BBC gloats over a new Harvard twitter study. See – its not so social, is it? You’re just another broadcast medium. Ha. We know broadcast.
Yeah, well, its called the power law of participation, dude. So far all the BBC has proven is that Twitter is a social networking site. Broadcast medium? Let’s talk when the BBC hits the 10:90 producer:consumer ratio. The Harvard statistics included the majority of people who just registered for a glimpse of what the noise is all about but never came back. Again, typical of social nets. All that reflects is the fact that such sites are valuated (as in money) by the number of subscriptions.
What the BBC missed, however, is the huge gender gap:
Of our sample (300,542 users, collected in May 2009), 80% are followed by or follow at least one user. By comparison, only 60 to 65% of other online social networks’ members had at least one friend (when these networks were at a similar level of development). This suggests that actual users (as opposed to the media at large) understand how Twitter works.
Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other. This “follower split” suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships. This is intriguing, especially given that females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%. To get this figure, we cross-referenced users’ “real names” against a database of 40,000 strongly gendered names.
Even more interesting is who follows whom. We found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman. These results cannot be explained by different tweeting activity – both men and women tweet at the same rate.
Twitter’s usage patterns are also very different from a typical on-line social network. A typical Twitter user contributes very rarely. Among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one. This translates into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days.
At the same time there is a small contingent of users who are very active. Specifically, the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. On a typical online social network, the top 10% of users account for 30% of all production. To put Twitter in perspective, consider an unlikely analogue – Wikipedia. There, the top 15% of the most prolific editors account for 90% of Wikipedia’s edits.
I don’t have the reference at hand, but I remember that FaceBook, for example, is dominated by women in the 25-35 band. What is it about Twitter that makes it a masculine medium? Is it the exhibitionist style of the tool? Or the fact that it is perceived as a marketing / business venue more than a social one? Whatever it is, is there a causal link between the gender bias of Twitter and its unique social dymanics? In other words, are woman better at listening and sustaining a conversation, while men just want to shout “Look at ME – I’m BIG!”
So how do world-hackers self-orgenise? Ning? FaceBook? Elgg? BaseCamp? PBWiki? yeah, maybe. later. but if you want to get something going quick, cheap and fast – nothing beats the good old mailing list. When it comes to social action, email is still the killer app (I’m getting dangerously close to looking like a Clay Shirky fan site).
One thing I like about that mailing list is that its completly open. All the backstage chatter is out in the open. Radical tranparency. But then, anything less would not be true to form..
(cross posted from http://patternlanguagenetwork.org/2009/01/20/jcal-special-issue-on-web20/)
A. Ravenscroft Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 25(1):1-5(2009)
January 20, 2009 Posted by yishaym | narrative learning, technology | Adrian Mee, Caroline Daly, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning has just released, Kit Logan, learning, Martin Oliver, Mike Sharples, Norbert Pachler, Rose Luckin, Scott Wilson, Social Software, special issue, Web 2.0, Wilma Clark | Leave a comment
My other blog is a mess. This one is where I’ll keep the stuff that has anything to do with learning, technology and design.
Its about stuff that’s designed for learning, but also about we are designed for learning by the intelligent process of evolution.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
- It’s out! Our edited book: Practical Design Patterns for Teaching and Learning with Technology
- Talk next Wednesday: Design inquiry of learning, the learning design studio, and a vision for future learning and teaching environments
- Resource cloud for MobiLearnFest
- Steven Warburton’s “Tintin” model of PPW and LDS
- Webinar on the “Art and Science of Learning Design” special issue
edtech - theory | An… on Innovating Pedagogy 2012 Pedagogy, Technology… on Innovating Pedagogy 2012 Derek Jones on phenomenology, representation,… Derek Jones on phenomenology, representation,… Derek Jones on phenomenology, representation,…
- An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
- April 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- March 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- August 2012
- May 2012
- March 2012
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- April 2010
- March 2010
- October 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- 12,440 hits
guten tagacceleration Adele Botha africa african assessment bluetooth CAL09 cal09ptns Caroline Daly case studies Christian Kohls Clay Shirky computer science constructionism CSCL danah boyd design design based research design divide design patterns design science Diana Laurillard Dylan Wiliam e-learning edid9 Education ethnomathematics facebook formative assessment formative e-Assessment fractals games games learning video cognitve performance research psychlogy cognition Graham Brown-Martin handheldlearning Harvey Mellar hhl hhl08 interaction design interactive media James Clay knight news challenge learning learning design learning patterns Linux LKL London Knowledge Lab mathematics mlearning mobile learning mobiles mooc neuroscience Norbert Pachler open source pattern language network phd planet pleasecallme programming prophets and explorers publications report research scratch small worlds network Social Software Steve Wheeler StimulusWatch.org talk TEL twitter Ubuntu Web 2.0
- How Useful is Twitter for Learning in Massive Communities? An Analysis of two MOOCs
- eLearning papers, Issue No.37 Experiences and best practices in and around MOOCs
- Innovating pedagogy 2012: Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers
- The pedagogy of the Massive Open Online Course MOOC: the UK view
- Multi-faceted support for MOOC in programming
- MOOCs and the funnel of participation
- Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit 2014
- Learning design studio: educational practice as design inquiry of learning
- Towards an Integrated Model of Teacher Inquiry into Student Learning, Learning Design and Learning Analytics
- The Art and Science of Learning Design: Editoral
- Participatory Pattern Workshops: A Methodology for Open Collaborative Construction of Design Knowledge in Education
- Context is What We Take For Granted: Addressing Context in Design-Centric Teacher Training
- A Design Approach to Research in Technology Enhanced Mathematics Education
- How to ruin a MOOC? JISC RSC Yorkshire & the Humber Online Conference 2013 December 1, 2013
- How to ruin a mooc November 29, 2013
- Towards an Integrated Model of Teacher Inquiry into Student Learning, Learning Design and Learning Analytics August 1, 2013
- What the research says: Design Inquiry of Learning July 26, 2013