Microblog Analysis as a Programme of Work
Inspired by a European project, PHEME, that requires the close analysis of Twitter-based conversations in order to look at the spread of rumors via social media, this paper has two objectives. The first of these is to take the analysis of microblogs back to first principles and lay out what microblog analysis should look like as a foundational programme of work. The other is to describe how this is of fundamental relevance to Human-Computer Interaction's interest in grasping the constitution of
... people's interactions with technology within the social order. Our critical finding is that, despite some surface similarities, Twitter-based conversations are a wholly distinct social phenomenon requiring an independent analysis that treats them as unique phenomena in their own right, rather than as another species of conversation that can be handled within the framework of existing Conversation Analysis. This motivates the argument that Microblog Analysis be established as a foundationally independent programme, examining the organizational characteristics of microblogging from the ground up. We articulate how aspects of this approach have already begun to shape our design activities within the PHEME project.