1,141,013 research outputs found

    Loyalty in Online Communities

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    Loyalty is an essential component of multi-community engagement. When users have the choice to engage with a variety of different communities, they often become loyal to just one, focusing on that community at the expense of others. However, it is unclear how loyalty is manifested in user behavior, or whether loyalty is encouraged by certain community characteristics. In this paper we operationalize loyalty as a user-community relation: users loyal to a community consistently prefer it over all others; loyal communities retain their loyal users over time. By exploring this relation using a large dataset of discussion communities from Reddit, we reveal that loyalty is manifested in remarkably consistent behaviors across a wide spectrum of communities. Loyal users employ language that signals collective identity and engage with more esoteric, less popular content, indicating they may play a curational role in surfacing new material. Loyal communities have denser user-user interaction networks and lower rates of triadic closure, suggesting that community-level loyalty is associated with more cohesive interactions and less fragmentation into subgroups. We exploit these general patterns to predict future rates of loyalty. Our results show that a user's propensity to become loyal is apparent from their first interactions with a community, suggesting that some users are intrinsically loyal from the very beginning.Comment: Extended version of a paper appearing in the Proceedings of ICWSM 2017 (with the same title); please cite the official ICWSM versio

    Emotional persistence in online chatting communities

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    How do users behave in online chatrooms, where they instantaneously read and write posts? We analyzed about 2.5 million posts covering various topics in Internet relay channels, and found that user activity patterns follow known power-law and stretched exponential distributions, indicating that online chat activity is not different from other forms of communication. Analysing the emotional expressions (positive, negative, neutral) of users, we revealed a remarkable persistence both for individual users and channels. I.e. despite their anonymity, users tend to follow social norms in repeated interactions in online chats, which results in a specific emotional "tone" of the channels. We provide an agent-based model of emotional interaction, which recovers qualitatively both the activity patterns in chatrooms and the emotional persistence of users and channels. While our assumptions about agent's emotional expressions are rooted in psychology, the model allows to test different hypothesis regarding their emotional impact in online communication.Comment: 34 pages, 4 main and 12 supplementary figure

    Using Wikis to Create Online Communities

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    A wiki allows anyone the ability to take part in the creation and editing of web content. With its simplified text-formatting rules that anyone can easily learn, it truly puts experienced web designers and web novices on equal footing. In public libraries, where the technological skills of employees can range from high to non-existent, wikis can allow everyone the ability to develop the website. The resulting website would reflect the imagination and good ideas of the entire organization, not just a select few with the requisite "tech-savvy." The possibilities for what libraries can do with wikis are endless. At their least, they are spaces for quick and easy collaborative work. At their best, they can become true community resources that can position the library as an online hub of their local community

    Distributed leadership, trust and online communities

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    This paper analyses the role of distributed leadership and trust in online communities. The team-based informal ethos of online collaboration requires a different kind of leadership from that in formal positional hierarchies. Such leadership may be more flexible and sophisticated, capable of encompassing ambiguity and rapid change. Online leaders need to be partially invisible, delegating power and distributing tasks. Yet, simultaneously, online communities are facilitated by the high visibility and subtle control of expert leaders. This paradox: that leaders need to be both highly visible and invisible as appropriate, was derived from prior research and tested in the analysis of online community discussions using a pattern-matching process. It is argued that both leader visibility and invisibility are important for the facilitation of trusting collaboration via distributed leadership. Advanced leadership responses to complex situations in online communities foster positive group interaction and decision-making, facilitated through active distribution of specific tasks

    Antisocial Behavior in Online Discussion Communities

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    User contributions in the form of posts, comments, and votes are essential to the success of online communities. However, allowing user participation also invites undesirable behavior such as trolling. In this paper, we characterize antisocial behavior in three large online discussion communities by analyzing users who were banned from these communities. We find that such users tend to concentrate their efforts in a small number of threads, are more likely to post irrelevantly, and are more successful at garnering responses from other users. Studying the evolution of these users from the moment they join a community up to when they get banned, we find that not only do they write worse than other users over time, but they also become increasingly less tolerated by the community. Further, we discover that antisocial behavior is exacerbated when community feedback is overly harsh. Our analysis also reveals distinct groups of users with different levels of antisocial behavior that can change over time. We use these insights to identify antisocial users early on, a task of high practical importance to community maintainers.Comment: ICWSM 201

    Life in the "Matrix": Human Mobility Patterns in the Cyber Space

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    With the wide adoption of the multi-community setting in many popular social media platforms, the increasing user engagements across multiple online communities warrant research attention. In this paper, we introduce a novel analogy between the movements in the cyber space and the physical space. This analogy implies a new way of studying human online activities by modelling the activities across online communities in a similar fashion as the movements among locations. First, we quantitatively validate the analogy by comparing several important properties of human online activities and physical movements. Our experiments reveal striking similarities between the cyber space and the physical space. Next, inspired by the established methodology on human mobility in the physical space, we propose a framework to study human "mobility" across online platforms. We discover three interesting patterns of user engagements in online communities. Furthermore, our experiments indicate that people with different mobility patterns also exhibit divergent preferences to online communities. This work not only attempts to achieve a better understanding of human online activities, but also intends to open a promising research direction with rich implications and applications.Comment: To appear at The International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM) 201
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