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Why Twitter Is the Future of News


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Retweet tree analysis

Kwak et al., KAIST

It's basically impossible for a journalist who relies on Twitter to find stories, stalk editors, rack up "whuffie" and beef with rap stars to be objective about the service.

Fortunately, I don't have to be, because four researchers from the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have performed a multi-part analysis of Twitter. They conclude that it's a surprisingly interconnected network and an effective way to filter quality information.

In a move unprecedented in the history of academic research on Demi Moore's chosen medium for feuding with Kim Kardashian, Kwak et al. built an array of 20 PCs to slurp down the entire contents of Twitter over the course of a month. If you were on Twitter in July 2009, you participated in their experiment.

The ideas behind Stanley Milgram's original "six degrees of separation" experiment, which suggested that any two people on earth could be connected by at most six hops from one acquaintance to the next, have been widely applied to online social networks.

From Technology Review
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