“Minority metrics” – measuring the cultural impact

The internet provides us with the chance to analyze the cultural impact of certain terms, topics, individuals and communities in numbers. It is therefore an obvious task to try to determine the cultural reception and influence of a minority and to answer questions like: what does constitute a successful reception of a cultural heritage? What are the reasons for a lack of attention and knowledge towards the cultural products of an ethnic group? What is the formula for initiating and maintaining the “digital motorics“?

A method for measuring this impact should hence be developed, maybe departing from the methods and theories of bibliometrics. For determining the cultural impact factor of a minority the following basic questions are to be answered:

Who respectively from which countries and regions are people searching for cultural materials or information on certain minorities? Are the searchers likely to be members of the minority or not? Are they present in the home regions of the minority – or is the minority more often searched for abroad? How many regular searchers can be evidenced?

What is searched for in connection with the respective minority? Which terms are linked to it? Which terms are linked to each other? Which language is used for the search? What is actually found and is consequently forming the image of the minority? Audiovisual or textual materials? Is a minority more present in cultural contexts or more often mentioned in the news? How often is it not seen as an independent community but closely linked to other ethnical groups? Which hierarchy of the materials or origin of informations can be stated – is there more low profile information like on Twitter or some of higher standard like on news sites or in e-books? And most important: what associations are met in connection with the respective minority? Are there more positive than negative ones? Which mental maps can be found?

Systematic information retrieval and the producing of reliable statistical data for answering questions like these would be a solid starting point for further progress in digitization strategies.


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