New methodologies for researching news discussion on Twitter
Bruns, Axel & Burgess, Jean E. (2011) New methodologies for researching news discussion on Twitter. In The Future of Journalism 2011, 8 - 9 September 2011, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. (Unpublished)
Twitter has become a major instrument for the rapid dissemination and subsequent debate of news stories. It has been instrumental both in drawing attention to events as they unfolded (such as the emergency landing of a plane in New York’s Hudson River in 2009) and in facilitating a sustained discussion of major stories over timeframes measured in weeks and months (including the continuing saga around Wikileaks and Julian Assange), sometimes still keeping stories alive even if mainstream media attention has moved on elsewhere.
More comprehensive methodologies for research into news discussion on Twitter – beyond anecdotal or case study approaches – are only now beginning to emerge. This paper presents a large-scale quantitative approach to studying public communication in the Australian Twittersphere, developed as part of a three-year ARC Discovery project that also examines blogs and other social media spaces. The paper will both outline the innovative research tools developed for this work, and present outcomes from an application of these methodologies to recent and present news themes.
Our methodology enables us to identify major themes in Twitter’s discussion of these events, trace their development and decline over time, and map the dynamics of the discussion networks formed ad hoc around specific themes (in part with the help of Twitter #hashtags: brief identifiers which mark a tweet as taking part in an established discussion). It is also able to identify links to major news stories and other online resources, and to track their dissemination across the wider Twittersphere.
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
Repository Staff Only: item control page