Mapping the U.S. Political Blogosphere: Are Conservative Bloggers More Prominent?

Check this latest paper out… should be of interest to quite a few bloggers I imagine!

Mapping the U.S. Political Blogosphere: Are Conservative Bloggers More Prominent? by Robert Ackland

If anyone’s on email terms with some of the “A Listers” who might find this to be a good read could you email them a link for it and the conference…we could do with all the publicity we can get at the moment!!!

Here’s the abstract:

Weblogs are now a key part of online culture, and social scientists are interested in characterising the networks formed by bloggers and measuring their extent and impact in areas such as politics. However, researchers wishing to conduct quantitative social science analysis of the blogging phenomenon are faced with the challenge of using new methods of data collection and analysis largely derived from fields outside of the social sciences, such as the information sciences.

This paper presents an overview of one new approach for collecting and analysing weblog data, and illustrates this approach in the context of a preliminary quantitative analysis of online networks formed by a sample of North-American “A-list” political bloggers. There are two aims to this paper. First is to assess (using different data and methods) the conclusion of Adamic and Glance (2005) in their paper titled (“The political blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. election: Divided they blog”) that there are significant differences in the behaviour of liberal and conservative bloggers, with the latter forming more dense patterns of linkages. We find broad support for this conclusion, and empirically assess the implications of differences in conservative/liberal linking behaviour for the online visibility of different political messages or ideologies. The second aim is to highlight the role of web mining and data visualisation in the analysis of weblogs, and the opportunities and challenges inherent in this new field of research.

Keywords: webmining, network analysis, data visualisation