The Duck of Minerva

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Number Crunching the ISA Twittersphere

April 9, 2014

Felix Haas has written a monster blog post over at Bretterblog with interesting descriptive statistics from the #ISA2014 hashtag. Among other fascinating points:

  • 11% of IR scholars at the conference tweet, compared to only 2% of the global population
  • The most popular tweet of the conference contained the Sheraton lobby wifi password
  • Most prolific tweeter: Annick Wibben
  • Number of tweets sent by Laura Seay while simultaneously participating on the Twitter roundtable: 61

Haas also details how he gathered and coded the tweets, which itself is interesting methodologically in terms of how social scientists can leverage Twitter for content analysis. (His data is non-exhaustive for example, but that is partly due to the limitations of the Twitter API.) And last but not least, Haas reveals his position in the Great “What is Star Wars?” Twitter Battle of 2014.

The takeaway message:

Following ISA on Twitter while attending the conference is usually a lot of fun, sometimes provides context to the panels you’re attending (and a lot of snark) and gives you much needed distraction in others. It obviously doesn’t replace attending the conference, but gives you a meta-level discussion that nicely puts many of the interesting (or boring) events at such a conference into perspective.

Check the whole thing out here.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.