Identifying influential twitter users
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    Identifying influential twitter users Identifying influential twitter users Presentation Transcript

    • Chien-leng Hsu (Post-doctoral research fellow)
      Se Jung Park (PhD student)
      Han Woo Park (Associate Professor)
      Department of Media & Communication, WCU Webometrics Institute, Yeungnam University
      Presented at the 5th Complexity Conference, 27 Nov 2010, Seoul, Korea
      Identifying influential Twitter usersThe case of Sejong City in South Korea
    • About this study
      This research explores influential Twitter users and Tweets by:
      Using Sejong City (세종시) as the case study
      Using different measurement methods
      Studying topics (keywords) mentioned in the Tweets
    • Key Users on Twitter Communities
      The 2-step flow of communication theory (Katz & Lazarsfeld, 1964)
      (Online) opinion leaders:
      determinants of rapid & sustained behaviorchange of members in a community (Valent & Davis, 1999)
      Park, Jeong & Han (2008)
      practices (political) participation deligently
      aggressively expresses opinions
    • Identifying Key Twitter Users
      The “network structure” approach:
      fails to identify influential Twitter users (Leavitt et al, 2009; Haddadi et al, 2010)
      The “actor relation” approach:
      content reachability
      Fisher & Gilbert (2009) ➭ replies, retweets, mentions & attributions
      The majority of users:
      silent & passive
      a user’s influence: information forwarding activity (Romero et al, in submission)
      Trace influential user over time
    • The Sejong City Project
      The original plan (Moo-Hyun Roh in 2005):
      To allocate 2/3 of government offices to Sejong, Chungnam (충남)
      Necessary for regional development
      The excessive centralization of Seoul & its vicinity➭ limited innovation potential (Shapiro, So & Park, 2010)
      The revised plan (Myung-Bak Lee):
      A center for education, scientific research & high-tech industries
      Partitioning the capital would weaken Korea’s competitiveness & innovation capability
    • Research Questions
      Who are the influential users who produce Tweets related to the Sejong City project?
      What are activities of the influential users?
      What is the relationship between the influential users?
      What are the keywords frequently used by the influential users in the Sejong City issue network?
    • Data collection & analytical techniques
      Data collection
      Dates of collection: 15 March ~ 12 April 2010
      Twitter scraper: An automated computer program to retrieve Tweets from Twtkr (
      Twitter API: Twitter user’s public data
      Analytical techniques
      Basic data:
      Number of Tweets
      Lists of followings
      Lists of followers
      Pearson correlation test
      Four posting activities:
      Normal tweets
      Being retweeted by others
      Being replied by others
      Being mentioned by others
      Krkwic (keywords analysis)
    • (I) Identification of influential users
    • (II) Twitter activities of the influential users
    • (III) Relationships between the influential users
    • (IV) Keywords in the issue network of Sejong City
    • Amendment of Sejong City law & politicians
      Critical reviews on Sejong City law
      Controversies & solutions
      Agreement & social welfare
      Other social & political issues
      Conflicts between political parties
      Political ideologies & concerns on national debt
      National policies
    • Discussions (I)
      Influential users include media outlets & ordinary users
      Correlation tests:
      The occurrence of Tweets vs. the number of Tweets ➭ significantly correlated (Pearson correlation=0.663, p<.01)➭ Influential users tended to address public issues
      The number of followers vs. the number of followings➭ significantly correlated (Pearson correlation=0.871, p<.01)➭ Influential users had mutual ties in the network
      Influential users are likely to act as news brokers & deliver their views in a single-issue community
      Having mutual relations with other influential users may allow an influetial user to make his/her own opinions available to a wider audience
    • Discussions (II)
      Referral activities/relationships
      Media outlets ➭ normal tweets ➭ messages were not circulated well among other users
      Ordinary users
      normal tweets, retweets, mentions & replies
      More likely to interact with the indirect presence of media outlets
      Keyword network
      Politicians, government projects & social-political issues mentioned
      Influential user
      some keywords specific to his/her cluster
      similar keywords used ➭ a sense of community
    • Thank you.