Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Research Center was interviewed by Bob Garfield on OnTheMedia this week about the recently released report on mapping Twitter topic networks. The report found six distinct patterns of social media networks in Twitter: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and in and out hub and spoke patterns. They discuss the prospects for overcoming polarization in social media and the hopeful signs that many other forms of social network structures exist in addition to the divided network pattern.
The talk will focus on the easy to follow steps needed to create social media network maps and reports automatically from services like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, email, blogs, wikis, and the WWW. Here is a sample network map of the term #bigdataprivacy:
The graph represents a network of 248 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “#bigdataprivacy”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 6-day, 10-hour, 29-minute period from Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 14:36 UTC to Tuesday, 04 March 2014 at 01:06 UTC. There is an edge for each “replies-to” relationship in a tweet. There is an edge for each “mentions” relationship in a tweet. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a “replies-to” or “mentions”.
The graph’s vertices were grouped by cluster using the Clauset-Newman-Moore cluster algorithm.
The graph was laid out using the Harel-Koren Fast Multiscale layout algorithm.
The edge colors are based on edge weight values. The edge widths are based on edge weight values. The edge opacities are based on edge weight values. The vertex sizes are based on followers values. The vertex opacities are based on followers values.
Top 10 Vertices, Ranked by Betweenness Centrality:
@whitehouseostp, @mit, @mit_csail, @steve_lockstep, @aureliepols, @dbarthjones, @digiphile, @stannenb, @djweitzner, @mikaelf
Top URLs in Tweet in Entire Graph:
Coverage of our report on the six basic types of social media network structures created with the Pew Internet Research Center has been extensive. Here is a round up of the articles we have found about the study.
Working together, the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the Social Media Research Foundation has published a report on the variations in social media crowd structures documented by network analysis and visualization of Twitter. The report is titled:
Mapping Twitter Topic Networks:
From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters
The paper documents the distinct patterns of connection that emerge when people talk to one another using social media services like Twitter. The paper includes six network visualizations that clearly demonstrate the diverse ways people connect to people when using online tools.
The report was produced by Marc Smith from the Social Media Research Foundation, Lee Rainie from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Itai Himelboim professor of communications at the University of Georgia, and Ben Shneiderman professor of computer science from the University of Maryland.