What did we learn?
Topic modeling is often assumed to be a primary text analysis tool for digital humanists. However, the utility of topic modeling is more ambiguous. Where topic modeling may be an integral tools for studying an enormous body of law documents, for example, does it have the same utility for a corpus of tweets?
None of these “topics” are truly revealing. Weknow Kim tweets about her family, about fashion, about her personal life (Kanye West frequently appears in multiple “topics”). We know that twitter is a key place for the Kardashian to promote their show Keeping up with the Kardashians and this is blatantly clear in the multiple word clusters encouraging people to “tune in.”
Everyone: Please call Speaker Pelosi TODAY at 202-225-0100 and URGE her to schedule a vote on H.Res.252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 9, 2010
While topic modeling did not offer much in terms of sorting through the corpus of Kardashian tweets at our disposal, it did allow me to collect and analyze one specific thematic topic. After this preliminary step, however, the onus to continue to study these tweets and how they might inform our study of the Kardashians public use of their Armenian heritage is on us.