START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

Organization in Twitter: A Case Study of Chatterboxing by Geographic Location
Heather Moulaison and C. Sean Burns

Tuesday, 10:30am


This paper reports on a case study of Twitter posts (tweets) by chatterboxers to study labeling conventions in Twitter. Chatterboxing is the act of watching a televised event such as the Super Bowl and using a second screen to engage with others, primarily in real time. In studying chatterboxing during the Super Bowl, three locations identified as heavily invested in the event (hometowns of the teams and the location of the game: Boston, NYC, Indianapolis) were compared to locations that were not invested (Dallas, Miami, Seattle) in order to examine the use of #hashtags and @mentions as labeling conventions. Non-parametric statistical comparisons were made between three non-invested but similar locations in order to test the use of labeling conventions. A qualitative analysis of a subset of non-location specific Twitter posts supplied information about the content of tweets, the aboutness of #hashtags, and the placement of #hashtags in the tweets. Our findings indicate that #hashtags and @mentions have two separate functions but that location has a positive influence on their statistical dependency. We also find that #hashtags are used as organizational devices and can reflect aboutness. Specifically, they are used to describe in order to categorize and to retrieve in order to follow or join a conversation.