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Mapping the Australian networked public sphere

Bruns, Axel, Burgess, Jean E., Highfield, Tim, Kirchhoff, Lars, & Nicolai, Thomas (2011) Mapping the Australian networked public sphere. Social Science Computer Review, 29(3), pp. 277-287.

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Abstract

This article reports on a research program that has developed new methodologies for mapping the Australian blogosphere and tracking how information is disseminated across it. The authors improve on conventional web crawling methodologies in a number of significant ways: First, the authors track blogging activity as it occurs, by scraping new blog posts when such posts are announced through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Second, the authors use custom-made tools that distinguish between the different types of content and thus allow us to analyze only the salient discursive content provided by bloggers. Finally, the authors are able to examine these better quality data using both link network mapping and textual analysis tools, to produce both cumulative longer term maps of interlinkages and themes, and specific shorter term snapshots of current activity that indicate current clusters of heavy interlinkage and highlight their key themes. In this article, the authors discuss findings from a yearlong observation of the Australian political blogosphere, suggesting that Australian political bloggers consistently address current affairs, but interpret them differently from mainstream news outlets. The article also discusses the next stage of the project, which extends this approach to an examination of other social networks used by Australians, including Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. This adaptation of our methodology moves away from narrow models of political communication, and toward an investigation of everyday and popular communication, providing a more inclusive and detailed picture of the Australian networked public sphere.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
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8 citations in Web of Science®

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264 since deposited on 10 Jan 2011
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ID Code: 39508
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: mapping, social media, public sphere, methodology, Australia
DOI: 10.1177/0894439310382507
ISSN: 1552-8286
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Studies (200101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Authors
Copyright Statement: (c) The Author(s) 2010 Reprints and permission: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0894439310382507 http://sscr.sagepub.com
Deposited On: 11 Jan 2011 08:54
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2013 13:45

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