[Air-L] Twitter usage studies

David Brake davidbrake at gmail.com
Fri Aug 3 08:59:48 PDT 2012

Dear AoIR,

Are there studies of Twitter use analysing proportion of people mostly tweeting about public issues vs private/interpersonal ones? Something analogous to the studies of blogging that divided personal vs hobby vs political blogging like Lenhart, A. and S. Fox (2006) "Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet’s New Storytellers" Pew Internet & American Life Project http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2006/Bloggers.aspx (although with Twitter as with blogging there would of course be problems with people who tweet in a varied way). Even better, studies of the kinds of people who do each kind of tweeting? And which differentiate tweeters from retweeters?

I would like to quantify the (obvious) point that the number of active Tweeters on matters of journalistic interest adding comment or new information is vanishingly small and stratified compared to those who simply retweet or tweet on personal matters or just use Twitter to follow friends and celebrities. Did you know that 5% of Twitter users produced 75% of all activity, 21% had never tweeted themselves and 85% post less than once a day? Sysomos (2009) "Inside Twitter: An in-Depth Look inside the Twitter World " http://www.sysomos.com/insidetwitter/

PS Don't forget to check out (or contribute to) the Arab Spring literature collection I put together with some friends here:


And here:


PPS Will be making strenuous efforts to get to the conference so I look forward to seeing my tribe again!

David Brake (@drbrake http://davidbrake.org/) Senior Lecturer, Journalism & Communications, University of Bedfordshire http://www.beds.ac.uk/departments/jc +44 (0) 1582 743028

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