Opinion leadership on twitter

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Presentation at the Düsseldorf Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Twitter Analysis (#diata11)

14.-15. September, 2011, Düsseldorf, Germany

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Opinion leadership on twitter

  1. 1. DÜSSELDORF WORKSHOP ON INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO TWITTER ANALYSIS HOW TO MEASURE OPINION LEADERSHIP ON TWITTER? Katrin Jungnickel, TU Ilmenau 14.09.2011Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 1
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Original Concept: Opinion Leadership and the Two-Step Flow of Communication 2. What is Different Online and on Twitter 3. Implications for Measuring Opinion Leadership Online and on TwitterKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 2
  3. 3. WHAT ARE OPINION LEADERS? Two-Step Flow of Communication: Original Concept Influences stemming from the mass media first reach "opinion leaders" who, in turn, pass on what they read and hear to those of their every-day associates for whom they are influential. This hypothesis was called "the two-step flow of communication”. Katz 1957: 61 Broadly, it appears that influence is related (1) to the personification of certain values (who one is); (2) to competence (what one knows); and (3) to strategic social location (whom one knows). Katz 1957: 73Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 3
  4. 4. WHO ARE THE OPINION LEADERS? Characteristics of Opinion Leaders Personality Status Communication Behaviour • Charismatic authority • In all social classes • Frequent interpersonal Who • Belief in self-efficacy • Tendency to higher status, communication • Public individuation one is • Credibility especially for virtual opinion • Represent Group Norms leaders • Communicative competence • Often advice or convince others Media use Engagement/ Involvement Knowledge • High usage of print and • Political participation • Expert status What online media • Social engagement one • Information seeking • High involvement regarding the knows behaviour topic in question (political interest, product involvement) Network Position • Central position, large Whom social network, many contacts one knowsKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 4
  5. 5. THE ROLE OF OPINION LEADERS IN COMMUNICATION Main Functions: Transmission and Persuasion Transmission Persuasion Diffusion Research Public Opinion Research two-step-flow: opinion leaders as opinion leaders as influencers on public intermediaries between professional opinion, attitudes and behaviour communicators (media, politicians, organisations) and the public  Mediation  Moderation Troldahl 1966: one-step flow of Robinson 1976: multi-step flow, opinion information and two-step flow of sharers receive and give opinions persuasionKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 5
  6. 6. TRANSMISSION ONLINE Return to the Basic Concept – Revival of the Two-Step Flow? • Pew Internet Research 2010 (survey in the US) o 71% of onliners receive news from other people via Mail, Twitter, Instant Messager etc. o 30% of onliners receive news via social networking, 17% only through contact with friends o 6% of onliners receive news via Twitter Development of New Gatekeepers (Jürgens, Jungherr & Schön 2011) or Gatewatchers (Bruns 2005)Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 6
  7. 7. TRANSMISSION ON TWITTER Indicators for a Two-Step-Flow on Twitter • Two groups of Twitter users (Wu et al. 2011) o Intermediaries receive news/information mostly directly from the media  have more followers  are more active  are more likely to be elite users (celebrities, media, bloggers, organisations) o Other users receive news/information mostly from intermediaries • What happens to media tweets? (An et al. 2011) o in average, every tweet from the media gets retweeted 15 times o media can increase their audience by 28% via retweets o 80% of users follow up to 10 media but come into contact with up to 27 media via retweets o 46% of media tweets reach users via intermediaries (Wu et al. 2011)Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 7
  8. 8. PERSUASION • Network Homogeneity (Schenk 1994) o political talk often happens in the primary group (close family friends) o strong congruence of opinions in the network o opinion leaders represent group norms • Framing in Online Social Networks (Maireder 2011) o intermediaries provide patterns and frames for the interpretation of media content o intermediation frames are persuasive • Heterogeneity of opinions on Twitter? o 18% of left wings and 57% of right wings get into contact with dissonant political opinions via retweets (An et al. 2011) o retweet-network is divided in two political camps, mention network isn‘t (Conover et al. 2011)Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 8
  9. 9. WHAT IS DIFFERENT ONLINE AND ON TWITTER? influence of OLs potentially increases - as intermediaries, but also as moderators? Connection with probability to receive Increased network people outside the different opinions/ size primary and secondary information increases group information overload → information remains unnoticedKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 9
  10. 10. WHAT IS DIFFERENT ONLINE AND ON TWITTER? Lowest common audience not clearly denominator effect defined (Marwick & Boyd 2011)? Influence of opinion leaders dependent on Information the activity of their spreading network via retweets (Influence Passivity Algorithm, Romero et al. 2011) original source can information obtained is diffuse unchanged possibly more reliableKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 10
  11. 11. WHAT IS DIFFERENT ONLINE AND ON TWITTER? Mixture of classic & Communicators and Mixture of virtual opinion leaders, intermediaries use communicators and opinion leader media & the same channel opinion leaders institutionsKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 11
  12. 12. VIRTUAL OPINION LEADERS Elite Users and Micro Celebrities as New Virtual Opinion Leaders • Virtual Opinion Leaders (Eisenstein 1994) o celebrities and politicians o influence especially high on people with less social contacts o characteristics: credibility, authority, charisma o Similar influence of opinion leader media and institutions • Virtual Opinion Leaders on Online Social Networks o Elite Users on Twitter (Wu et al. 2011)  bloggers, media, organisations, celebrities  20.000 elite users are responsible for 50% of the attention on Twitter  journalists often have more followers than the media they work for (An et al. 2011) o Micro Celebrities (Pugh 2010, qualitative Facebook Study)  become online celebrities due to their large networkKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 12
  13. 13. MIXTURE OF COMMUNICATORS ONLINE Implications for the Opinion Leadership Concept • Opinion leaders online and on Twitter are not (only) individuals. COMPANIES / MEDIA BRANDS PARTIES ORGANISATIONS BLOGS INSTITUTIONSKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 13
  14. 14. METHODS OF MEASURING OPINION LEADERSHIP Method Description Positional Office holders, politicians Reputational Nominated by others Self-designating Opinion leadership scales (e.g. Lazarsfeld, Berelson & Gaudet 1944, King & Summers 1970, Noelle-Neumann 1983, Childers 1986) Sociometric By retracing communication paths in a network Observation Key informant Nominated by special informants approach List of methods by Weimann et al. 2007Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 14
  15. 15. METHODS OF MEASURING OPINION LEADERSHIP Methods Applied to Research on Twitter Method Description Positional Office holders, politicians Reputational Nominated by others Self-designating Opinion leadership scales (e.g. Lazarsfeld, Berelson & Gaudet 1944, King & Summers 1970, Noelle-Neumann 1983, Childers 1986) Followers, Re- Sociometric By retracing communication paths in a network Tweets, Re- Posts, Observation Mentions Key informant Nominated by special informants approach List of methods by Weimann et al. 2007Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 15
  16. 16. METHODS OF MEASURING OPINION LEADERSHIP ON TWITTER Concepts of Opinion Leadership on Twitter • Criteria for Opinion Leadership on Twitter o amount of followers o page rank o amount of retweets and mentions (Cha et al. 2010, Kwak et al. 2010) o amount of reposts (Bakshy et al. 2011) 1. Problems of technical analysis (automatic re-tweets, changing tweets, etc.) 2. Focus on transmission, negligence of persuasion 3. Which characteristics make an individual (or a brand/ media organisation/ instititution) influential on Twitter – not only in terms of reach, but in terms of impact?Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 16
  17. 17. HOW TO MEASURE OPINION LEADERSHIP ON TWITTER? Extension of Twitter Network and Content Analysis Method Description Positional Office holders, politicians Reputational Nominated by others Elements of Self-designating Opinion leadership scales (e.g. Lazarsfeld, discourse (@- Berelson & Gaudet 1944, King & Summers Replies) as 1970, Noelle-Neumann 1983, Childers 1986) indicators Sociometric By retracing communication paths in a network Detailed content Observation analysis of discussions, link Key informant Nominated by special informants destinations and approach their persuasive potential List of methods by Weimann et al. 2007Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 17
  18. 18. HOW TO MEASURE OPINION LEADERSHIP ON TWITTER? Self Designating Approach Difficult Method Description Positional Office holders, politicians Reputational Nominated by others Not as useful as Self-designating Opinion leadership scales (e.g. Lazarsfeld, we deal with OL Berelson & Gaudet 1944, King & Summers who are not 1970, Noelle-Neumann 1983, Childers 1986) necessarily individuals → Sociometric By retracing communication paths in a scales do not network really fit Observation Key informant Nominated by special informants approach List of methods by Weimann et al. 2007Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 18
  19. 19. HOW TO MEASURE OPINION LEADERSHIP ON TWITTER? Reputational Approach More Promising Method Description Positional Office holders, politicians Could be a useful approach to Reputational Nominated by others identify broad criteria that make Self-designating Opinion leadership scales (e.g. Lazarsfeld, opinion leaders Berelson & Gaudet 1944, King & Summers influential 1970, Noelle-Neumann 1983, Childers 1986) Sociometric By retracing communication paths in a network Observation Key informant Nominated by special informants approach List of methods by Weimann et al. 2007Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 19
  20. 20. HOW TO MEASURE OPINION LEADERSHIP ON TWITTER? Mixed Method Approach • Ask Twitterers to How do we get a o name their most important sources on Twitter good sample of o reveal their reasons to follow certain sources and their Twitterers? strategies to select their sources → track down o name sources (=Twitter accounts) which they retweet a followers of Elite lot Users? o characterize their sources (credibility, network position → focus on etc.) certain topics? • Content Analysis of participant‘s Twitter accounts o followees, followers, Twitter activityKatrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 20
  21. 21. References An, J., Cha, M., Gummadi, K., & Crowcroft, J. (2011). Media landscape in Twitter: A world of new conventions and political diversity. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~jac22/out/twitter-diverse.pdf. Bakshy, E., Hofman, J. M., Mason, W. A., & Watts, D. J. (2011). Everyone’s an Influencer: Quantifying Influence on Twitter. WSDM 11, Hong Kong, China. Retrieved from http://research.yahoo.com/files/wsdm333w-bakshy.pdf. Bruns, A. (2005). Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Cha, M., Haddadi, H., Benevenuto, F., & Gummadi, K. P. (2010). Measuring User Influence in Twitter: The Million Follower Fallacy. Proc. International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), May 2010. Retrieved from http://an.kaist.ac.kr/~mycha/docs/icwsm2010_cha.pdf. Childers, J. L. (1986). Assessment of the psychometric properties of an opinion leadership scale. Journal of Marketing Research, 184-188. Conover, M.D., Ratkiewicz, J., Francisco, M., Goncalves, B., Flammini, A., Menczer, F. (2011). Political Polarization on Twitter. Proceedings of the Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media. Retrieved from: http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM11/paper/view/ 2847/3275. Eisenstein, C. (1994). Meinungsbildung in der Mediengesellschaft: Eine Analyse zum Multi -Step Flow of Communication. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. Jürgens, P., Jungherr, A. ,& Schön, H. (2011). Small Worlds with a Difference: New Gatekeepers and the Filtering of Political Information on Twitter. WebSci ’11, June 14-17, 2011, Koblenz, Germany. Retrieved from: http://www.websci11.org/fileadmin/websci/Papers/147_paper.pdf. Katz, E. (1957). The Two-Step Flow of Communication: An Up-To-Date Report on an Hypothesis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 21, 61-78. King, C., & Summers, J. (1970). Overlap of opinion leadership across consumer product categories. Journal of Marketing Research, 7, 43-51. Kwak, H., Lee, C., Park, H., & Moon, S. (2010). What is Twitter, a Social Network or a News Media? Proceedings of the 19th International World Wide Web (WWW) Conference, April 26- 30, 2010, Raleigh NC (USA). Retrieved from http://an.kaist.ac.kr/~haewoon/papers/2010-www-twitter.pdf. Lazarsfeld, P., Berelson, B., & Gaudet, H. (1944). The Peoples Choice. How the Voter Makes up his Mind in a Presidential Campaign. New York: Columbia University Press. Maireder, A. (2011). Framing von Medieninhalten in Intermediationsprozessen über Social Media. Überarbeitetes extended Abstract zum Vortrag auf der Tagung der Fachgruppe Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung der DGPuK, Januar 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/axelmaireder/framing-von-medieninhalten-im-social-web. Marwick, A.E. & Boyd, D. (2011). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13, 114-133. Noelle-Neumann, E. (1983). Persönlichkeitsstärke: ein neuer Maßstab zur Bestimmung von Zielgruppenpotentialen. Hamburg: Spiegel Verlag. Pew Research Center (2010). Understanding the participatory news consumer. How internet and cell phone users have turned news into a social experience. Retrieved from: http://infousa.state.gov/media/internet/docs/participatory-news-consumer.pdf. Pugh, J. (2010). A qualitative study of the Facebook Social Network: The desire to influence, associate and construct a representative and ideal identity. Retrieved from: http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/cba/honors/thesis/documents/JessicaPughThesis.pdf. Romero, D. M., Meeder, B., & Kleinberg, J. (2011). Differences in the Mechanics of Information Diffusion Across Topics: Idioms, Political Hashtags, and Complex Contagion on Twitter. Proc. 20th International World Wide Web Conference. Retrieved from http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kleinber/www11-hashtags.pdf. Robinson, J. P. (1976). Interpersonal influence in election campaigns: Two step-flow hypotheses. Public Opinion Quarterly, 40, 304-320. Schenk, M. (1994). Meinungsbildung im Alltag - Zum Einfluss von Meinungsführern und sozialen Netzwerken. In M. Jäckel & P. Winterhoff-Spurk (Hrsg.), Politik und Medien. Analysen zur Entwicklung der politischen Kommunikation. (S. 143-158). Berlin: Vistas. Troldahl, V. C. (1966). A field test of a modified two-step flow of communication model. Public Opinion Quarterly, 18, 609-623. Weimann, G., Tustin, D. H., van Vuuren, D., & Joubert, J. P. R. (2007). Looking for opinion leaders: Traditional vs. modern measures in traditional societies. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 19(2), 173-190. Wu, S., Hofman, J. M., Mason, W. A., & Watts, D. J. (2011). Who Says What to Whom on Twitter. WWW 11, Hyderabad, India. Retrieved from http://research.yahoo.com/files/twitter- flow.pdf.Katrin Jungnickel M.A. Folie 21

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