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Zombies Running Rampant on Twitter

Written on
Dec 9, 2010 
Author
Gavin Dunaway  |

twitter_smallADOTAS – AMC’s “The Walking Dead” ended its six-show first-season run with a blast on Sunday, and I have to admit I’m hooked — though it’s not as fresh a take on the zombie genre as the critics profess, it offers complicated, three-dimensional characters worth rooting for. And yes, gore freaks, there are lots of zombies getting shot in the head or decapitated in a grisly fashion.

Right on cue, the Pew Research Center has released a report suggesting the proliferation of “The Tweeting Dead” — or rather, the scope of “zombie” accounts hobbling about on Twitter, seeking live flesh to feed on.

Twitter boasts that it has 175 million “users,” 65 million of which are American. But the appropriate term is accounts, not users, as a Pew’s study makes clear: 6% of adults in the U.S. use Twitter regularly (8% of Internet users, which make up 74% of U.S. adults), which translates to about 15 million people. Minors were not included in the survey.

While some tweeters have multiple accounts, Pew’s numbers suggest that the zombie population — accounts run by bots or straightforward news feeds — is staggeringly high. So who is actually on Twitter? To use a zombie-movie favorite, is there anybody out there still alive?

Well, some, and they do have demographics. Seven percent of male and 10% of female Internet users are active tweeters. Fourteen percent of Internet users ages 18 to 29 are regular users; 7% for ages 30 to 49; 6% for 50 to 64; and 4% of those over 65. Five percent of white (non-Hispanic), 13% of black (non-Hispanic) and 18% of Hispanic Internet users are tweeters.

Seems those left living on Twitter are a young, multicultural cast with more women than men. Sounds perfect for a TV show…

As for “The Walking Dead,” my roommate, an avid graphic novel reader, says the TV show is good but doesn’t capture the atmosphere of the series, which I’m thinking about giving a read. If you want a really fresh and literate take on zombies, I strongly suggest “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.” Author Max Brooks explores a zombie uprising through well-crafted vignettes narrated by a diverse cast of characters. It would make great holiday gift for that disturbed relative of yours.





Gavin Dunaway is Editor, U.S. at AdMonsters, a leading trade publication, event producer and service provider for the online advertising industry. Previously, he had been Senior Editor of Adotas, where he arrived after years of ping-ponging around various industry publications. This Washington, D.C. native and George Mason University graduate also enjoys playing electric guitar so loud that the walls shake.

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