Social Networking and Communities Minitrack

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We call for papers that address social networks and communities supported and/or complemented by social media for work, learning, socializing, economic and/or political processes, and/or that address theory, design, practices, use or evaluation of such social media use. We encourage papers that address communities in a broad sense of its use, including communities of practice, epistemic communities, or communities of inquiry; as well as fully virtual communities, and social media use that supports or complements geographically based community. We particularly encourage papers that: advance our understanding of social network growth, formation, structure and outcomes through social media; advance out understanding of the design of social media technologies and practices for effective community development and maintenance; studies of socio- technical aspects of social media use that explore how the technology relates to social outcomes; theoretical studies that explore models and principles of social media design, use and outcomes. This year we will give space to more exploratory and theoretical papers than in the past.


Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Karine Nahon (Primary Contact)
University of Washington and the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya
Email: karineb@uw.edu

Caroline Haythornthwaite
Syracuse University
Email: chaythor@syr.edu

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Redditors Revealed: Motivational Factors of the Reddit Community
    ( 2017-01-04) Moore, Carrie ; Chuang, Lisa
    The purpose of this paper is to examine what motivational factors influence frequency of participation on the social news website Reddit.com, which has evolved from a news aggregator into a thriving virtual community. This study takes the uses and gratifications approach to examine why people participate in this community. A survey was posted to Reddit.com and was completed by 549 users. Multiple Regression analysis was conducted to assess factors (informativeness, socializing/ community building, status-seeking, entertainment) that influence participation. \ \ Findings indicate that uses and gratifications is a valid means by which to examine the motivations and gratification for users of new media, specifically online social media platforms. Findings for motivational factors were consistent with the current literature, with the exception of information seeking as a gratification sought / obtained. Results may be useful for designers of online communities and for scholars to further explore new types of needs and gratifications for those who participate in virtual communities.
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    Preservation of Indigenous Culture among Indigenous Migrants through Social Media: The Igorot Peoples
    ( 2017-01-04) Botangen, Khavee Agustus ; Vodanovich, Shahper ; Yu, Jian
    The value and relevance of indigenous knowledge towards sustainability of human societies drives for its preservation. This work explored the use of Facebook groups to promote indigenous knowledge among Igorot peoples in the diaspora. The virtual communities help intensify the connection of Igorot migrants to their traditional culture despite the challenges of assimilation to a different society. A survey of posts on 20 Facebook groups identified and classified the indigenous cultural elements conveyed through social media. A subsequent survey of 56 Igorot migrants revealed that popular social media has a significant role in the exchange, revitalization, practice, and learning of indigenous culture; inciting an effective medium to leverage preservation strategies.
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    Portraits of Participation: Exploring the Relationship between Social Motivators and Facets of Participation in a Twitter-based Community
    ( 2017-01-04) Gilbert, Sarah
    Twitter is a platform where people can coalesce around a common interest, signaled by a hashtag, and form a community of practice. As with all online initiatives, questions remain about what motivates people to follow and contribute to communities, and why they participate in varying degrees. This paper explores social motivations for participation in the Twitter-based community of practice, #hcsmca (Healthcare Social Media Canada), formed in 2010 to discuss issues in healthcare within a Canadian context. Analysis of 24 semi-structured interviews identified three important social motivations: tapping into a social network of people with a common interest, developing personal and professional relationships, and the community ethos. Portraits of participation based on three facets of participation, length of time as a community member, depth of engagement in the community, and frequency of participation, were developed to describe community members’ motivations at varying levels of participation. \
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    Internet Ecologies of New Mothers: Trust, Variety and Strategies for Managing Diverse Information Sources
    ( 2017-01-04) Barkhuus, Louise ; Bales, Elizabeth ; Cowan, Lisa
    New parents are faced with the challenge of quickly acquiring a new base of knowledge, while simultaneously navigating a significant life change. While both new mothers and fathers experience new and unique parental demands, their early caregiving challenges differ and new mothers often search for different types of support and information online. We here present findings from an exploratory interview study of how new first-time mothers navigate online resources as they transition into parenthood. We find that many parenting tasks are supported by a variety of resources, which are often used in combination to accomplish a task. We also found that variety in sources was often valued over general source credibility, and new mothers relied on their own ability to filter information to assess how much to trust information. We also provide more general insight into the methods individuals used to gain domain knowledge in a completely new area.
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    Does Give-and-Take Really Matter? Dynamics of Social Interactions in Social Network
    ( 2017-01-04) Chung, Sunghun ; Animesh, Animesh ; Han, Kunsoo ; Pinsonneault, Alain
    Despite the increasing attention paid to the social interaction in online social networks, it is still not clear how social media users interact with each other, consume different content, and expand their social network. This study conceptualizes two types of user engagement (internal and external) and empirically examines the dynamics between user’s engagement, friends’ engagement, and network size. Using detailed social media activity data collected from over 20,000 Facebook users for three years, we find that when people externally engage in their friends’ social space rather than one’s own space, they can make more friends and also receive friends’ engagement in one’s own social space. However, when people receive more friends’ engagement in their social space and make more friends, they are likely to reduce their engagement in social media (both externally as well as internally). Our findings can provide useful insights for the literature on social ties, user-generated content, and online peer influence.