The Web Science Trust

Mapping the Australian Political Blogosphere

Bruns, Axel and Kirchhoff, Lars and Nicolai, Thomas (2009) Mapping the Australian Political Blogosphere. In: Proceedings of the WebSci'09: Society On-Line, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece. (In Press)

PDF (Poster Description) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
PDF (Poster Artwork) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader


Tracing change over time. Most existing blog network analyses use generic network crawlers to provide long-term pictures of interconnections in the blogosphere. While interesting in their own right, these offer no information on how individual clusters and regions of the blogosphere may respond to specific topics of the day, and how the centre of such activity shifts between different regions on the map as topics change. Long-term analyses provide only a generic picture of which blogs may act as opinion leaders for the wider network; by breaking this down to take shorter-term snapshots of activity it becomes possible to identify a range of opinion leaders on specific issues. Our work addresses these shortcomings in a number of ways. First, we track blogging activity as it occurs, by scraping the content of new blog posts when they are announced through RSS feeds, rather than by crawling existing content in the blogosphere after the fact. Second, we utilise custom-made tools that distinguish between the different types of links and content found in blog sites and thus allow us to analyse only the salient discursive content provided by bloggers, without contaminating our data with static links and ancillary content. Finally, we are able to examine these better-quality data by using both link network mapping and textual analysis tools, to produce both cumulative longer-term maps of interlinkages and themes across the blogosphere, and specific shorter-term snapshots of current activity which indicate clusters of heavy interlinkage and highlight key themes and topics being discussed within these clusters in the wider network. Our poster will outline this approach and present early findings. References Adamic, Lada, and Natalie Glance. “The Political Blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. Election: Divided They Blog.” Paper presented at the WWW 2005 2nd Annual Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem: Aggregation, Analysis and Dynamics, Chiba, Japan, 10 May 2005. 19 Jan. 2008 <>. Bruns, Axel, Jason Wilson, Barry Saunders, Lars Kirchhoff, and Thomas Nicolai. “Australia's Political Blogosphere in the Aftermath of 2007 Federal Election.” Paper presented at the AoIR 2008 conference, Copenhagen, 18 Oct. 2008. 19 Jan. 2008 < Blogosphere%20in%20the%20Aftermath%20of%20the%202007%20Federal%20Election%20(AoIR%202008).pdf>. ———, Jason Wilson, Barry Saunders, Tim Highfield, Lars Kirchhoff, and Thomas Nicolai. \"Locating the Australian Blogosphere: Towards a New Research Methodology.\" Paper presented at the ISEA 2008 conference, Singapore, 25 July - 3 Aug. 2008. 19 Jan. 2008 < Australian%20Blogosphere%20(final%20-%20long).pdf>. ———, Lars Kirchhoff, Thomas Nicolai, Jason Wilson, Barry Saunders, and Tim Highfield. \"Discussion Paper: Network and Concept Maps for the Blogosphere.\" Discussion paper for blog mapping project, 1 May 2008. 19 Jan. 2008 <>. Kelly, John, and Bruce Etling. “Mapping Iran’s Online Public: Politics and Culture in the Persian Blogosphere.” Cambridge, Mass.: Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 2008. 19 Jan. 2008 <>.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords:blogs Australia politics mapping network
Subjects:Web Science Events > Web Science 2009
ID Code:234
Deposited By: W S T Administrator
Deposited On:11 Mar 2009 00:21
Last Modified:25 Oct 2011 16:43

Repository Staff Only: item control page

EPrints Logo
Web Science Repository is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.