Are You an Opinion Giver, Seeker, or Both? Re-Examining Political Opinion Leadership in the New Communication Environment
This study revisits concepts of opinion leadership and followership in the current social and media environment and proposes that the two concepts should be reexamined as complementary and interactional rather than as competing. Based on survey data collected in Seoul, Korea, the study proposes four types of individuals depending on how they manage and form opinions on issues: opinion givers/seekers, opinion givers, opinion seekers, and nondiscussants. The study result indicates that those who both give and seek opinions are more connected to various types of media, have higher curating skills, and are more likely to participate in offline and online political activities than others. The implication of opinion givers/seekers in relation to the traditional meaning of opinion leadership will be further discussed.