Indiana News

Study Ranks IU Among Top Tweeting Schools

10/18/2009

Indiana University is living the tweet life.

A new survey puts IU among the top 7 percent of collegiate users of the social networking site Twitter.

The September survey by UniversitiesandColleges.org ranked IU sixth for its number of university-affiliated Twitter accounts, fourth for number of Twitter followers and eighth for total "tweets," or text-based messages, sent per day.

IU had 16 Twitter accounts, compared with seven at Purdue University. The University of Notre Dame had eight accounts.

IU's accounts had 9,877 followers, compared with 3,102 at Purdue and 2,231 at Notre Dame. Indiana showed 38.1 tweets per day, more than double Purdue's 18.1. Notre Dame had 13.4.

The survey examined accounts affiliated with university administrations at the 100 top colleges in the U.S. News and World Report 2010 College Rankings. It did not include unofficial student groups, fans of athletic teams and personal accounts of students, faculty and staff.

The University of Florida led the number of accounts, with 24. Harvard University had the most followers, at 18,955; George Washington University had the most total tweets, at 57.7.

Researchers found many colleges use Twitter to post news updates and official announcements.

Filippo Menczer, a professor of informatics and computing at IU, said the next step for social networking could be for university departments to have social media communicators who post on Twitter and Facebook.

He said many students say they'd rather see class information posted on Facebook instead of a Web site.

"We're not going to do that," Menczer said. "But it tells you a lot about where students spend their time. So we have to be there, too."

University spokesman Larry MacIntyre says IU President Michael McRobbie doesn't use Twitter. But another key campus figure is a heavy user.

Men's basketball coach Tom Crean has nearly 13,000 Twitter followers.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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