Just a quick post to point you to an interesting article about tie formation on Twitter – which is also the place where I found this reference, a couple of days ago:
Scott A. Golder and Sarita Yardi (2010). Structural Predictors of Tie Formation in Twitter: Transitivity and Mutuality. Proceedings of the Second IEEE International Conference on Social Computing. August 20-22, Minneapolis, MN.
Here I summarize the results:
- The more followers you have, the more followers you attract (ok, admittedly this doesn’t come as a surprise…);
- Reciprocity in tie formation doesn’t seem to be due to similarity in interests but, more likely, to some kind of social obligation (well, this is getting more interesting);
- Self-presentation (pic, bio and location) doesn’t seem to matter, except for location which appears to be negatively correlated to tie formation (now they got my attention…);
- Transitivity and mutuality predict tie formation if they are taken together, but authors “suggest that a consistent status hierarchy and some level of tie strength drive this effect” (this is definitely worth looking into).