Hughes, A. L, & Palen, L. (2009). Twitter adoption and use in mass convergence and emergency events. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management.
This study examines how Twitter is used to distribute information at mass convergence and emergency events.
Data was collected, using the Twitter API, from the public timeline throughout the duration of the four events. National convention tweets were collected over a period of a week, and tweets, relating to hurricane Ike and Gustav, were collected over ten and thirteen days respectively. Tweets were then analyzed based on content and hashtags.
Results indicated the highest number of tweets for each convention was on the day it happened, not day’s prior and after the event. Hurricane tweets were the highest on the days the hurricanes hit land. Through data analysis the researchers found the inclusion of URL’s was increasing, and there were fewer directed tweets, which include “@”, during these events when compared with the general pool. Their findings lead them to believe “that technology adoption seems to be correlated to the occurrence of crisis and mass convergence events” (Hughes & Palen, 2009).
It is good to know how people view events, and what happens on microblogging sites when these events happen. I think a similar study could be done these days on the issue of Occupy Wall Street. It is pretty evident the number of tweets was highest on the day of the event, but are those tweets really relaying information or are they just there? They did not answer this in their study and it would help me understand the distribution of tweets more if they had.