Methodologies for mapping the political blogosphere: An exploration using the IssueCrawler research tool

Axel Bruns


This paper explores methodologies for using the IssueCrawler research tool to map the interconnections of individual blogs in sections of the blogosphere. It uses the case of Australian–born Guantanamo detainee David Hicks as a case study, mapping the distributed discussions of this case in that part of the Australian blogosphere which is concerned with debating news and politics. Its findings indicate the presence of a strong and sustained engagement with this case by Australian political bloggers, and point to a tendency for discussions to cluster around a handful of sites which are defined by their political orientation. The network maps also suggest a lack of sustained coverage of the case by bloggers outside of Australia, and indicate only limited engagement between bloggers and the mainstream media.

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