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Editor’s note: In this guest post, Naval Ravikant and Adam Rifkin argue why Twitter is undervalued. Naval was an early investor in Twitter and owns Twitter shares; Adam does not. They have not discussed the content of this article with anyone inside Twitter.
Who determines the big topics of conversation on social media such as Twitter? It’s isn’t the loudest bloggers with large followings of virtual fans. Rather, mainstream media tends to play the biggest role in the top “trending” topics on Twitter, or those that appear in the top ten search terms on the service at any given point in time, according to a study by Hewlett-Packard’s research labs . “You might expect the most prolific tweeters or those with most followers would be most responsible for creating such trends,” says Bernardo Huberman , HP Senior Fellow and director of HP Labs’ Social Computing Research Group . That turns out not to be the case, Huberman and three other researchers found.