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Utrecht Centre for Television in Transition


The Voice Twittersphere and working with “big data” in the Humanities (January 14th, 2013)

In the January session of TViT we will discuss “big data” in the humanities through the presentation of Karin van Es and Thomas Boeschoten on The Voice Twittersphere. In their presentation van Es and Boeschoten reflect on the social TV phenomenon as a “new” approach within affective economies (Jenkins 2006) zooming-in on Twitter in particular. First off, they trace how Twitter and tweets are used in the episodes of The Voice throughout the first three seasons. Herein they note the development of two seemingly contradictory shifts: (1) the simultaneous fragmentation and unification of audiences through Twitter and (2) the intensification and weakening of tweet usage. Then, using tweets collected around an episode of The Voice: The Live Shows, they map online interaction commenting on the relation between the format and viewers and amongst the viewers themselves. This furthermore enables them to critically confront the analogy “virtual water cooler conversation” now used in popular discourse to describe the marriage between television and Twitter. Their experiences in working with Twitterdata will then jumpstart the discussion on the possibilities and pitfalls of big data research for the humanities.

The time and location: tba

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