Celeb tweets make impact on top stories in 2010

Fri Jan 7, 2011 6:20am EST
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - News organizations had the most influence on the top Twitter topics in 2010 but some celebrities were not far behind, according to new research.

Alok Choudhary, the chair of the electrical engineering and computer science department at Northwestern University in Illinois, and his team analyzed the biggest trends on Twitter last year.

They found that the Gulf oil spill, the earthquake in Haiti and the Chilean mine rescue were among the top events on Twitter and that singer Lady Gaga, actor Mel Gibson and pop idol Justin Bieber were the most tweeted about people.

NPR News, The New York Times, Times.com and The Wall Street Journal were often the top influencers on politics and world events, but actor Adam Lambert, comedian Conan O'Brien and singer Ricky Martin also had an impact.

"When it comes to world affairs, politics and those types of issues, these major news organizations seem to come on top as major influencers," Choudhary said.

But in tragic situations celebrities can reign on Twitter.

"For the topic of Haiti ... singer Adam Lambert was the most influential tweeter. For the Chilean miner rescue topic, comedian Conan O'Brien was the most influential, and singer Ricky Martin was number two," he added.

A celebrity is more likely to have an impact on a major event if he or she has a large, active following on Twitter, if they are credible and also have a passionate interest in what they are tweeting about, according to Choudhary.   Continued...

 
<p>Singer Adam Lambert arrives at the 16th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in this January 23, 2010 file photo. News organizations had the most influence on the top Twitter topics in 2010 but some celebrities were not far behind, according to new research. NPR News, The New York Times, Times.com and The Wall Street Journal were often the top influencers on politics and world events, but celebrities like Adam Lambert also had an impact. REUTERS/Phil McCarten/Files</p>