Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who Tweets?

Here's an interesting study (abstract only, sorry) that examines who tweets among elected officials.  It concludes:
We find that Twitter adoption and use are relatively difficult to predict. Members are more likely to use Twitter if they belong to the minority party, if their party leaders urge them to, if they are young, or if they serve in the Senate. Surprisingly, we find that electoral vulnerability has little or no effect on Twitter adoption or use. 
 I find the minority party aspect the most interesting.  By being in the minority, your voice can disappear from the mainstream news media, so Twitter makes damn good sense as a way to get the message out.  That alone deserves further scrutiny to discover whether minority party tweets are significantly different than majority party tweets.  I hate content analysis (my major professor liked to call it an intellectual cul-de-sac), but this one that could be not only theoretically interesting but also get some popular press play.

How might they differ?

I suspect minority party tweets will be more likely to criticize the other party.  That seems a given.  I'm open to other suggestions.  And some grad student who wants a thesis topic.

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