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Saturday, May 21, 2011

BOOST O2 | What’s in a tweet?

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What’s in a tweet? Re-Tweeting Brands

How often are global brands mentioned on micro-blogs such as Twitter, and what do people say about them?
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Bernhard Jansen and his team at Penn State and Twitter’s Abdur Chowdury set out to find out, and they co-authored a study, which appeared in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) in 2009, to publish their findings.
Jansen’s research group had previously produced a sequel of studies of Web search engine log files, and Chowdury is a graduate of IIT and now Chief Scientist at Twitter Inc. after roles at AOL and Summize, which Twitter acquired.
After analyzing 150,00 micro-blog posts or “tweets”, the researchers found that about one in five tweet mentions a brand. Out of those, again one in about five expressed a clear sentiment. A sentiment is a subjective, affective (i.e., either positive or negative) state, which is also called the polarity of the sentiment (to contrast it with the intensity). Over half of these sentiment-loaded tweets were found to be positive and about one-third negative. This means the odds of people tweeting positive stuff is actually higher than that of flipping a coin; this is not an obvious finding, because taking feedback forms as a comparable, for instance, there are many more people who only ever give feedback when things go wrong and they feel a need to complain.
Now what does this mean for us as Thomson Reuters? Two things: from a product view, as an information company we cannot leave this rich source of actionable information untapped, since our customers are professionals and enterprises that expect us to extract value on their behalf and present it back to them in digestible form. And from a marketing view, we are also interested how the Thomson Reuters brand gets perceived by the outside world.

You can read the full study here.
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