Digital Ecology: emergence of Twitter's trending topics

Digital Ecology is a research project funded by the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) and developed at the University of São Paulo. The project aims to explain the emergence of Trending Topics within Twitter mediascape.

Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to publish and exchange short messages, also known as tweets, through a wide variety of clients. Since Twitter enables real-time propagation of information to any number of users, the platform is an ideal environment for the dissemination of breaking-news directly from the news source and/or geographical point of interest.

A re-tweet (RT) is a quote of another tweet, which may or may not include a comment or reply. Retweet activity reflects how the social network helps in the propagation of the information and shed some light on patterns of diffusion in digital networks, since an active social network promotes the steady dissemination of related messages.