A Social University: Relationships Between Oxford Colleges in the Twittersphere

Though the University of Oxford’s prestigious reputation may convey the impression of a monolithic institution, it is — in reality — a loosely tied federation of colleges with varying histories and sizes. I aimed to elucidate relationships between colleges as revealed through social media profiles. I then created this visualisation to look specifically at geographic relationships between colleges, investigating the question, “Does closer proximity create closer ties between colleges on Twitter?” The answer, as the visualisation reveals, is not a simple “Yes”. Rather, it appears that a complex mesh of variables influences social media relationships between colleges, some of which […]

‘You’ve got to share. You’ve got to care’: Emotional and Creative Exchange in the My Little Pony Fandom

  Referring to themselves largely (but not uniformly) as Bronies, members of the Internet-enabled MLP (My Little Pony) fandom span multiple platforms and generate a prolific amount of artwork and an intense sense of community. The most prominent fan fiction website, FiMFiction.net, hosts over a billion words from over thirty thousand authors.[1] Reddit boasts over 50 separate subreddits (forums) dedicated to fostering community and content, from /r/MLPdrawingschool to /r/TheoryOfPony. I’ve spent the last month immersed in ethnographic study of online MLP communities, looking at ways that they share and care for one another. This blog looks briefly at some of […]