Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Authority in social media – Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities

August 9th, 2007 by Seb Chan

From Akshay Java, Xiaodan Song, Tim Finin, and Belle Tseng comes an interesting academic paper titled Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities.

Following my recent post looking at diffused brand identity in social media, this paper is a useful examination of the emergent ‘authority’ and ‘connectedness’ of users amongst a dataset of 75,000 users and 1.3 million ‘posts’.

Twitter is something that I’ve seen limited potential for in most museum applications so far, but increasingly Twitter-style communciation is replacing email – see the frequent updates that your friends do on Facebook’s ‘what I am doing/feeling now’ mood monitor for example.

Abstract:

Microblogging is a new form of communication in which users can describe their current status in short posts distributed by instant messages, mobile phones, email or the Web. Twitter, a popular microblogging tool has seen a lot of growth since it launched in October, 2006. In this paper, we present our observations of the microblogging phenomena by studying the topological and geographical properties of Twitter’s social network. We find that people use microblogging to talk about their daily activities and to seek or share information. Finally, we analyze the user intentions associated at a community level and show how users with similar intentions connect with each other.

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