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Social Media Network Mapping

Twitter and the 2013 Australian Election (PI 2013)

Political Imperatives: Media and the 2013 Election Campaign

Twitter and the 2013 Australian Election

Axel Bruns

  • 27 Sep. 2013 – Political Imperatives: Media and the 2013 Election Campaign, Brisbane

Neue Öffentlichkeiten auf Social-Media-Plattformen: Zur Nutzung von 'Big Data' in der Kommunikationsforschung (LMU-CAS 2013)

Centre for Advanced Studies 2013

Neue Öffentlichkeiten auf Social-Media-Plattformen: Zur Nutzung von ‚Big Data‘ in der Kommunikationsforschung

Axel Bruns

Social-Media-Plattformen wie Facebook und insbesondere Twitter stellen eine große Menge öffentlicher Nutzer- und Nutzungsdaten zur weiteren Verwertung durch Markt- und Hochschulforschung bereit. Diese ‚Big Data‘ unterstützen eine in dieser Form bislang noch nicht möglich gewesene, breit aufgebaute Untersuchung aktueller Kommunikationsprozesse, die den Begriff der Öffentlichkeit bis auf die „persönlichen Öffentlichkeiten“ (Schmidt, 2009), die um einzelne Social-Media-Accounts herum entstehen, ausweiten kann. Dieser Vortrag stellt erste Ergebnisse eines solchen Forschungsansatzes am Beispiel der Nutzung von Twitter in Australien dar, wo (für etwa 22 Mio. Einwohner) um die 2-2½ Mio. Twitter-Accounts existieren. Ein besonderes Interesse gilt dabei der politischen sowie der Krisenkommunikation.

Mapping the Australian Twittersphere (MIT8 2013)

Media in Transition 8

Mapping the Australian Twittersphere

Jean Burgess and Axel Bruns

This paper maps networks of affiliation and interest in the Australian Twittersphere and explores their structural relationships to a range of issues-based ad hoc publics (Bruns, Burgess 2011). Using custom network crawling technology, we have conducted a snowball crawl of Twitter accounts operated by Australian users to identify more than one million users and their follower / followee relationships, and have mapped their interconnections. In itself, the map provides an overview of the major clusters of densely interlinked users, largely centred on shared topics of interest (from politics through parenting to arts and sport) and/or socio-demographic factors (geographic origins, age groups). Our map of the Twittersphere is the first of its kind for the Australian part of the global Twitter network, and also provides a first independent and scholarly estimation of the size of the total Australian Twitter population. In combination with our investigation of participation patterns in specific thematic hashtags, the map also enables us to examine which areas of the underlying follower / followee network are activated in the discussion of specific current topics – allowing new insights into the extent to which particular topics and issues are of interest to specialized niches or to the Australian public more broadly. Finally, we investigate the circulation of links to the articles published by a number of major Australian news organisations across the network.

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:

Twitter, Big Data, and the Digital Humanities

From the excitement of AoIR and ECREA 2012, I’ve arrived back in Australia – and have gone on almost directly to another presentation, this time at the University of Queensland Digital Humanities Symposium, where this morning I presented our research on Twitter as an example of the more general push towards ‘digital humanities’ and ‘big data’ research. Here are my slides and audio from the event – many thanks to Kerry Kilner and Peta Mitchell for the invitation to speak.

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