Friday, October 11, 2013

Data Memo #2

In this data memo, I looked at one week of activity on Sowerby and Luff's Fully Optamised Social Media Network. I examined from October 5-10, 2013. Though I only examined five days, it was quite a lot of data to process (26 posts, 25 comments, 9 comment likes, and 11 post likes). This was a particularly active week. All data was gathered at 12:43 pm Alaska Standard Time on October 10, 2013. The reason for choosing these dates was because of a deadline, but also included the fact that Sowerby and Luff released epsiode 92 of Fat Chance early: the episode was released on Friday instead of Sunday. Interestingly enough, this fact was not discussed by the community. The post that Brian Luff made the post announcing the new episode's release, it receive several likes but only one comment. This post to me seems really important, and would potentially merit more discussion, such as people coming back to it after listening to the episode and discussing things, but few people acknowledge the post and move on to discuss other things in the group.
This graph shows the activity of individual members of the group from October 5 to October 10, 2013.
I found it very interesting to see how much people were interacting and how directly they were interacting. These graphs were generated from a data sheet that listed out information on every post (who posted, what time they posted, where they posted from when that information was available, who liked it, who commented, who liked the comment) The data sheet is still somewhat incomplete and I have recently noticed that when I changed my written data into illustrated data, I missed a few people's activity. I plan on revisiting the data sheet and posting it later with complete data, including information of if the commenters are responding to each other, and checking to make sure my data is current up to date and accurate.

Until that time, it is important to notice something there are more posts and comments than any other way of communicating using the Facebook interface. (even with the data that I have found I missed when creating the graph and pie chart, the difference will more than likely not amount to very much) This information is very interesting because if it is a microcosm of Facebook, in my experience, there should be more likes, most all of my posts and the posts I see that my friends make, often likes out number comments,. However, as the pie chart below shows, over 72% (37% of which are posts and 35% are comments) of the communication that happened in the group this past week happened actively: no passive liking.
This pie chart shows the percentage of what activity was from October 5 to October 10, 2013
Active communication in the group, even if it was of a sarcastic nature, shows not only the interplay of audience with the show, but how the audience interacts with each other. If someone is repeatedly ignored or is infrequently recognized, this may point to the fact that this person does not post or comment much and is not an active part of the group. There is often a larger attention to paid to the members of the group who post frequently or have posts featured on the show, or post concerning the show (with the revised or continued data, I will show these numbers). This attention, may point towards the idea that the group is seeking attention from Sowerby and Luff, or that they are merely commenting on an advertised story. Furthermore, it may show that the people who are posting the most and receive the most attention, may be more in touch with the subject matter that this particular affinity group is attracted to.

Furthermore, the people who post more and receive more attention, increase their activity, and form, in a sense, a perceived identity of more "in-tuneness" with the group. This forms a sort of prestige for these people, despite the fact that they are interacting in a fan group on Facebook for a comedy podcast. In fact, I found myself when reading through the posts, more tempted to look at the links and posts made by people who's names reoccured several times. I may have simply been searching for more data, but it also felt more important to look at their posts, perhaps in the misguided belief that the stories they posted would be featured in the show. Furthermore, posts that received more likes were not only interesting statistically, but in relation to the show as well.

As I mentioned before, I had some problems when creating my analysis and the graphics, so I will be going back and reexamining my findings and regenerating these images. However, I do assure you that the missing data is very small and will more than likely not increase the percentages too heavily. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Data Memo #1

First I would like to apologize for the lateness of this post: I have had technical difficulties and have just managed to resolve them.

This is my data sample:

All names and images of people besides Sowerby, Luff, and mine will be censored for the privacy and protection of the individual. Who the person is has less to do with my research as opposed to how often they post and interact with the show.
It is a screen capture of a post to the Sowerby and Luff's Fully Optimised Social Media Network, on Facebook, by a fan of the show who will be called SK. SK posted this link,, to the page, and continued a conversation from many podcast throughout Sowerby and Luff's podcasts about how much "Big Brother" is watching people. This post,  was then featured on episode 90 of Fat Chance and was discussed by Georgina and Brian. SK posted the link the same day that the episode was released (Spetember 22). The link is a photo of a group of people outside a hockey arena for the 2011 Stanley Cup. The photo was taken with a very powerful camera, and allows one to zoom in on the faces of the people in the crowd. 

This post is an excellent example of what my research focus is. Sowerby and Luff have allowed fans to interact with the show, mostly by answering questions and submitting stories, through email, but a few years ago the opened the Facebook group, which has allowed a broader range of content to be submitted, plus a higher level of fan interaction because of the social network context. Furthermore, this post helped shaped the show not only by being part of the content, but created a connectedness, because as we see Georgina comments, "Never go out without lipstick, that's the rule" on the post but also says the same thing on air, potentially at the same time. We also see that not only does Georgina comment on the post it self, but she likes a comment made by NH. Furthermore we see that Georgina is not the person to generate interest in a comment because SK liked the comment first then Georgina liked it (Facebook shows the first like last putting the first like on the left starting the sentence).

Georgina not only interacts by commenting, but also by liking.
The only other comment that has likes is Georgina's comment, which garners interest not only from the person that posted the first comment, but from someone that had not posted a comment in the conversation and not liked the post or the previous comment. This interest in Georgina's comment, might mean that people in the group see things that Georgina and Brian post or say as more important than the rest of the group's. This attention, may have to do with Georgina and Brian's digital capital: they are what is now termed as "Internet Famous" and are thus higher profile. Furthermore, 

Georgina's comment is the first comment to receive any likes.

Another facet of this conversation is that though this is part of Facebook, the comments are all at a higher level of grammar than one normally sees on Facebook. There is no misspelling, or misplaced grammar, or missing punctuation (one person does use two question marks). The tone of the comments is conversational, but also higher than the usual "freaky," "cool," "OMG" type comments one would see on their own newsfeed. This level of correctness in English shows that the group is either aware that they are being observed by strangers, and/or they are all very well educated in English correctness.

One interesting thing about the post is that though people are interacting by commenting and liking they are not directly interacting one with another: there are several questions posed in the comments but they all remain unanswered. Admittedly, the first question was rather comical and rhetorical, there were others that potentially merited attention and answers. It would be interesting to see if all questions posed in the comments remain unanswered.