Friday, March 2, 2012

Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public

Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public by John H. Parmelee and Shannon L. Bichard is the first comprehensive examination of how Twitter is used politically. Surveys and in-depth interviews with political Twitter users answer several important questions, including: Who follows the political leaders on Twitter, and why? How persuasive are political tweets? Is political Twitter use good for democracy?

These and other questions are answered from theoretical perspectives, such as uses and gratifications, word-of-mouth communication, selective exposure, innovation characteristics, and the continuity-discontinuity framework. In addition, content analysis and frame analysis illustrate how political leaders' tweets frame their policies and personalities.

The findings in Politics and the Twitter Revolution show Twitter to be surprisingly influential on political discourse. Twitter has caused major changes in how people engage politically. Followers regularly take actions that are requested in leaders' tweets, and, in many cases, leaders' tweets shape followers' political views more than friends and family. Other findings raise concerns. For some, Twitter use contributes to political polarization, and there is frequently a disconnect between what followers expect from leaders on Twitter and what those leaders are giving them.

Editorial Reviews
"Twitter has taken the political world by storm, and it’s changing the way candidates campaign and voters learn about politics. This groundbreaking book by John Parmelee and Shannon Bichard shows us how it’s being done and why it matters. Must reading for anyone for wants to understand the power of new social media."

(Larry J. Sabato )

"It may seem odd to say that a book examining the political uses of a technology that has only existed for five years is long overdue, [but] Politics and the Twitter Revolution was definitely worth the wait. The authors effectively couple survey research, content analysis, and frame analysis with in-depth interviews to explore what motivates individuals to follow political leaders on Twitter, what they see as its benefits and drawbacks as well as how Twitter affects them. The study also effectively critiques how politicians employ Twitter. This is a comprehensive and insightful look at Twitter politics."

(Johnson , Tom )

"Politics and the Twitter Revolution breaks new ground in analyzing one of the newest, most common, and most misunderstood online social media venues and its role in American politics. Parmelee and Bichard's book will inform many readers, from political staffers asking ‘How can we use Twitter?,’ to students in political communication classes, to the advanced researcher seeking access to a wealth of data and insight."

(David D. Perlmutter )
About the Author
John H. Parmelee is associate professor of communication at the University of North Florida.

Shannon L. Bichard is associate professor in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University.

Product Details
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Lexington Books; 1 edition (November 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0739165003
ISBN-13: 978-0739165003
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches

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