Live blogging workshop on online network analysis at UW, Digital Media Working Group (DMWG).
Participants: Kirsten Foot, The Coproduction of Online Structures, Associate Professor, UW; Rachel Gibson, The Study of Weblinks as Communicative Devices, Chair, New Media Studies, University of Leicester, UK; Clifford Tatum, Hyper-Lurk Analysis, PhD student, Communication, UW; and Mike Xenos, Making Sense of Link-Based Network Patterns, Associate Professor, Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Interested in a form of co-production that is not just about information but actually building structures produced by different types of actors — between organizations — some are created by hyperlinks (a structure for action). Following 9-11, government sites outlinked to Red Cross, community organizations, etc — this was a “first” — using the web to build structures for info and forms of action.
Research on fair trade movement/advocacy … the problem is how hard it is (systematically, methodologically) to find these actionable links. Find the traces of links and systematically characterize these links — and how best to represent that.
Action links to other sites [keg -> look for this behavior in mainstream press]
Can we annotate the automated link diagram with qualitative information from researchers.
— What artifacts do you identify as action?
Kirsten: we have a typology for things that can be called action.
— What would be a link that was not mobilizing?
Kirsten: most are informational.
— Is there any way of capturing traffic?
Kirsten: yes, by looking at log files … but not realistic for webstorm type of event.
Find in-bound links to action site as a proxy.
Seattle Urban Blogosphere
Interest is in collaborative knowledge production – not necessarily formal sense – how lay knowledge may be challenging formal knowledge. You can look at search engines – emergent — the more explicit way is wikipedia, which is intentional structure of knowledge. Blogs are something in-between — some intentionally as well as loose + self-organizing. Struggle is IDing consumers and their role in the knowledge production … not unlike lurkers on e-mail list.
Sept 2006 – 32 residential or mixed use bldgs in permit process/under construction/recently completed. Lots of urban development and planning. How to find a condo in the pre-sale stage? Discovered urban blogosphere after the fact. Highly distributed knowledge creation with “radical transparency” and it challenges “authoritative knowledge.”
Theoretically : “middle” media (Bennett, Bimber, Perretti – many-to-many) … destablization of information economy (Benkler)
Hard to understand the role of the reader/lurker.
Issue crawler analysis — reflects who is dominant in this space. Couple of large nodes are real estate agents.
GeoMapping – readership for Clifford’s blog is from around the world
SLOG – Vulcan Trolling on 2200 Westlake Blog. ‘Caught me’
Google Analytics can move people back to Blogger because of analytical tools. Check search engine referrals? [99% are from other blogs] Direct traffic is the 3rd biggest … coming from a bookmark or typing it in. A lot of innovators are sharing results, information.
Strategies of analysis on nanotechnology debate. Operationalising the communicative functions of hyperlinks. www.voson.anu.edu.au
Political communication thru hyperlinks has been studied thru two basic perspectives:
– site/actor-centric approach – focus is on organization
– contextual/structural approach – focus is relational questions (communication as power)
hub scores – authority scores
five benefits of hyperlinks (ackland and gibson, 2006)
– network building
– audience sharing
– info provision
– identity building/branding
– message amplification
How to measure?
– quantity of outbound links (function 1 and 2)
– quality/composition of outbound links (function 3 and 4)
– extent of link-back between set of sites (function 5)
[keg: -> it would be interesting to know structure of the link – an image? text? if text, what words?]
[keg: -> look at candidate websites and do a qualitative and quantitative analysis of outbound links — compare with party websites? ah! expand on ACM analysis and examine hosts/software/etc of candidates by party]
A reminder that all links are not necessarily endorsements – example of far left linking to far right site re differing narrative of mutual event