Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How news spreads across networks

This is a screen grab of the Bitly stats for the Sun's story about Frankie Cocozza being ejected from X Factor.

Click to enlarge

(Background - Frankie Cocozza is a young, not very good singer on the British X Factor.  He'd managed tp stay in because he is popular with some people - he has over 300,000 followers on Twitter, acquired since the start of the competition - but he was always going out drinking and finally - reportedly - boasted about taking drugs in front of production staff)

It's an interesting story to look at because it was initially only in one source - The Sun - before being reported elsewhere.

The pattern of clicks shows that clicks started between 1pm and 2pm (15,000 clicks) rising to 25,000 clicks the next hour as the story spread.  Then it started to fall as more sources started to report it, and the story moved on from the original news.  However it still got over 1,000 clicks between 10pm and 11pm.  (I've no idea whether Bitly track all the clicks accurately, but I'm assuming that they get the pattern about right)

Next look at the sources of the clicks.  Twitter and Twitter's URL shortener account for over 60% of the clicks, then email, IM, apps and direct clicks, with 18%, then Facebook desktop (12%) and mobile (6%).

Not surprisingly, nearly 90% of the clicks came from the UK - it's a very British story.

I think it's interesting to see how news spreads - and the importance of Twitter in passing around this sort of news.  Don't forget that this was a school day, and that many of Frankie's fans would have been at school when the story initially came out.

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