Browsing by Subject "networked expertise"

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  • Niitamo, Oskari (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Aims. This qualitative study explored a phenomenon of epistemic communality around a Twitter hashtag. The primary aim of the study was to explore communal epistemic production on the Twitter platform, especially in the context of a mutually shared hashtag. The study explored the peer-production of knowledge and epistemic structures in the context of a specialist domain collaborating in the open Web. The secondary aim was to explore how Twitter functions as a platform for networked expertise and as a public agora for practitioners' expert discourse. This nascent mode of cultural production leads to the development of expert cultures on Twitter and in the open Web. This creates new contexts for informal collaborative learning and cultral production potentially answering some of the competence challenges presented by the 21st century. Methods. The hashtag #okfest was launched for the 'Open Knowledge Festival' conference held in Helsinki, Finland (17–22.9.2012). The participants of the study were open knowledge practitioners who participated in the hashtag discourse of #okfest on Twitter. All public tweets containing the string '#okfest' were collected as data. Tweets were analyzed with qualitative thematic analysis exploring the epistemic contributions either included in the tweets or as hyperlinked attachments. Results and conclusions. The analysis indicated how the hashtag was appropriated to serve as a node of communal knowledge sharing beyond mere reporting from the conference. The analysis observed six themes of communal knowledge building in the hashtag space. The communal epistemic activities in #okfest were likened to the properties of a community of practice (Wenger, 1998). A network of practitioners engaging in a mutual domain creates a dynamic 'social learning system' combining social interaction with the production and dissemination of knowledge. The study yielded a novel theoretical concept of 'expert microblogging', recognized as a significant genre of cultural production in a specialist domain on Twitter and in the open Web. Finally the Twitter platform was ascertained as a site for the manifestation of cultures of networked expertise.