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Issues in Measuring Power and Influence in the Blogosphere

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Power and influence in the blogosphere can be elusive in nature yet they still play a perceived role in determining future events. Cases like the resignation of Senator Trent Lott and the Dan Rather scandal have been quoted as evidence of the power of blogs, highlighting the potential role of blogs as a new medium for instigating change. However, supporting evidence of power in the blogosphere is often anecdotal. Over the past century, power definitions have been continuously debated amongst political scientists. Based on their theories, this paper defines power as the ability to produce effects among others when making decisions. The blogosphere's emergence echoes the phenomena of 17th century pamphleteering, where the invention of the printing press had facilitated publishing beyond institutional control such as churches and the monarchy. In Web Science, power in the blogosphere fits in as one of the issues that emerge due to the macro nature of the blogosphere. Previous work on identifying power and influence has resulted in papers positioning blogs within a hierarchy, based on metrics such as links, comments and phrases. These metrics are constrained by what can be observed. Moreover, quantifying power would involve finding a tractable, concrete link between blog activity and an action. External influences such as traditional media also make it difficult to correctly analyze blogs-to-action correlations. Nonetheless, the use of data propagation could be suitable to measure power. One potential methodology is to correlate blog trends to a tractable action like an e-petition.

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Citation

Azman, Norhidayah, Millard, David E. and Weal, Mark J. (2010) Issues in Measuring Power and Influence in the Blogosphere At Web Science Conference 2010, United States. 26 - 27 Apr 2010.

More information

Published date: 2010
Additional Information: Event Dates: 26-27 April, 2010
Venue - Dates: Web Science Conference 2010, United States, 2010-04-26 - 2010-04-27
Keywords: power, blogosphere, influence, collective action
Organisations: Web & Internet Science, Electronics & Computer Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 268782
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/268782
PURE UUID: a5a188d1-0787-4f7d-bdc8-983dab4e0f58
ORCID for David E. Millard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7512-2710
ORCID for Mark J. Weal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6251-8786

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Mar 2010 12:23
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:51

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Contributors

Author: Norhidayah Azman
Author: David E. Millard ORCID iD
Author: Mark J. Weal ORCID iD

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