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Twitter and Society

Weller, Katrin / Bruns, Axel / Burgess, Jean / Mahrt, Merja / Puschmann, Cornelius (eds.)

Twitter and Society

Series: Digital Formations - Volume 89

Year of Publication: 2013

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 447 pp., num. ill.
ISBN 978-1-4331-2169-2 pb.  (Softcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-2170-8 hb.  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.720 kg, 1.587 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book has won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award 2014.

Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has evolved from a niche service to a mass phenomenon; it has become instrumental for everyday communication as well as for political debates, crisis communication, marketing, and cultural participation. But the basic idea behind it has stayed the same: users may post short messages (tweets) of up to 140 characters and follow the updates posted by other users. Drawing on the experience of leading international Twitter researchers from a variety of disciplines and contexts, this is the first book to document the various notions and concepts of Twitter communication, providing a detailed and comprehensive overview of current research into the uses of Twitter. It also presents methods for analyzing Twitter data and outlines their practical application in different research contexts.


Contents: Jan-Hinrik Schmidt: Twitter and the Rise of Personal Publics – Axel Bruns/Hallvard Moe: Structural Layers of Communication on Twitter – Alexander Halavais: Structure of Twitter: Social and Technical – Cornelius Puschmann/Jean Burgess: The Politics of Twitter Data – Devin Gaffney/Cornelius Puschmann: Data Collection on Twitter – Axel Bruns/Stefan Stieglitz: Metrics for Understanding Communication on Twitter – Mike Thelwall: Sentiment Analysis and Time Series with Twitter – Jessica Einspänner/Mark Dang-Anh/Caja Thimm: Computer-Assisted Content Analysis of Twitter Data – Alice E. Marwick: Ethnographic and Qualitative Research on Twitter – Michael Beurskens: Legal Questions of Twitter Research – Alex Leavitt: From #FollowFriday to YOLO: Exploring the Cultural Salience of Twitter Memes – Rowan Wilken: Twitter and Geographical Location – Michael Zimmer/Nicholas Proferes: Privacy on Twitter, Twitter on Privacy – Miranda Mowbray: Automated Twitter Accounts – Ke Tao/Claudia Hauff/Fabian Abel/Geert-Jan Houben: Information Retrieval for Twitter Data – Thomas Risse/Wim Peters/Pierre Senellart/Diana Maynard: Documenting Contemporary Society by Preserving Relevant Information from Twitter – Nancy Baym: The Perils and Pleasures of Tweeting with Fans – Stephen Harrington: Tweeting about the Telly: Live TV, Audiences, and Social Media – Tim Highfield: Following the Yellow Jersey: Tweeting the Tour de France – Axel Bruns/Katrin Weller/Stephen Harrington: Twitter and Sports: Football Fandom in Emerging and Established Markets –Stefan Stieglitz/Nina Krüger: Public Enterprise-Related Communication and Its Impact on Social Media Issue Management – Tanya Nitins/Jean Burgess: Twitter, Brands, and User Engagement – Axel Maireder/Julian Ausserhofer: Political Discourses on Twitter: Networking Topics, Objects, and People – Anders Olof Larsson/Hallvard Moe: Twitter in Politics and Elections: Insights from Scandinavia – Johannes Paßmann/Thomas Boeschoten/Mirko Tobias Schäfer: The Gift of the Gab: Retweet Cartels and Gift Economies on Twitter – Christoph Neuberger/Hanna Jo vom Hofe/Christian Nuernbergk: The Use of Twitter by Professional Journalists: Results of a Newsroom Survey in Germany – Alfred Hermida: Twitter as an Ambient News Network – Axel Bruns/Jean Burgess: Crisis Communication in Natural Disasters: The Queensland Floods and Christchurch Earthquakes – Farida Vis/Simon Faulkner/Katy Parry/Yana Manyukhina/Lisa Evans: Twitpic-ing the Riots: Analysing Images Shared on Twitter during the 2011 U.K. Riots – Merja Mahrt/Katrin Weller/Isabella Peters: Twitter in Scholarly Communication – Timo van Treeck/Martin Ebner: How Useful Is Twitter for Learning in Massive Communities? An Analysis of Two MOOCs – Cornelius Puschmann/Axel Bruns/Merja Mahrt/Katrin Weller/Jean Burgess: Epilogue: Why Study Twitter?

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Dr. Katrin Weller is an information scientist working at GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany. She is author of Knowledge Representation in the Social Semantic Web (2010) and co-author of a monthly column on social media trends for Password, a German journal for information professionals.
Dr. Axel Bruns is an Associate Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. He is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008).
Dr. Jean Burgess is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Director of Research Training in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is the author of Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone (2012).
Dr. Merja Mahrt is a media and communication scholar currently working at Heinrich Heine University, Germany. She is the spokesperson of the interdisciplinary researchers group Science and the Internet.
Dr. Cornelius Puschmann is an internet researcher at Humboldt University of Berlin's School of Library and Information Science, an associate researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, and a visiting fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.


«This collection of important work – featuring both well-known and emerging scholars from diverse disciplines – helps contextualize Twitter as a sociotechnical phenomenon. It will serve as a crucial foundation for new research while also offering useful perspectives for educators helping students to understand social media. By going beyond naïve stereotypes and revealing the complex practices and diverse users that help define Twitter, this book provides rich insights into the importance of social media in contemporary life.» (Danah Boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University)
«Talk of Big Data is everywhere, as contributors to this book rightly note. This timely collection, bringing together noted scholars and academics who work in the area, offers important insight into Big Data through a focus on the most important real-time stream message bus today, namely Twitter. Covering key aspects of Twitter social use and practices, Twitter and Society is a key text for providing empirical and methodological reflection on a fast-moving and important area of research.» (David M. Berry, Reader in Media & Communication and Co-Director of the Centre for Material Digital Culture at Sussex University)


Digital Formations. Vol. 89
General Editor: Steve Jones