your festival in 140 characters or less exploring festivals’ use of twitter

Download Your Festival in 140 Characters or Less Exploring Festivals’ Use of Twitter

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Kelly MacKay, Ph.D.,Danielle Barbe,Ryerson UniversityYour Festival in 140 Characters or Less*: Exploring Festivals Use of TwitterChristine Van Winkle, Ph.D., University of ManitobaElizabeth Halpenny, Ph.D.,University of AlbertaThis research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Information Communication Technology is increasingly integrated into our everyday lives and while much research has examined user acceptance and diffusion in various workplace settings, research on technology adoption in leisure settings is limited.

ICT has been the subject of user experience research in some tourism and recreation contexts; however ICT use has received little attention in festival research and research that examines attendees use of mobile devices at festivals.

The research study Your Festival in 140 Characters or Less is part of the first stage in a multi-stage, exploratory, mixed methods study. The purpose of this stage is to gain an in depth understanding of how and why festival attendees are using mobile devices. 1

IntroductionIn the increasingly crowded field of festivals, social media platforms offer new channels for attracting, communicating, and engaging festival attendees60% of Twitters 200 million active users log in using a mobile device at least once a monthThis study will examine the nature and degree of Twitter use by three popular Canadian festivals, before, during, and after festival production/participation

In the increasingly crowded field of festivals, social media platforms offer new channels for attracting, communicating, and engaging festival attendees.

By reviewing Twitter use, with 60% of its 200 million active users logging in using a mobile device, additional evidence is provided on the ways individuals are engaging with the festival through mobile technology. This study will address the nature and degree of Twitter use by three popular Canadian festivals, before, during, and after festival production/participation.

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Festival BackgroundsData reported in this study originate from three popular Canadian festivals that occurred in the summer of 2013: Pride TorontoTaste of the Danforth (Toronto)Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

Pride Toronto is an arts and cultural festival that celebrates diverse sexual and gender identities. Receives more than 1,000,000 attendees over the 3 day course of the festival. Taste of the Danforth is a celebration of Greek food and culture. Receives more than 1,000,000 attendees over the 3 day course of the festival. Edmonton Fringe Festival is a theater festival with an accompanying outdoor festival space that hosts more than 700,000 visitors. In 2013, 117,000 tickets were sold over the 11 days

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Festival Twitter ProfilesFestival NameTwitter HandleN FollowersN FollowingMember SinceTotal N of TweetsTotal N of Tweets in Study PeriodPride Toronto @PrideToronto1434026201/26/20093032199Taste of the Danforth @Taste_Danforth42323806/26/2013403292Edmonton Fringe @edmontonfringe7616112706/19/20091924226

This table provides the basic Twitter background by each festival.

Pride Toronto, established their presence on Twitter first of all the festivals, capturing over 14,000 followers and Tweeting over 3000 times, however their total tweets during the study period was the lowest.

Taste of the Danforth became a Twitter user in June of last summer, just two months prior to the study period. Although Pride Toronto and Edmonton Fringe established Twitter accounts in 2009 and Taste of the Danforth only did so in 2013, its Twitter activity during the study period was slighter higher.

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Data CollectionData (i.e., tweets) represent three time points: one week prior to the festival, during the festival, one week after the festivalData on the profiles of the festival Twitter accounts were collected from www.twitter.com and www.followerwonk.comNcapture was used to collect a census of the tweets from each festivals Twitter handleThe top Tweets that included the hashtag (#) associated with each festival were collected from www.twitter.com. Tweets were transferred to IBM SPSS Statistics for coding and analysis. Inter-coder agreement was calculated using Cohens kappa (k = .860) based on a reproducibility reliability sample of 125 units

To be consistent with the multi-phase experience model and acknowledge the salience of real-time data when studying information technology in such settings, the data collected represents three time points: one week prior to the festival, during the festival, and one week after the festival.

Data on the profiles of the festival Twitter accounts were collected from www.twitter.com and www.followerwork.com.

The tweets collected for content analysis included a census of the tweets from each festivals Twitter handle (@PrideToronto, @Taste_Danforth, @edmontonfringe), and a collection of the top Tweets that included the hashtag (#) associated with each festival (#PrideTO, #TasteoftheDanforth #yegfringe)

NCapture, a web browser extension of the qualitative data analysis software NVivo, was used to collect the tweets from each festivals Twitter handle and the tweets that includes the festivals associated hashtag were collected from www.twitter.com.

The collection of tweets were then transferred to IBM SPSS Statistics for coding and analysis.

Inter-coder agreement was calculated using Cohens kappa (k = .860) based on a reproducibility reliability sample of 125 units5

Categories and Definitions for Twitter Content Analysis Nature of TweetNature of TweetDefinitionExampleSourcesConversationalA tweet that directly addresses another user(s) by asking/answering a question, involving them in the Tweet, or using @_________"@GaryLevyOnline you should totally come by, hang out and tweet with me for a bit next weekend at #PrideTO!"Gibbs & Dancs (2013)Hays et al (2013)Dann (2010)Java et al (2007)PromotionalA tweet marketing/promoting an event, activity, contest, website, artist, etc. that urges the user to partake in an action."There are SO many #PrideTO Affiliate Events! Visit http://t.co/rRGWZ1LMa6 for more info"Gibbs & Dancs (2013)Hays et al (2013)InformationalAny tweet that presents an update or live discussion of an event, reports news, or provides information, without urging users to partake in an action. "@PrideToronto Flag Raising today at noon on City Hall's green roof. Our special guest is Premier Kathleen Wynne #Topoli"Gibbs & Dancs (2013)Dann (2010)Hays et al (2013)

In developing the categories for coding the tweets, multiple sources of literature were reviewed.

The sources listed on the far right of the table assisted in defining the categories for the nature of each tweet: Conversational, Promotional, Informational, Status, Phatic, and Unclassifiable6

Categories and Definitions for Twitter Content Analysis Nature of TweetNature of TweetDefinitionExampleSourcesStatusAnswers the Twitter question What are you doing now?"at the #PrideTO flag raising!"Gibbs & Dancs (2013)Dann (2010)PhaticAny tweet containing statements of greetings to the broader Twitter community, textual soliloquys/monologues, undirected statements of opinion, or establish sociability rather than communicating information or ideasWe wish everyone a Happy #PrideTO. We're proud to serve Canada's most diverse city.Dann (2010)Merriam-Webster (2013)UnclassifiableTweets that do not belong in any of the categories aboveDub step diggery do! #entertainment #PrideTOGibbs & Dancs (2013)Dann (2010)

In developing the categories for coding the tweets, multiple sources of literature were reviewed.

The sources listed on the far right of the table assisted in defining the categories for the nature of each tweet: Conversational, Promotional, Informational, Status, Phatic, and Unclassifiable7

Categories and Definitions for Twitter Content Analysis Purpose of TweetPurpose of TweetDefinitionExampleSourcesInformation SharingAny tweet that provides information to followers about a particular event, subject, idea, etc.Join us for @PrideToronto flag raising on Jun 24 at 12pm at City Hall. Lunch provided. All welcome.Java et al (2007)Information SeekingAny tweet that asks/requests information from follower(s)What are you most looking forward to this weekend at #PrideTO?!Java et al (2007)Engagement/Relationship BuildingAny tweet used to engage, build a relationship with, or express appreciation to a follower(s)Happy First Day of #Summer and #PrideTO! Are y'all ready for this?Java et al (2007)OtherTweets that do not belong in any of the categories aboveToday's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality

Also determined through content analysis was the purpose of each tweet. Java et al (2007) provided a guideline for developing the categories information-sharing, information-seeking, friendship/relationship, other.

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Findings - GeneralA total of 870 tweets were captured82.9% of tweets originated from festivals and 17.1% from patrons using the #festivalname21.4% were retweetsThe majority (60.3%) of tweets were retweeted 3 times or fewerThe three festivals produced 65.8% of the tweets55% of all tweets contained links53.4% of links were to photos27.4% of links were to websitesLess frequent links were to videos (8.6%), Facebook (7.4%), and contests (2.3%)

In total. 870 tweets were captured270 tweets were associated with Pride Toronto328 tweets were associated with Taste of the Danforth272 tweets were associated with Edmonton Fringe Festival

82.9% (721) of these tweets originated from the festivals twitter page and 17.1% (149) came from patrons using the festivals associated hashtag.

Retweets were also included in data collection, accounting for 21.4% of