Ed Cotton: Osama and Twitter’s Nervous System

Thoughts on information dispersion and managing the flow of a story in a highly networked world.

It’s now common knowledge that Twitter first broke the story of Osama’s death, an event which marked the coming of age of the brand.

What’s especially interesting is the analysis of what happened on Twitter and how the information was dispersed.

Some really good work on this has been done by SocialFlow, who have looked at the nodes and networks that enabled the news to spread

SocialFlow shows how it wasn’t the first guy to speculate Osama’s death that caused the wildfire, but another Twitter user- Keith Urbahn.

Urbahn had credibility as Rumsfeld’s former chief of staff and his influence enabled the news to spread fast- within two minutes there were 300 reactions to his Tweet.

One big influencer to retweet the story was NYT reporter Brian Stelter who with over 50,000 followers meant his Tweet was instantly picked up by a second tier of influential nodes encouraged their users to spread the news.

(Continue reading here.)

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights.

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