Social Networking and Communities

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    "Friending" in Online Fitness Communities: Exploring Activity-Based Online Network Structure
    ( 2019-01-08) Zeng, Li ; Almquist, Zack ; Spiro, Emma
    Individuals are influenced by both direct and indirect interaction with their social contacts. While peer influence is known to affect health-related outcomes such as exercise, limited work has fully explored how social networks are structured to support (or inhibit) interaction that could lead to positive health behaviors. With the development of pervasive technology and rise of personal health and wellness tracking, increasing attention has been paid to promoting positive fitness behaviors through social interaction mechanisms in online fitness communities. This trend offers a unique opportunity to understand the opportunity structures for personal health and wellness support. Utilizing a large-scale behavioral trace dataset from the online fitness community Strava, we examine how the size of people's personal network is structured by demographics (e.g. gender and age) and an economic indicator (i.e. if they pay for a premium account). We employ stochastic process models to characterize the empirical network degree distributions in this population of fitness community members. We find that gender, age and account status are associated with distinct network structure. Results have implications in the analysis and the design of health interventions that make use of network relationships in online settings.
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    The Role of Social Networking in Small Island Communities: Lessons from the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
    ( 2019-01-08) Gray, Briony ; Weal, Mark ; Martin, David
    The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was abnormally destructive. For small island developing states (SIDS) a range of underlying issues such as climate change and infrastructure failures also heightened risk. With the increased use of social media and other digital technologies, communities within SIDS are relying on new methods of information dissemination during crises. This paper analyses the ways in which social media and other digital technologies are used in the Caribbean for hurricane resilience and preparedness, using the case study of Antigua and Barbuda that were particularly damaged during the 2017 season. The study scopes the place of such technologies at present through the use of qualitative interviews from a range of governmental departments, organisations, humanitarian aid charities, ex-politicians, business owners and members of the public. It concludes by deriving three main lessons for SIDS for the better management of future hurricane seasons.
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    Social Roles, Interactions and Community Sustainability in Social Q&A Sites: A Resource-based Perspective
    ( 2019-01-08) Liang, Yuyang ; Introne, Joshua
    Online tech support communities have become valuable channels for users to seek and provide solutions to specific problems. From the resource exchange perspective, the sustainability of a social system is contingent upon the size of its members as well as their communication activities. To further extend the resource-based model, the current research identifies a variety of social roles in a large tech support Q&A forum and examines longitudinal changes in the community’s structure based on the identification. Moreover, this study also investigates the relationship between the community’s functionality and its traffic. Results suggest that the proportion of unsolved questions negatively impacts the number of future incoming questions and the outcome of a given question is not only dependent on users’ interactions within the discussion, but also on the community activities preceding the question. These observations can help community managers to improve system design and task allocation.
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    Mobilizing Diasporas: Understanding Transnational Relief Efforts in the Age of Social Media
    ( 2019-01-08) Boichak, Olga
    Social media have reconfigured the international relief landscape by creating discursive spaces for grassroots activism. In this study, I use semantic networks to systematically investigate the role of social media in mobilizing a new actor – diasporas – for providing humanitarian aid. I visualize the structure of conversations among Ukrainian diaspora communities to illuminate the social contexts for two sets of behaviors: political advocacy, the traditional pathway for diaspora engagement with their country of origin; and humanitarian relief, an emergent collective behavior in which grassroots actors supply aid to their homeland directly, bypassing institutional brokers such as international nonprofit organizations. Leveraging data from online discussions within ten diaspora communities on Facebook, I demonstrate how social media facilitate diasporic activism by reinforcing horizontal ties between benefactors and affected communities. This comparative case study contributes to a deeper understanding of diasporic involvement in relief in the age of social media.
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    Psychological Contract Violation and Sharing Intention on Facebook
    ( 2019-01-08) Hammer, Bryan ; Zhang, Tianjian ; Shadbad, Forough Nasirpouri ; Agrawal, Rupesh
    While there is a psychological component to every written contract, it is particularly the case for exchanges on social network site (SNS), where users tend to ignore the user agreement. As a form of social exchange, content sharing on SNS is guided by psychological contract, i.e., implicit and assumed reciprocal obligations. This study investigates how psychological contract violations (PCVs) affect people’s sharing intentions on Facebook. Based on a survey of 347 Facebook users, we find that sharing intention is negatively influenced by interpersonal and institutional PCVs through SNS users’ information privacy concern and trust. Interestingly, PCV by another user positively influences the affected user’s perceived violation by the SNS, suggesting a collateral damage of interpersonal PCV towards SNS. This paper adds to the privacy literature on SNS by revealing the fundamental role of PCV that alters users’ trust and information privacy concern in online social exchange.
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    Modeling Historical Social Networks Databases
    ( 2019-01-08) Akoka, Jacky ; Comyn-Wattiau, Isabelle ; Lamasse, Stéphane ; Du Mouza, Cedric
    Historical social networks are analyzed using prosopographical methods. Prosopography is a branch of historical research that focuses on the iden-tification of social networks that appear in historical sources. It aims to represent and to interpret histori-cal data, sourced from texts. Conceptual modeling imparts the capability to process these large data sets. This paper outlines a conceptual approach to design-ing a prosopographical database encompassing un-certainty. Our contribution is threefold: i) a generic certainty-based prosopographical conceptual model; ii) two meta-models with a mapping between them; iii) an illustrative example generating a customized pros-opographical relational model. Unlike past ap-proaches, our design process helps us to integrate disparate points of view as expressed in the proso-pography community. We apply our approach to the prosopographical database Studium Parisiense dedi-cated to members of Paris schools and university be-tween the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. This instan-tiation validates the usefulness of our approach.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Social Networking and Communities
    ( 2019-01-08) Nahon, Karine ; Suthers, Daniel D.