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Structural differences between open and direct communication in an online community
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Sweden; Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea.
2014 (English)In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, ISSN 0378-4371, E-ISSN 1873-2119, Vol. 414, 263-273 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most research of online communication focuses on modes of communication that are either open (like forums, bulletin boards, Twitter, etc.) or direct (like e-mails). In this work, we study a dataset that has both types of communication channels. We relate our findings to theories of social organization and human dynamics. The data comprises 36,492 users of a movie discussion community. Our results show that there are differences in the way users communicate in the two channels that are reflected in the shape of degree- and interevent time distributions. The open communication that is designed to facilitate conversations with any member shows a broader degree distribution and more of the triangles in the network are primarily formed in this mode of communication. The direct channel is presumably preferred by closer communication and the response time in dialogs is shorter. On a more coarse-grained level, there are common patterns in the two networks. The differences and overlaps between communication networks, thus, provide a unique window into how social and structural aspects of communication establish and evolve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 414, 263-273 p.
Keyword [en]
Multiplex networks, Network theory, Communication motifs
National Category
Communication Studies Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108525DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2014.07.037ISI: 000342253300028OAI: diva2:762022


Available from: 2014-11-10 Created: 2014-10-29 Last updated: 2014-11-10Bibliographically approved

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