Twitter Over Time: Approaches to the dynamics of change in social media

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Twitter Over Time: Approaches to the dynamics of change in social media Jean Burgess Queensland University of Technology @jeanburgess Nancy Baym Microsoft Research @nancybaym Christina VanMeter https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmphotography2010/

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16 July 2006 http://paulstamatiou.com/odeo-launches-twttr-hellodeo/

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Available scholarship Murthy, D. (2013). Twitter: Social communication in the Twitter age. Cambridge: Polity Press. Rogers, R. (2014). Debanalizing Twitter: The Transformation of an Object of Study. In Weller, K. et al (Eds.) Twitter and Society (pp. ix-xxvi). New York: Peter Lang. van Dijck, J. (2013). Culture of connectivity: A critical history of social media (Kindle Edition). New York: Oxford University Press. Halavais, A. (2014). Structure of Twitter: Social and Technical. In Weller, K. et al (Eds.) Twitter and Society (pp. 29-41) New York: Peter Lang. Kooti, F., Yang, H., Cha, M., Gummadi, K., & Mason, W. (2012). The emergence of conventions in online social networks. In International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.

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The Twitter Over Time study Materials collected Media coverage Vlog accounts on YouTube Blog posts Personal Archives Interviews Plus material related to Twitter platform changes

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@reply RT #hashtag

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@reply Origins From launch @ location/activity (Dodgeball convention) Late 2006 @ user and @user ‘consciously’ adopted by lead users Adoption Widespread adoption Early 2007 official support (by hyperlinking) Retention and controversy May 2007    Replies page introduced to collect replies and mentions @replying always controversial (‘Twitter isn’t a chat room’) 2008-2009: visibility of @replies to non-followers

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“I only see them if I know the people and I think it’s kind of interesting looking at other people’s conversations, I guess.” @reply

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@reply “2008 I did my first @ mention and it was in a reply. And for the most part almost all of my @ mentions are almost always replies to somebody else. I never start a conversation with @”

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RT Origins Competing alternatives - via, HT, RT, Retweet, Retweeting Adoption Early 2009 (?) – RT adopted as ‘official’ citation Retention and controversy 2009 ‘Button’ retweets

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RT “even people that I didn’t meet at the conference, I would just throw them in on that list if it seemed like-- if they were getting retweeted a bunch by people in my feed, saying things that I thought were cool, I’d just add them into that. So, that became my reading list. It just slowly was like accumulating more and more people. And some people on it kind of became people that were just taking up a lot of space and not saying a lot of useful stuff.”

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RT “I was tweeting about how I didn't want that to be the new thing. I didn't like that on my feed there was people I didn't know, like the pictures popping up, like "Who is that? Why are they in my feed?" And then I was thinking-- I don't know. I just really was against it, and then I slowly, slowly started-- it was just so easy, just don't have enough time to rewrite everything and copy-paste it. So I think here is where I actually started doing it, and recently sometimes a lot of my activity is just rote retweets. So I think by May it looks like I was comfortable using it.”

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RT ‘’It is kind of like an etiquette thing, and, yeah, I sometimes wonder when I tweet and it'll be either a retweet and I'll add something ahead of it or I'll modify it so I can say something-- sometimes I really have something to say, and other times it's just like "Ha. This is funny," and I'm like "Is that okay? I don't know if that's okay. Am I cheating? Am I stealing your social whatever?"

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#hashtag Origins mid-2007 – Chris Messina proposes ‘channel tags’ using the pound symbol (#) Groups/vs ‘eavesdropping’ Adoption Oct 2007 - Messina campaigns for #sandiegofire hashtag, Wired picks up the story Third-party tools for ‘defining’, tracking 2008 platform, client support Retention and controversy Hashtags now part of the grammar of the web 2013 backlash from web dev community 2014 rumours that Twitter will phase out @reply and #hashtag

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#hashtag “I went to go be co-present with [the protesters], and then I came back and I stayed not physically co-present but very engaged on the hashtag.”

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#hashtag “They have a hashtag, they have a conference, and [they] share their content a lot on Twitter, and they meet once a year at this conference that I went to. So when I went to this conference, I used Twitter strategically to cement connections with people that I'd met. Because the one thing I tended to lack on Twitter is friends, and I thought if I meet people, in addition to being-- I could stay up to date with what they're doing professionally and things like that. Also it would be sort of like trading business cards.”

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#hashtag “live-tweeting can be a really great access tool for people who can’t travel to every conference that they would want to go to. But I also think there’s some etiquette that can probably use some agreeing. Like, if we could all agree on sort of the rules <laughs> of live-tweeting, I think that would probably help.”

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A conclusion, brief yet inspiring, placed at the end Web history is important Need to document platforms as they are and as they change Platforms ever-shifting contested terrains Usefulness of combining multiple kinds of sources Need to connect materiality of platform with user experiences and perspectives