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Project status: In progress
Online social networks provide a space for public communication that has an increasing impact on common processes of opinion formation concerning themes in public discourse, from politics to everyday consumer culture. The impact of social media-based conversations on brands and products is undeniable; it is evident for example in the repercussions of Qantas’s inadequate response to the social media-based dissemination of stories about its recent spate of mechanical faults, or the instant online backlash against Amazon, Paypal and Mastercard following social media reports of their withdrawal of support for WikiLeaks.
However, there are very few studies to date which examine the influence of communication in online social networks on the issue management activities of commercial companies. The AsNIM (Analysis of Online Social Networks for Business Related Issue Management) project made an important contribution to our understanding of dynamic communication processes in social networks as they relate to commercial brands and products. It traced and analysed the effects of the transition, diffusion, and dissemination of commercially relevant topics into, through, and from social networks, and its methodological innovations and empirical results will become even more valuable as the role of social media in public and interpersonal communication continues to grow.
For more information contact Associate Professor Axel Bruns.
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
A list of publications is available on the Mapping Online Publics website.