Hello to all Networkers:
I am using Social Network Analysis to detect and study cohesive subgroups
in Usenet newsgroups. More specifically, I want to empirically test the fit
of a core-periphery structure (Borgatti and Everett, 1999) since the "core"
image is mentioned by several authors who have studied online community in
newsgroups (Smith, 1999; Tepper, 1997; McLaughlin, Osborne and Smith,
1994). I will use UCINET V to fit the model (Borgatti, Everett and Freeman,
I am somewhat puzzled that I've found relatively few articles applying SNA
to study participant interactions inside well-chosen (i.e. narrowly
focused) Usenet newsgroups. I would have thought an online discussion group
is a good place to empirically discover cliques!
I list the references I've found below. Starting with Smith's really
excellent article, most applications of SNA to Usenet focus on the
crossposting links between different newsgroups, rather than the
interactions of members of a single newsgroup (Smith, 1999; Donath,
Karahalios and Viegas, 1999; Sack, 2000; Fisher, 2000). I also list the
references I've found for the recently defined core-periphery network
structure. If someone can suggest other relevant references, or drop a few
useful hints (or warnings), I'd be most grateful.
Since many authors of these research articles are regular readers of this
list, I also want to use this opportunity to thank them for their work,
which I promise to give full credit for!
Barsky, N. (1999) A core/periphery structure in a corporate budgeting
process. Connections, 22(2). Available online at
Borgatti, S. and Everett, M. (1999) Models of core/periphery structures.
Social Networks 21, 375-395.
Borgatti, S., Everett, M., and Freeman, L. (1999) Ucinet 5 for Windows:
software for social network analysis. Natick: Analytic Technologies.
Donath, J., Karahalios, K. and Viegas, F. (1999) Visualizing converstion.
Journal of computer-mediated communication, 4 (4).
Available online at http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol4/issue4/donath.html
Everett, M. and Borgatti, S. (1999) Peripheries of cohesive subsets. Social
Networks 21, 397-407.
Faust, K. and Romney, K. (1985) Does STRUCTURE find structure?: a critique
of Burt's use of distance as a measure of structural equivalence. Social
Networks 7: 77-103.
(Thanks to Prof. Freeman for pointing out this reference)
Fisher, D. (2000) Visualizing social newsgroup interaction. Unpublished
writeup to CHI 2000 Community Workshop.
Available online at http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~danyelf/research/comm.pdf
McLaughlin, M., Osborne, K. and Smith, C. (1994) Standards of conduct on
Usenet. In Jones, S. (Ed) Cybersociety: computer-mediated communication and
community. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Muller, C. (1999) Networks of 'personal communities' and 'group
communities' in different online communication services. First results of
an empirical study in Switzerland. Paper presented at the Exploring Cyber
Society Conference, July 5-7 1999, at the University of Northumbria at
Available online at http://sozweber.unibe.ch/ii/virt/newcastle.html
Muncer, S., Loader, B., Burrows, R., Pleace, N. and Nettleton, S. (2000)
Form and structure of newsgroups giving social support: a network approach.
Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 3(6).
Sack, W. (2001) Conversation map: an interface for very large-scale
conversations. Journal of Management Information Systems, 17(3).
Smith, M. A. (1999) Invisible crowds in cyberspace: mapping the social
structure of the Usenet. In Smith, M. A. and Kollock, P. (Eds) Communities
in Cyberspace. Routledge, New York.
Tepper, M. (1997) Usenet communities and the cultural politics of
information. In Porter, D. (Ed) Internet culture. Routledge, New York.