Lords-a-tweeting, Lords-a-networking: analysing the behavior and impact of Labour Party Peers in the UK House of Lords

TitleLords-a-tweeting, Lords-a-networking: analysing the behavior and impact of Labour Party Peers in the UK House of Lords
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Lilleker, D. G., A. Adi, and K. Erickson
Affiliation (1st Author)Centre for Public Communication Research, The Media School Bournemouth University
Section or WGPolitical Communication Research Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodePOLF4a
Slot Code (Keyword)POLF4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
RoomHG22
Session TitlePANEL: The public sphere in the networked media ecology: Intermedia agenda setting between traditional media and social media
Submission ID6303
Abstract

PANEL - The public sphere in the networked media ecology: Intermedia agenda setting between traditional mass media and social mediaThe micro-blogging platform twitter has gained notoriety for its dual status as both a tool for communication between private individuals, as well as a public forum monitored by journalists, the public, and the state. Its potential application for political communication has not gone unnoticed; politicians have used twitter to attract voters, interact with constituencies and advance issue-based campaigns. Political users of twitter also keep in touch with their allies, counteract their opposition and reach out to media. Finally, due to the blurring of public and private inherent to the platform, political users also tweet about their personal lives, their families, their interests and sometimes controversially, their private views on a range of political and social events.  While a great deal of academic scholarship has explored traditional political communication on emerging new media platforms, further research is needed to better understand the communication dynamics of social networks. Specifically how do elite networks form and operate on social networking platforms like twitter? What are their contours and dynamics?  And finally how does the dual public/private nature of twitter and its content inform the way that political actors engage with the platform? This paper reports on the results of the work of a research team who were engaged by the Labour frontbench in the UK’s House of Lords. It is based on the monitoring and archival of their activity on Twitter from May 16th to the end of August 2012. Using a sample of more than 850 tweets and a mixed methodology combining semantic analysis, social network analysis and quantitative analysis, this paper explores the peers’ patterns of usage and communication on Twitter. The data shows much diversity in the usage of Twitter with interesting patterns in terms of subject matter, frequency and following the conventions of the platform. Importantly, we find a clear network effect, in terms of gaining followers and media coverage, from mixing personal and political messages on Twitter.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer