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An Exploration of a Social Media Community: The Case of #AcademicTwitter

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12195)

Abstract

Online professional communities on Twitter are increasingly gaining attention among users due to benefits such as knowledge sharing, professional development, and relationship building. Millions of hashtags are used every day in different disciplines (e.g., #educhat) or everyday situations (e.g. #MondayMotivation). Hashtags have led to the creation of conversations about topics (e.g., #highered), serving as a point of connection among different types of users. In the academic world, the hashtag #AcademicTwitter has evolved into an online community of educators, graduate students, organizations, and others engaged in the discussion of topics and issues related to academic life, funny moments, and survival stories. This paper examines participants and communication patterns in the #AcademicTwitter community. Using content analysis and social network analysis techniques, the researchers examined tweets including the #AcademicTwitter hashtag to discover the community’s network properties, roles of the participants, sentiment, and conversational themes. Findings indicated that the conversation was not centered on one topic, instead several micro-communities were found. Top participants in the #AcademicTwitter community were educators, media platforms, and other professionals which centered on conversations related to topics such as accessibility, academic life experiences, and teaching and research support. The study of social media in academic professional settings is still new. Our work contributes to the literature of social networks in academia, helping better understand how users connect and the network that supports the #AcademicTwitter community.

Keywords

AcademicTwitter Online professional communities Teaching Education Social media 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TampaTampaUSA

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