June 10, 2012

The Neighbourhoods of #cdnpoli

by User Not Found
Last fall, as part of an initial study into how media (social or otherwise) are covering politics in Canada, we collected hundreds of thousands of tweets from #cdnpoli. What we found was that Canadian political conversations on Twitter are actually quite divided.

With the help of Gephi, an open source data visualization software package, we found four distinct "neighbourhoods" of conversations going on among the top 100 mentioned users in #cdnpoli:

  1. The Ottawa Bubble
  2. The Outsiders
  3. Information Broadcasters
  4. Lightning Rods
(Click here to get the full results and a list of the top 100 mentioned users in #cdnpoli)

But while the groupings were determined objectively based on the number of times a user mentioned another, the labels we gave to each neighbourhood were based on our own perceptions of who was in each grouping.  Because of this, there are always exceptions to how we labelled things.  @cbcalerts, for example, was placed in The Outsiders neighbourhood, even though the CBC is hardly an outsider.  So look through our results and if you can think of better names, let us know in the comments!

Let us know what you think and tweet this to all your friends--and don't forget to tag it with #cdnpoli!
  • social media
  • diversity
  • twitter
  • cdnpoli
  • media
  • internet

1 Comment Permanent link to this post


1 Comment

  1. Antonia

    12 Jun
    One major flaw of this list is that it depends too heavily on usage of the #cdnpoli hashtag.

    Journalists and politicians are notoriously lacking in the twicks of the twade. Many don't use hashtags at all, or they compose Tweets that are too lengthy for easy retweeting, or both. Also too many "talk amongst themselves" and/or act as "broadcasters," continuing the one-way form of communication that has been the MO of the legacy media for centuries.

    These are among the major reasons why it is that @min_reyes or I can outrank, say, the very prolific and informative @susandelacourt or @kady. Susan does use hashtags but Kady tends to have her own. Both tend to post original tweets (sometimes without context) while I often use links which are also more easily retweetable.

    This study, while interesting, diminishes Susan and Kady's incredible reach and influence in Canadian political tweeting.

    Twitter is an incredible tool, both for gathering, disseminating and promoting news and stories, but I think that its great power has yet to be fully and correctly understood from a journalistic point of view.

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