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Rising Tides or Rising Stars?: Dynamics of Shared Attention on Twitter during Media Events

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, May 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
10 news outlets
blogs
8 blogs
twitter
100 tweeters

Citations

dimensions_citation
48 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
94 Mendeley
citeulike
2 CiteULike
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Title
Rising Tides or Rising Stars?: Dynamics of Shared Attention on Twitter during Media Events
Published in
PLoS ONE, May 2014
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0094093
Pubmed ID
Authors

Yu-Ru Lin, Brian Keegan, Drew Margolin, David Lazer, Lin YR, Keegan B, Margolin D, Lazer D, Petter Holme

Abstract

"Media events" generate conditions of shared attention as many users simultaneously tune in with the dual screens of broadcast and social media to view and participate. We examine how collective patterns of user behavior under conditions of shared attention are distinct from other "bursts" of activity like breaking news events. Using 290 million tweets from a panel of 193,532 politically active Twitter users, we compare features of their behavior during eight major events during the 2012 U.S. presidential election to examine how patterns of social media use change during these media events compared to "typical" time and whether these changes are attributable to shifts in the behavior of the population as a whole or shifts from particular segments such as elites. Compared to baseline time periods, our findings reveal that media events not only generate large volumes of tweets, but they are also associated with (1) substantial declines in interpersonal communication, (2) more highly concentrated attention by replying to and retweeting particular users, and (3) elite users predominantly benefiting from this attention. These findings empirically demonstrate how bursts of activity on Twitter during media events significantly alter underlying social processes of interpersonal communication and social interaction. Because the behavior of large populations within socio-technical systems can change so dramatically, our findings suggest the need for further research about how social media responses to media events can be used to support collective sensemaking, to promote informed deliberation, and to remain resilient in the face of misinformation.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 100 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 94 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Netherlands 2 2%
United Kingdom 2 2%
Australia 2 2%
Finland 1 1%
Germany 1 1%
Japan 1 1%
United States 1 1%
Spain 1 1%
Korea, Republic of 1 1%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 82 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 22%
Researcher 17 18%
Student > Master 17 18%
Student > Bachelor 7 7%
Professor > Associate Professor 6 6%
Other 26 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 33 35%
Computer Science 19 20%
Unspecified 7 7%
Psychology 6 6%
Business, Management and Accounting 5 5%
Other 24 26%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 206. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 December 2017.
All research outputs
#51,937
of 12,089,158 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#1,192
of 132,970 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#877
of 197,378 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#44
of 3,366 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,089,158 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 132,970 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 11.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 197,378 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 3,366 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.