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Is sharing caring? The value of social media interaction patterns for online news services.

Rossing, C. (2012) Is sharing caring? The value of social media interaction patterns for online news services.

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Abstract:Purpose The Internet is becoming an integral part of journalism. News organizations employ websites and digital editions of newspapers to reach their audience on the World Wide Web. With the rise of social media, news organizations felt that they had to do something and have started to implement social media into their websites and communications. But in what ways are social media used? How, and with which objectives do news organizations employ social media? And in with which objectives do users employ social media? This study aims to develop social media news interaction patterns, and to determine the value of patterns for both news organizations and users. Method The first phase of this study consists of a literature review, describing the theoretical background of key concepts in the study such as interactivity, social media and the pattern approach. This results in a conceptual model, which will be tested using a two-step approach. In the first step, a preliminary study is conducted to test the practical validity of patterns extracted from the literature. The second step consists of two separate studies. Study one uses multiple case studies to examine the value of social media news interaction patterns for publishers. Study two uses an online questionnaire to examine the value of social media news interaction patterns for users. Results and conclusions The results from the case studies show that social media news interaction patterns can be observed in the practical setting of an online news site. A selection of interaction patterns was measurable using the data available for the case studies. Measured interaction patterns were associated with the following organizational objectives: (1) increase reach, (2) increase loyalty, (3) facilitate interaction, (4) co-creation, and (5) increase findability. Results from the online questionnaires show that user objectives for most social media news interaction patterns can be explained using nuanced traditional uses and gratifications dimensions. Combining results from the case studies with results of the online questionnaires into a single model, the value of social media news interaction patterns is becomes visible.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62583
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