About This Project
This project is simple: collect and describe the incoming president's political communication and the network of people communicating his ideas in Twitter. Mr. Trump uses social media unlike any other presidential candidate, and it is essential to collect and curate these messages before they are unavailable. The method involves a quantitative description of the narrative patterns, most influential communicators, and the themes, values, and norms of political discourse in today's republic.
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What is the context of this research?
I have conducted analysis of text for many other issues/subject areas but it occurred to me that the incoming President is unprecedented ;-) in his use of Twitter, and this is data to people like me. That data is made more unavailable every day, and we must collect, curate, and understand it to better understand civic discourse in today's US republic.
What is the significance of this project?
Twitter only makes 3200 tweets available on any one profile, but Mr. Trump already has over 34,000 messages that he has posted to his over 17 million followers. This data must be collected immediately and then rigorously measured and understood. time is of the essence.
What are the goals of the project?
The goals are to put in place a smaller project that will prove the concept of the larger one. Here we will scrape as much data as we can with out the Twitter business partner's license and analyze the text in the same way we would with the full data.
The first step is to obtain research assistance to help me with this project, thus I am requesting $5,000 to pay a research graduate student aid. This is part of the larger project that will require much more funding, but the RA can help me create a demonstration project (proof of concept). The RA will be able to spend 20 hours a week on this element. I have 6 months to make this work, before a large portion of tweets are made unavailable; the larger funding will allow me to pay a license fee that will open access to a year prior, but first we must prove that the empirical element works.
Meet the Team
I am a Professor of Political Science where I normally study global environmental politics, often through text analysis. I've published 5 books and many academic articles all on environmental politics. This project's urgency, however, has convinced me to step outside my normal area of environmental issues and make sure this data is not lost.
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