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Stanford U. Tops New Ranking of Colleges’ Influence via Twitter

Stanford University’s Twitter feed is the most influential among college and university accounts on that microblogging service, according to a new ranking.

The list was published this week by Klout, an online company that tracks the popularity and impact of Tweets and gives every Twitter account a numerical score for influence. Factors reflected in the score include the number of followers a user has, how often a user is retweeted, and how a user’s tweets are being used in the conversation on Twitter

Stanford earned a Klout score of 70, with Syracuse University, Harvard University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison all following with a score of 64.

The top 10 is rounded out by University of California at Berkeley, Butler University, Temple University, Tufts University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas at Austin, and Marquette University.

Paul Levinson, a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University and the author of New New Media, said the new form of ranking is welcome and no less valid than a ranking released by a more traditional outlet, such as U.S. News & World Report.

“Rankings in any medium are always artificial and superficial,” Mr. Levinson said. “Any ranking process like this is bound to be flawed, but that does not mean it’s not worthwhile.”

Mr. Levinson added that as students increasingly turn to social media for information, colleges and professors that are able to use those media are an asset.

If The Chronicle were a college, it would narrowly edge out Stanford, with a score of 71.

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