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Shoveling tweets: An analysis of the microblogging engagement of traditional news organizations

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Shoveling tweets: An analysis of the microblogging engagement of traditional news organizations

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  1. Shoveling tweets: An analysis of the microblogging engagement of traditional news organizations Marcus Messner Maureen Linke Asriel Eford School of Mass Communications  Virginia Commonwealth University International Symposium on Online Journalism  April 1, 2011

  2. Rationale • Online social networks and social bookmarking allow traditional news media to increase Web traffic • Promote news content (hyperlinks) • Breaking news coverage • Building and engaging community • Goal of study was to explore the adoption rate of Twitter by traditional news media in the U.S.

  3. Rise of Twitter • 5-year anniversary: 200 million users • 7th most popular website in U.S. • 11% of Internet users every day • International impact in news events • Citizen journalists vs. traditional journalists • Traditional news media buzz • Social bookmarking

  4. Research Questions • RQ1: Adoption of social bookmarking for Twitter? • RQ2: Difference in adoption of social bookmarking for Twitter and other social networking sites? • RQ3: Difference among traditional news media in use of social bookmarking? • RQ4: Traditional news media use of Twitter? • RQ5: Difference among traditional news media in use of Twitter?

  5. Methodology • Two-study approach • Social bookmarking • Twitter use • Social bookmarking • Sample: Top 99 newspapers and top 100 TV stations in the United States • March 25-26, 2009 & August 1-2, 2010 • Analysis of lead story by bookmarking tools • Analysis of Twitter accounts and followers

  6. Methodology • Twitter use • Analysis of newspapers and TV stations with Twitter accounts: 180 in 2009, 198 in 2010 • April 4-5, 2009 & August 1-2, 2010 • Analysis of tweets - Number of tweets (2009: 1568; 2010: 1112) - News value - Hyperlinks (internal/external)

  7. Results: Bookmarking • RQ1: Adoption of social bookmarking for Twitter? • 2009: 36.7% (n=73) • 2010: 91.7% (n=182)

  8. Results: Bookmarking • RQ2: Difference in adoption of social bookmarking for Twitter and other social networking sites? • 2009/2010: 100% (n=199) E-Mail • 2009: 96.5% (n=192) Social bookmarking • 2010: 98.5% (n=196) Social bookmarking • 2009: Ø 16 tools • 2010: Ø 110 tools

  9. Results: Bookmarking • RQ2: Difference in adoption of social bookmarking for Twitter and other social networking sites?

  10. Results: Bookmarking • RQ3: Difference among traditional news media in use of social bookmarking? • Television: More tools in 2010

  11. Results: Twitter Use • RQ4: Traditional news media use of Twitter? • 2009: 90.5% (n=180) have accounts • 2010: 99.5% (n=198) have accounts • 2009: Ø 8.7 daily tweets (max: 110) • 2010: Ø 5.6 daily tweets (max: 96) • 2009: 34.4% (n=62) did not tweet • 2010: 26.3% (n=52) did not tweet

  12. Results: Twitter Use • RQ4: Traditional news media use of Twitter? • 2009: 94.3% (n=1478) tweets news related, 5.7% (n=90) personal • 2010: 96.5% (n=1073) tweets news related, 3.5% (n=39) personal

  13. Results: Twitter Use • RQ4: Traditional news media use of Twitter? • 2009: 93% (n=1458) of tweets had hyperlinks • 2010: 95.5% (n=1062) of tweets had hyperlinks • 2009: 98.5% (n=1438) internal links • 2010: 99.3% (n=1055) internal links

  14. Results: Twitter Use • RQ5: Difference among traditional news media in use of Twitter? • Similar trends for adoption of Twitter: • Very similar trends for news value of tweets, hyperlinks • 2010: Television increased number of tweets

  15. Discussion • Twitter is fully adopted by traditional news media, but not used to its full potential • Mainly used as a promotional tool with extensive internal linking • Most tweets are still shovelware • Little online community building and engagement • Disconnect between Twitter adoption and social bookmarking availability

  16. What to do? • More attention needs to be paid to community building • Twitter needs to be engaged as an online social network, not just another publication platform • Regular engagement, even with shovelware • Future research: Long-term study and Twitter use of reporters

  17. Questions Marcus Messner Maureen Linke Asriel Eford School of Mass Communications  Virginia Commonwealth University International Symposium on Online Journalism  April 1, 2011