NPCU doctoral candidate Lawrence Ampofo's new article has been published in Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. The article is entitled, 'The social life of real-time social media monitoring'. Click here to read it.
Real-time social media, social media that publish information as soon as it is available, has become a mainstay in contemporary society with the widespread adoption of status updates, tweets and blogging. In response to this growth of data, specific methodologies and software tools have been developed that aggregate and analyse the saliency of such content. However, despite the wealth of resources available, researchers face significant challenges in accurately and ethically conducting such an endeavour. This essay takes as its starting point the conception that real-time social media are artefacts of social and cultural interactions online. The analysis of such real-time information is therefore problematic as ethical and methodological issues suitable for such research are currently not well developed. Two case studies from BBC Mundo’s Your Say discussion boards contextualise the complexity inherent in the above issues within the framework of the BBC World Service’s mission to foster a global conversation. The analysis of discussions hosted by BBC Mundo highlights the intricate nature of correctly analysing such content and underscores the need for new methodological processes, in addition to heightened analytical sensitivity, in interpreting the results of real-time social media analyses.