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Leading Tweets? Online Leadership on Twitter

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Abstract:

Opinion leadership has long been considered having a particular set of socio-economic characteristics, active media consumption, and a considerable level of civic involvement (Kingdon, 1970; Robinson, 1976; Black, 1982). However, such conceptualization may not be true on Twitter, which creates a new venue for public discourse based on its open, horizontal, and enormous network possibility (Kim, 2011). Twitter has the potential to enable any individual to send and share information about his/her activities, opinions, and status (Honeycutt & Herring, 2009). This study examines the unique characteristics of Twitter opinion leaders by conducting an online survey of 648 in USA. The results indicate that Twitter opinion leaders tend to express their own opinions rather than simply delivering information or news to followers. They preferred online or social media sources to major traditional news sources. The findings also show that Twitter opinion leaders can be broken down into two types – frequent tweet posters and frequent retweeters. The extent of civic involvement of Twitter opinion leaders was moderate. The results imply that Twitter is a fertile soil for new opinion leadership formation but the types take on different forms.

References
Black, J. S. (1982). Opinion leaders: Is anyone following? Public Opinion Quarterly, 46(2), 169–176
Honeycutt, C., & Herring, S. C. (2009, January). Beyond microblogging: Conversation and collaboration via Twitter. Paper presented at the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii
Kim, Y. (2011). The contribution of social network sites to exposure to political difference: The relationships among SNSs, online political messaging, and exposure to cross-cutting perspectives. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(2), 971-977
Kingdon, J. W. (1970). Opinion leaders in the electorate. Public Opinion Quarterly, 34(2), 256-261.
Robinson, J. P. (1976). Interpersonal influence in election campaigns: Two step-flow hypotheses. Public Opinion Quarterly, 40(3), 304–319


Bio Note
Chang Sup Park is an assistant professor at the Department of Mass Communications, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, USA. His research focuses on the role of digital technology in democratic processes, the changing nature of citizen journalism, and the information processing mechanism in social media. He obtained his doctoral degree in mass communication from Southern Illinois University in 2014.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference
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http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p984300_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Park, Chang Sup. "Leading Tweets? Online Leadership on Twitter" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, <Not Available>. 2018-02-13 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p984300_index.html>

APA Citation:

Park, C. "Leading Tweets? Online Leadership on Twitter" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2018-02-13 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p984300_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Opinion leadership has long been considered having a particular set of socio-economic characteristics, active media consumption, and a considerable level of civic involvement (Kingdon, 1970; Robinson, 1976; Black, 1982). However, such conceptualization may not be true on Twitter, which creates a new venue for public discourse based on its open, horizontal, and enormous network possibility (Kim, 2011). Twitter has the potential to enable any individual to send and share information about his/her activities, opinions, and status (Honeycutt & Herring, 2009). This study examines the unique characteristics of Twitter opinion leaders by conducting an online survey of 648 in USA. The results indicate that Twitter opinion leaders tend to express their own opinions rather than simply delivering information or news to followers. They preferred online or social media sources to major traditional news sources. The findings also show that Twitter opinion leaders can be broken down into two types – frequent tweet posters and frequent retweeters. The extent of civic involvement of Twitter opinion leaders was moderate. The results imply that Twitter is a fertile soil for new opinion leadership formation but the types take on different forms.

References
Black, J. S. (1982). Opinion leaders: Is anyone following? Public Opinion Quarterly, 46(2), 169–176
Honeycutt, C., & Herring, S. C. (2009, January). Beyond microblogging: Conversation and collaboration via Twitter. Paper presented at the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii
Kim, Y. (2011). The contribution of social network sites to exposure to political difference: The relationships among SNSs, online political messaging, and exposure to cross-cutting perspectives. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(2), 971-977
Kingdon, J. W. (1970). Opinion leaders in the electorate. Public Opinion Quarterly, 34(2), 256-261.
Robinson, J. P. (1976). Interpersonal influence in election campaigns: Two step-flow hypotheses. Public Opinion Quarterly, 40(3), 304–319


Bio Note
Chang Sup Park is an assistant professor at the Department of Mass Communications, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, USA. His research focuses on the role of digital technology in democratic processes, the changing nature of citizen journalism, and the information processing mechanism in social media. He obtained his doctoral degree in mass communication from Southern Illinois University in 2014.


 
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