Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Suzie Allard

Committee Members

Michael Kotowski, Bruce MacLennan, Carol Tenopir


This study proposes a theoretical model of information diffusion using the conceptual framework of Gatekeeping Theory (Shoemaker & Vos, 2009). Diffusion is a process by which elements are distributed through a social system (Rogers, 2003; Kadushin, 2012). This model builds on previous diffusion research and incorporates constructs of authority and vivid information, novel to the domain. To test the fit of the model, Twitter data derived using data mining techniques are utilized. Specifically, messages posted to Twitter relating to the 2013 Consumer Electronics (CES) conference are mined. Essentially, this study focuses on the diffusion of technology information through a popular social medium, Twitter. From these messages, the network was be visualized and diffusion paths were determined using network analysis. A test of the model was conducted to determine fit using structural equation modeling.

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