You know the world’s turning upside down when a four year-old blog run from Scotland is more influential than one of America’s oldest and most trusted news networks. That’s apparently the case though, on Twitter at least.
A study by The Web Ecology Project in America has looked at how influence works on Twitter. Defining ‘Influence’ as “the potential of an action of a user to initiate a further action by another user”, they reached some pretty interesting conclusions. Apparently:
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• Mashable is more influential than CNN.
• Sockington is more influential than MCHammer, while MCHammer is more influential than three major social media analysts (garyvee, Scobleizer, and chrisbrogan).
• Celebrities with higher follower totals (eg., THE_REAL_SHAQ and ijustine) foster more conversation than provide retweetable content.
• News outlets, regardless of follower count, influence large amounts of followers to republish their content to other users.
So, not only is Mashable more likely to get people clicking than CNN; Sockington, a cat with over a million followers, is more influential than a rapper with a twenty year career behind him. That a past-it rapper, MC Hammer, carries more weight than three of the thought leaders we tend to think of as ‘Kings’ of social media shows that Twitter has well and truly broken free of the web geek bubble.
How the Web Ecology Project defined Twitter Influence
The study works on the basis that the more a user is replied to, retweeted, mentioned or attributed to on Twitter, the higher their influence.
It’s worth noting that the study only looked at 12 high-profile Twitter users over ten days last month, so it’s hardly comprehensive. You can twist data in many different directions to achieve different results. The Web Ecology Project itself admits that defining Mashable as more influential than CNN is merely one interpretation of the data they recorded.
That said, the fact that people are conducting academic studies of Twitter when it’s only three years old shows the impact it’s made.
You can read the full report (PDF link) here.
[via The Inquisitr]