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Twitter Research: My Dissertation, Online

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Um, yes, I was going to be writing about my holiday day-by-day, wasn’t I? Sorry about that. I’ll probably write more about that in a bit. Maybe.

For now, here’s some TL;DR for you. Remember I was doing some research into the language of Twitter for my degree? Remember how some of you helped me with it? Well, it’s now marked (a 2:1, thanks for asking. An enormously frustrating 1.5% away from a 1st), which means I’m now happy to lob it online. So, here it is, all 7 billion pages of it.

The Language of Twitter: Linguistic Innovation and Character Limitation in Short Messaging. (.pdf)

Twitter Research – I need your help!


Over the next few months, I’m going to be writing about the ways in which people communicate via Twitter.  In order to do so, I need your help.

It strikes me that the best way to study something on Twitter is to effectively utilise Twitter itself.  So what I’ve done is set up a Twitter account, and I want you all to follow it.  I’ll follow you back, and then use all your talkings to form the basis of my work.

If you’d like to sign up to this, and I strongly encourage you to do so, please-please-please follow this Twitter feed.  But first, it’s my obligation to ensure you read and agree to the following terms.


Lewis Denby is conducting a piece of research into the ways in which people communicate via online short messaging service Twitter.  The research will form the basis of an internally assessed paper at the University of Leeds, UK.  Collected data and the resulting analysis will not be published in any academic journal or book, though it may appear online on a personal website in the future.

If you would like to take part in this study, all you need to do is follow this Twitter feed.  You will be followed back.  By following this feed, you confirm that you understand that anything you post on your Twitter page between now and the start of March 2010 may be collected and analysed by Lewis Denby.  Your anonymity will be protected at all times, and no names, either real or alias, will be mentioned in the study.  Anything you post, however, may be quoted in the paper.  Any copies of the data, either electronic or hard-copy, will be destroyed once the study is complete.

You are free to withdraw from the study at any time, and do not need to give reason for doing so.  If you would like to withdraw, please send an email including your Twitter username to ml07lwd[at], with the subject line I wish to withdraw from your study.  Any copies of your data will be immediately destroyed, and your data will not be used in the paper in any way.

I confirm that I have read and understand the above terms, and would like to take part in the study by following the Twitter feed.