Quantitative Approaches to Comparing Communication Patterns on Twitter

Bruns Axel, Stieglitz Stefan


Abstract
To date, available literature mainly discusses Twitter activity patterns in the context of individual case studies, while comparative research on a large number of communicative events, their dynamics and patterns is missing. By conducting a comparative study of more than forty different cases (covering topics such as elections, natural disasters, corporate crises, and televised events) we identify a number of distinct types of discussion which can be observed on Twitter. Drawing on a range of communicative metrics, we show that thematic and contextual factors influence the usage of different communicative tools available to Twitter users, such as original tweets, @replies, retweets, and URLs. Based on this first analysis of the overall metrics of Twitter discussions, we also demonstrate stable patterns in the use of Twitter in the context of major topics and events.

Keywords
Twitter, social media, public communication, media events, communicative patterns



Publication type
Article in Journal

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2012

Journal
Journal of Technology in Human Services

Volume
30(3-4)

Pages range
160-185

Language
English

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