***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Re: Network Structure and Group Contribution Hello,

Ron Burt has done some work in Second Life. Here is a link to a paper he has written on this:

"Structural Holes in Virtual Worlds,"  ( SHVW.pdf <http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/ronald.burt/research/SHVW.pdf> )     
    This paper is about the validity of virtual worlds as a place to study the effects of social networks and instruct people in the ways networks operate.  The potential is enormous.  Virtual worlds offer good-quality, time-stamped, micro-level data on social networks in large, heterogeneous populations.  Models can be formulated and tested with a precision impossible to match with standard sociometric survey methods.  More, social skills can be learned in virtual worlds that can require years of experience in the real world, and remain in many people undeveloped.  However, there is a preliminary question that has to be answered: Are virtual worlds a new context for familiar social processes, or merely an odd context in which social processes play out in ways that do not generalize to the real world?  The conclusion reached in this paper is that two foundational network effects play out in a familiar way in at least one of the large virtual worlds.  The virtual world is Second Life.  The two effects are achievement increasing with network brokerage, and trust increasing with network closure.  As expected from previous theory and research in the real world, relations embedded in closed networks within Second Life are more likely to be close, trusting relationships.  As expected from previous theory and research in the real world, network brokers in Second Life are more likely to be the leaders who provide social infrastructure that makes the virtual world valuable and attractive.  Brokers are more likely to found groups, invitation-only groups and groups open to the public.  The groups they found are more likely to survive and attract more people as members.  These results, consistent with network effects in the real world, are initial evidence that it would be reasonable to use the rich network data available in virtual worlds to better understand networks in the real world.

I am also conducting research in second life and other virtual worlds. Here is our project blog: www.nordicworlds.net. Your research assistant is welcome to contact me directly at [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask].

Best regards,
Robin

---------
Robin Teigland, PhD
Stockholm School of Economics
Stockholm, Sweden
www.knowledgenetworking.org


Check out NVWN - Nordic Worlds Virtual Network!  An international, inter-disciplinary project co-funded by NICe investigating entrepreneurship and innovation through virtual worlds and the 3D internet: www.nordicworlds.net.


On 14/2/11 18:19 PM, "Brooke Foucault" <[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]> wrote:

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  ***** Hi all, 

Hope those of you who were at Sunbelt have made it safely back home. I am helping an undergraduate research assistant (Nick Merrill) in the SONIC lab at Northwestern with his first research paper. He's interested in how network structure, specifically an individual's position in the network, influences one's likelihood of contributing resources to one's group in the virtual world Second Life. Second Life has an economy that is tied to the real-world economy, so making a donation to a group in Second Life constitutes contributing real resources (money) to that group. 
This is not an area I'm super familiar with, so I'm hoping you can suggest either specific measures we should look at, or prior work that deals with network structure and group donations/contributions. So far, we've analyzed degree centrality (as a measure of social status) and overall wealth in the game (on the assumption that more wealth makes it more likely that you'll donate wealth). Obviously, we could also include other measures of centrality as proxies for social status and/or power, but we'd like to move beyond that, too. 

Does anyone know of literature that discusses these measures (and/or other measures!) in relation to group resource commitment? Ideally, a paper that focuses on these measures in a real-world context would give us a coherent framework for approaching the problem in Second Life. 

Any and all related literature would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to email me, or you can email Nick directly at: [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]

Thanks for your help!
Best, 
Brooke 

 



On 14/2/11 18:19 PM, "Brooke Foucault" <[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]> wrote:

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  ***** Hi all, 

Hope those of you who were at Sunbelt have made it safely back home. I am helping an undergraduate research assistant (Nick Merrill) in the SONIC lab at Northwestern with his first research paper. He's interested in how network structure, specifically an individual's position in the network, influences one's likelihood of contributing resources to one's group in the virtual world Second Life. Second Life has an economy that is tied to the real-world economy, so making a donation to a group in Second Life constitutes contributing real resources (money) to that group. 
This is not an area I'm super familiar with, so I'm hoping you can suggest either specific measures we should look at, or prior work that deals with network structure and group donations/contributions. So far, we've analyzed degree centrality (as a measure of social status) and overall wealth in the game (on the assumption that more wealth makes it more likely that you'll donate wealth). Obviously, we could also include other measures of centrality as proxies for social status and/or power, but we'd like to move beyond that, too. 

Does anyone know of literature that discusses these measures (and/or other measures!) in relation to group resource commitment? Ideally, a paper that focuses on these measures in a real-world context would give us a coherent framework for approaching the problem in Second Life. 

Any and all related literature would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to email me, or you can email Nick directly at: [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]

Thanks for your help!
Best, 
Brooke 
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