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Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age (DMS - Digital Media and Society) [Paperback]

Dhiraj Murthy
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Nov 2012 DMS - Digital Media and Society (Book 6)
Twitter has become a household name, discussed both for its role in prominent national elections, natural disasters, and political movements, as well as for what some malign as narcissistic “chatter.” This book takes a critical step back from popular discourse and media coverage of Twitter, to present the first balanced, scholarly engagement of this popular medium. In this timely and comprehensive introduction, Murthy not only discusses Twitter’s role in our political, economic, and social lives, but also draws a historical line between the telegraph and Twitter to reflect on changes in social communication over time. The book thoughtfully examines Twitter as an emergent global communications medium and provides a theoretical framework for students, scholars, and tweeters to reflect critically on the impact of Twitter and the contemporary media environment. The book uses case studies including citizen journalism, health, and national disasters to provide empirically rich insights and to help decipher some of the ways in which Twitter and social media more broadly may be shaping contemporary life.

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Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age (DMS - Digital Media and Society) + The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media + Personal Connections in the Digital Age (DMS - Digital Media and Society)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (30 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745652395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745652399
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Winner of the Choice award for Outstanding Academic Title "The 200,000 million tweets sent each day have been deserving of serious scholarly attention. Murthy addresses this gap in a pioneering book." The Global Journal "A tantalizing, insightful and balanced account of the existing scholarship about the question how Twitter changes our communication practices." Koen van Turnhout Macro Blog "Dhiraj Murthy′s Twitter is an excellent overview of the endless spirals of meaning and insignificance that characterize the micro–blogging phenomenon." Hal Niedzviecki, author of The Peep Diaries: How We′re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbours "Dhiraj Murthy′s Twitter is a rich and informed consideration of one of the most commonly used sites in the US today. Drawing from multiple perspectives and incorporating literature from sociology, communication, political science, and media studies, Murthy’s book includes chapters on the role Twitter plays in reshaping journalism, activism practices, disaster coordination, and the sharing of social support and medical information. Notably, the book pays special attention to historical context, drawing out connections between Twitter and earlier technologies, and using these comparisons to illustrate what is new and what is not so new about this fascinating communication platform. Murthy engages with sophisticated analytical frameworks but does so using accessible language and concrete examples, which will make this volume especially useful in the classroom." Nicole Ellison, Michigan State University

About the Author

Dhiraj Murthy is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bowdoin College.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the Twitterverse 14 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One word of caution, there is a glut of `how to' or `getting started' books about Twitter today. This is not one of them. It is a serious academic treatise on the impact of Twitter today, socially, politically and culturally. The morality of Tweeting is touched on here and there, but the writer quite rightly points out that Twitter is not morally good or bad in itself, that value is defined by the content of Tweets themselves.
More ise said on its efficacy and impact as a communication tool. Is it dumbing down communication, speeding everything up in its terse 140 character, spontaneous and constant updating way until we have whirling mulch that does not give time for analysis or thought? Or is it a powerful, democratising, globalising, force for good, building new enfranchising networks, and empowering the individual to seek out answers and information for themselves?
With such issues the writer avoids a binary either / or approach, taking a more nuanced and complex line. The book begins defining Twitter as a social networking and communication tool, explaining what it means to be a micro-blogging tool, how it fits in with and feeds the `update' culture, allowing a means that individuals can record, understand and validate their experiences, whilst simultaneously a networking tool that breaks out of the private sphere of Facebook to potentially an unknowingly wide audience, some of which may be known family and friends, some not.
In the next Chapter, Twitter is contextualised in communications history. In this way Dhiraj Murthy debunks the notion that Twitter is a nefarious dumbing down of communication unprecedented in history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 16 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am completely fascinated by and love social media and therefore have read a number of books on the subject. THis book is a fascinating if rather scholarly text. However, in all fairness to the author it is written for academia. As well as looking at the world of politics and twitter Murthy also gives an historical overview, Rather than trying to be all things to all men he focuses on several key areas. He starts by setting Twitter into context for the age and then looks at its role in Journalism, Health, Activism and Disasters. Reference is made to some key areas and papers to support the discussion.

I liked this book and would highly recommend it. So why have I given it 4 stars rather than 5. The only reason is that it is specifically focused on academia rather than the general public so is therefore a niche publication.
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Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not sure I agree that this work is 'fascinating' or even 'interesting'. It's structured as a series of essays, written in academic style looking at data primarily from 2010 and 2011 and interpreting how Twitter is used and the results of its use (eg 'forming communities'). This, right from the getgo, makes it incredibly dated as user behaviour on the platform and available data changes and increases. I'm not entirely sure the data sets used are that great to begin with. The language employed is often quite basic, for example:

'"I woke in the earthquake now" - a Japanese Twitter user.

As the above Tweet illustrates, some users Tweet during a natural disaster'

It's language and conclusions like that that makes this an unnecessary (and almost insulting) slog to read.

If you're looking at the best ways you can use Twitter, this is not for you. If you are interested in current use case studies of recent events and disasters, this is not for you. If you're looking at some basic social interpretations of Twitter use, then you might find some interest in this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected. 20 July 2013
By John Rowan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I ordered this book because I wanted to know about Twitter - how to use it, advantages and pitfalls, a general introduction. But this book is a tough academic book in media studies, relating Twitter to other social media and making philosophical points, etc. It would no doubt be great for anyone doing a university course in media studies, but not what I wanted or needed!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Depends what you are looking for... 16 July 2013
By taylzo VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I found this book to be intriguing to a certain level, at which I then just got a bit fed up. I use Facebook a lot, not so much Twitter, but have recently started using it more for business purposes. I was interested to get a bit more in depth knowledge on how to best use it to its potential, and I do think it gave me a bit of an insight. However, it is definitely an academic book which isn't so much what I was looking for, so I guess your opinion on this book is really going to depend on the reason you want to read about twitter.
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