Anne Helmond and Carolin Gerlitz
How are commentspaces distributed across different platforms? If a website does not allow for comments, does the commentspace migrate elsewhere? How are different types of issues and different types of commentspaces?
- Certain issues resonate more in the commentspace than others. What are preferred commented issues?
- Commentspaces are separate spaces and not tightly connected.
- Twitter is a prominent commentspace, what is the relationship between Twitter and comments?
- Take five different types of issues:
- Politics: “Afghanistan war”
- Entertainment: “Lady Gaga”
- Economics: “Oil spill”
- Social: “Ground Zero mosque”
- Science & Technology: "Net-neutrality"
- Batch query Google for issues with the Google scraper (top 100 results)
- Get shares/comments/likes for all URLs on Facebook (Erik queried the Facebook API)
- Get all tweets for URL on Twitter through Topsy tool
- Manually check all URLs to see if they allow comments > If so, get number of comments
The first visualisation shows how open the URLs for each query are to commenting and how many comments each result received inside the commentspace. Within the pie-charts, the green areas refer to the websites that allow commenting, whereas the grey areas show the disabled comment space. Together they form the inside and outside of comment space for each issue. The bubbles below show the activity within the commentspace for each issue and are scaled according to the average comments of each website that allow for commenting.
To study the distributed commentspaces for each issue, we calculated the average commenting activity on Twitter, Facebook shares and Facebook comments for all results inside the commentspace (green bubbles) and outside (grey bubbles). As a baseline, we show the average number of comments on the websites.
Findings_1. The comment activity inside the enabled commentspace of “Oil Spill” is bigger than in the other spaces.
2. The activity on Twitter accounts for less than 5% of both inside and outside the enabled commentspace.
3. Overall comment activity is slightly bigger within enabled commentspace.
1. The comment activity outside the enabled commentspace of “Afghanistan War” is much bigger than inside the enabled commentspace.
2. Comments mainly migrate to Facebook.
3. Overall comment activity is bigger outside of the enabled commentspace.
Findings_1. The comment activity both inside and outside the enabled commentspace of “Net-neutrality” is almost equal to the enabled commentspace.
2. Compared to the other issues Twitter is relatively strong.
3. “Net-neutrality” has equally distributed commentspaces.
Findings_1. There is more comment activity within the enabled commentspace.
2. The activity on Twitter accounts for less than 10% of both inside and outside the enabled commentspace.
3. Compared to the other issues “Ground Zero Mosque” is heavily discussed in Facebook comments.
Findings_1. Even though few websites allow for commenting, the comment activity inside the enabled commentspace is about 50x higher.
2. Twitter is significantly less active than the other commentspaces.
and Daily Motion account for the big number of Facebook Shares and Facebook Comments.
Unexpected findings_1. Twitter is not the most prominent commentspace, instead Facebook Comments/Shares are most active.
2. In the absence of a commentspace, comments do not necessarily migrate to other spaces.
3. Rather, the websites that allow for commenting also generate many distributed comments.
4. The distribution of comments across spaces is very much related to the issue.