From technology speculation to value creation: The changing discourse and actants in the construction of IoT on Twitter
Keywords:internet of things, IoT, social media, Twitter, Connected Concept Analysis, CCA, bots
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly becoming an important technology, affecting our everyday lives, and is predicted to do so even more extensively in the coming years. Still, the concept remains somewhat fuzzy. As IoT continues to grow in importance and scope, so does the need to understand how the concept is used and what it represents. This study analyzes over nine million tweets over an extended sample period, applying a mixed methods approach to investigate how IoT is understood on Twitter over time, and importantly, the human and non-human actors that were prolific in shaping the discourse. The findings reveal a changing focus within the IoT discourse over time — from a primary technological, engineering perspective to one which highlighted practical implementations and particularly ways of leveraging IoT solutions to cultivate service innovation and generate novel forms of value creation. However, the scholarly community is not keeping up with this change. Furthermore, the analysis shows that over time, bots become increasingly prominent in tweeting IoT-related content, at the expense of individual Twitter users. This finding puts into new light the question of who shapes emerging technological concepts and the accountability and agency of bots.
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