[Air-L] Research on

Amelia Kassel amelia at marketingbase.com
Wed Nov 4 07:49:32 PST 2009

Perhaps of related interest though not precisely on point is a study from Nielsen covering Twitter retention rates. The study was criticized in some blogs.  A Nielsen blog includes 152 comments and anecdotal comments related to our question - see http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitter-quitters-post-roadblock-to-long-term-growth
For more on the study, Google: Nielsen study twitter

Amelia Kassel, MLS
Distance Faculty, San Jose State University, 
  School of Library and Information Science

-----Original Message-----
>From: Lisbeth Klastrup <klastrup at itu.dk>
>Sent: Nov 4, 2009 6:44 AM
>To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
>Cc: klastrup at itu.dk
>Subject: [Air-L] Research on "passive" social media use?
>Hi all,
>A question related to what we do NOT do while spending our time on social
>network sites:
>I’m currently trying to dig up academic literature documenting in some form
>the numbers of active versus passive users of social media, with special
>focus on the passive users.  “Active” here for the sake of argument meant in
>a broad sense:  uploading content, commenting, rating; and “passive” as just
>watching or reading, but not interacting with content in any way.  Im
>basically interested in all forms of recent academic research on this, which
>actually provide some numbers, not just mentionings of “rule of thumbs” or
>second-hand information.
>Particularly, I’d love to know if anyone has researched how many people 
>“just” read status updates and do NOT comment, retweet, “Like” them etc on
>sites like Facebook or Twitter. (I know it’s a tricky question and perhaps
>not very useful to make the distinction, since most are likely to have
>commented or “liked” at some point, but then again I surmise some people are
>more likely to do it on a more regularly basis than others, and some are
>very rarely active??)
>What I have found so far: 
>A 2008 OfCom report in their UK survey results reports that “40% looks at
>other people’s sites (eg. SNS profiles) without leaving messages”, but does
>not deal with “passivity” otherwise. A Sysomos survey of Twitter users
>claims to have found that 21% of people with Twitter-accounts have never
>tweeted (so they must be “passive” readers of other people’s tweets?).
>I know of  Jenny Preece’s early work on lurkers, and Jose Van Dijck in her
>2009 paper “Users like you? Theorizing agency in user-generated content”
>mentions a Forrester report from 2007 “Mapping Participation in Activities”
>(which you have to pay for), talking of 33% of users being passive
>spectators (of videos, blogs etc) and 52% “inactives”. An OECD 2007 report
>“Participative Web: User-Generated content” (according to Dijck) says more
>than 80% are passive recipients of content. All in all not much knowledge to
>go by, and mostly just numbers. And then there’s the 1/10/89 % meme, but how
>substantial is it:
>I've perused Danah Boyd’s extensive list on social network research, but at
>least judging from the titles of articles listed there & still unknown to
>me, “passive” SNS use hasn’t really been the topic of any papers so far? 
>Do any of you know of any (other) work in this area? – I’ll be happy to do a
>summary here or in the social media sphere..
>Lisbeth Klastrup,
>IT University of Copenhagen
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