Abstract

This study applied the two-step-flow-of-information model within an ethnographic approach to explore the two-step-flow of information model for re-conceptualizing opinion leadership via Twitter in the post-Jan25 revolution era. The study is inspired by the 25th of January revolution that shacked many of the taken-for-granted thoughts and perceptions. The study belongs to the new trend in media-audience studies claiming that with media convergence, 'the user is the tool,' and 'the sender becomes the message.' The data collection tools are (a) seven months of participant-observation conducted on a purposive sample of approximately 400 Egyptian tweeps, (b) online semi-structured interviews conducted with a purposive sub-sample of eighteen tweeps, and (c) seventy online questionnaires. Four major concepts were examined; opinion leaders, leaders-followers relationship, linear versus circular flow-of-information, and the role of Twitter in the flow-of-information in post-Jan25 revolution era. Analysis found that Twitter is distinguished for its users' characteristics more than its technological features. Within Twitter, there are more of opinion-organizers, recommenders, analyzers, more than leaders. Data imply that traditional media outstanding position in the flow-of-information model is challenged; it needs to go beyond having an online URL, Facebook page, or Twitter account, to upgrade its old rules and regulations, and the mentality guiding its performance, as well as to focus more on service and informational roles than publicity and manipulation. Indications suggest that Egyptian tweeps have a mutually equal leader-follower relationship.

Department

Journalism & Mass Communication Department

Degree Name

MA in Journalism & Mass Communication

Date of Award

6-1-2012

Online Submission Date

May 2012

First Advisor

Hamdy, Naila

Second Advisor

ElBaradei, Laila

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

NA

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Online chat groups -- Political aspects -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Social media -- Political aspects -- Egypt.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Approval has been obtained for this item

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