ in researching online issue publics, have kept me occupied for the past eight months or so.

Now, I’m about to head off to Denver for the annual Association of Internet Researchers conference and on to a number of other events, and you can expect the usual bout of live blogging from these conferences – but before I do so, here’s a quick update of some of the major publications and papers I’ve completed during the past few months. For some more frequent updates on the work of my colleagues and me, you can also follow our updates at Mapping Online Publics and the site of the QUT Social Media Research Group, of course. On the SMRG site, we’ve also posted a list of the presentations we’ll be making at AoIR and beyond – hope to see you there!

A Final 2012 Publications Round-Up

As we’re hurtling down the last few hours towards 2013, it seems like a good idea to take stock of what was an incredibly busy 2012. Here, then, is a round-up of all (I think) of my publications and presentations for the year, organised into loose thematic categories. In all, and with my various collaborators from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and beyond, I seem to have generated some 4 book chapters, 12 journal articles, 22 conference presentations and one major report – and that’s not counting various articles in The Guardian, The Conversation, and other media outlets. There’s also a few more articles still in the pipeline – but given today’s date, I suspect they’ll end up counting towards 2013 rather than 2012…


Social Media Research Methods

One major component of our Mapping Online Publics work for this year has been the further development of our social media research approaches, especially as far as Twitter research is concerned. A number of my publications have dealt with the practical aspects of this work:

Audience Attitudes towards Eyewitness Footage

The next speakers in our ECREA 2012 panel are Laura Ahva and Maria Hellman, whose interest is in the citizen eyewitnessing of crises. Witnessing has always been a central task of crisis journalism, but citizen-generated content is now increasingly important; citizen eyewitness images are especially central now, and are mediated from the sites of crises to the global audience. The Arab Spring provides a very useful recent example for this.

Twitter and the Tour de France

The next session at ECREA 2012 starts with my colleague Tim Highfield, presenting a paper on the Tour de France on Twitter which was co-authored with Stephen Harrington and myself. My notes on the session are below ; slides and audio will follow later. Tim's slides and audio.

Online Discussion of Domestic Violence around Chris Brown's Grammy Win

The final paper in this session at AoIR 2012 is by Elycia Taylor, whose focus is on the reaction to the 2012 Grammy win by Chris Brown, who had assaulted his partner, the singer Rihanna, following the 2009 Grammys. Brown had become a persona non grata at the time, but has made a recent comeback, and many of his new fans appear to be prepared to overlook this violent history. There are also rumours about Brown and Rihanna working together again.

Fans and Audiences for #Eurovision on Twitter

Next up at AoIR 2012 it's Tim Highfield and me again, presenting a paper co-authored with our colleague Stephen Harrington. Here are the slides; audio to follow. and audio.

#Eurovision: Twitter as a Technology of Fandom from Axel Bruns


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