A recent study in Korea showed that Twitter was more than narcissistic recordings of one’s breakfast choices. It is a news service the provides timely information about global events.
One of the researches, Haewoon Kwak, presented the paper at the WWW2010 conference in South Carolina last week.
Joad Jackson at ITWorld reported on the paper:
The newsy aspect of Twitter is reflected in the question its users are now asked when posting tweets — “What’s happening?” — as opposed to the earlier question, “What are you doing?” And many people use the service to search for up-to-the-second information about unfolding events, such as a football game or a natural disaster.
Jackson also notes that unlike Facebook or MySpace, if oyu want to follow someone, you do not heed his/her permission. Plus, Twitter allows you realtime searches of topics and the ability to keep topics organized with hash (#) tags.
If you are into complicated math, you can read the whole report here as a PDF document: What is Twitter, a Social Network or a News Media?
This survey backs up anecdotal information.
When PBS merged the various offices of the NewsHour into one place and enhanced the program’s online presence, the old and new media saw how the other worked.
When the shootings at Fort Hood took place the Old Media folks grabbed their phones and started calling sources. The New Media folks grabbed their mobile phones and started Tweeting looking for immediate and accurate information from people on the scene.
Thanks to Steve Klein at George Mason for Tweeting about this.
First posted at DC SPJ Pro site.