Article published in:Participation in Public and Social Media Interactions
Edited by Marta Dynel and Jan Chovanec
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 256] 2015
► pp. 49–66
Participation structures in Twitter interaction
Arguing for the broadcaster role
In offering a new platform for electronically-mediated interaction, the Twitter medium brings with it new implications for participation. Building on Goffman’s (1981) production format, this paper argues for the role of broadcaster, a “followable” party that makes talk available to recipients, as a participant in Twitter interaction. Evidence from a corpus of tweets relating to the National Hockey League (NHL) is presented, showing that the broadcaster role can be separated from Goffman’s traditional roles of animator, author, and principal. The broadcaster, however, is shown to be held responsible for talk produced for the account, even when the broadcaster is demonstrably distinct from other production roles. Additionally, the broadcaster is shown to be a potential target of address in tweets from other Twitter users. This evidence suggests that users see the broadcaster as an active participant in the production of talk, and should be included in participation frameworks for Twitter interaction.
Published online: 12 February 2015
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