witter and other micro-blogging platforms, with their short messages, in some cases circulated to millions of followers, were at first viewed with condescension and amusement: famously David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, opined, "Too many tweets make a twat." Other media initially treated Twitter as offering platforms for celebrities, pools of banality, streams of dumbed-down opinions. But people using Twitter quickly found an enormous range of diverse uses, revelling in opportunities for creativity that microblogging and associated applications offered. People involved Twitter in organising revolutions, disseminating scientific findings, promoting brands, communicating with friends and crafting new forms of artistic endeavours and communications. Where Twitter is not allowed, as in China, other microblogging platforms have taken on similar functions.
This conference brings together a range of researchers doing detailed analyses of the discourse, practices, and social interactions of microblogging communities.