There are three key areas of metrics which we suggest are of general use in the study of hashtag data-sets: metrics which describe the contributions made by specific users and groups of users; metrics which describe overall patterns of activity over time; and metrics that combine these aspects to examine the contributions by specific users and groups over time. Further, more specific metrics may also be established, but these soon become substantially more case-specific, and are no longer useful for a comparison of patterns across different cases. We discuss these areas in turn, and provide examples of how these metrics may be utilised for the study of individual hashtags as well as for comparative work across hashtags.
One of these days, I should just read through everything Axel Bruns and Stefan Stieglitz have published. This one, already a few years old, outlines some fairly simple but useful metrics for comparing hashtagged Twitter conversations and presents a few examples of such comparisons. Nothing mind-blowing, but it’s good that somebody’s put this stuff on paper.
Bruns, Axel & Stieglitz, Stefan (2013). “Towards more systematic Twitter analysis: metrics for tweeting activities”. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 16:2, 91-108, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2012.756095.