Monday, July 21, 2014

Latina/o Studies Conference 2014: A Twitter Archive of #lschi2014

Visual flows.
The International Latina/o Studies Conference: Imagining the Past, Present, and Future took place from July 17 until July 19, 2014. It served as the founding conference for what will become the official organization of Latina/o Studies (official name TBD).

Organizers for the conference proposed the hashtag #lschi2014 to social media users and I have made an archive of tweets using this hashtag. I compiled them using Martin Hawksey's TAGS, which uses Twitter's API, and they can be accessed in this .XLSX document posted on figshare (DOWNLOAD ARCHIVE HERE). Some tweets are missing text but their totality can be obtained by visiting the link found in the column for "status_url." The dataset is available with a Creative Commons-Attribution license (CC-BY) for academic research and educational use.

Researchers making use of the archive should keep in mind that Twitter's API is not 100% reliable because it over-represents more "central" users as it obfuscates peripheral activity. Similarly, some users surely tweeted about the conference without using #lschi2014, hence this archive should not be taken as an infallible source for all Twitter activity associated with the conference. For a more expansive take on social media activity during the conference, researchers should also look into hashtag use on tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook, among other social network sites. The dataset might require further refining.

Interesting bit: users tweeted the conference hashtag 3,218 times during the three days (July 17-19) of the conference. 

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