Do Museums Worldwide form a true Community on Twitter?


Alex Espinós, La Magnética, Spain

Some insights on the museum Twitter ecosystem through Social Network Analysis and Network Science.

We have monitored all public interactions among 3.500 museums on Twitter for 4 months. This is still an ongoing analysis, so by the end of December we will have an 8-month data set and almost a year of data in early April when the conference is held.

We aim to describe the Twitter ecosystem and answer questions such as:

 In the latter case: which is the main criterion that explains the observed community structure: topic (i.e. contemporary art museums on one community, archaeological ones on another), language or country? Do the Twitter communities seem to mimic patterns of offline relationships?
o The answers to these questions have consequences on how Museums actually use Twitter, and if it is used to share experiences and knowledge.
 Which are the communities? Which are the key players in each community?
 Does the small world principle apply? And the strength of weak ties? To what extend?
 Are there structural holes, that is, museums that relate otherwise unrelated groups? Which are these key players in group connection and information spread?
 Which are the most influential museums, not in terms of followers, but in terms of influence within the group of museums?

The answer to these questions will offer interesting insights such as how Twitter is really used within the museum community, which museums allow the spread of information between different countries, and some best practices that will help museums worldwide to further benefit from the sharing information and experiences through Twitter.

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