The paper was written by Shaomei Wu, Cornell University; Jake M. Hofman, Yahoo! Research; Winter A. Mason, Yahoo! Research; Duncan J. Watts, Yahoo! Research and will be presented at the International World Wide Web Conference (WWW ’11) at the end of March.
From the Abstract:
We study several longstanding questions in media communications research, in the context of the microblogging service Twitter, regarding the production, flow, and consumption of information. To do so, we exploit a recently introduced feature of Twitter—known as Twitter lists—to distinguish between elite users, by which we mean specifically celebrities, bloggers, and representatives of media outlets and other formal organizations, and ordinary users. Based on this classification, we find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter—roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users—where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed.