“This study has shown that an essentially social characteristic significantly influences the survival chances of an online community,” says Dr. Daphne Raban of the University of Haifa who took part in the study.
The study, headed by Dr. Quentin Jones of the New Jersey Institute of Technology with Dr. Mihai Moldovan of NJIT and Dr. Raban, aimed to examine what factors could best predict the chances of an online community to survive over time. Researchers have previously claimed that there are too many variables influencing the survival or demise of such channels and that there is therefore no way of testing it, and earlier studies have primarily focused on group size and activity.
The current study included an analysis of social characteristics, such as the group’s homogeneity and heterogeneity. A group is considered homogeneous when its member turnover is small - namely, when the members who established the group are still the main members after some time. A group is considered heterogeneous when it has turnover and new members are continuously joining it.
A sample 282 chat channels all “born” on the same month was used for survival analysis which explored the relationship between the overall user activity in each channel at its inception and the channel’s life expectancy. The researchers carried out the survival analysis over the course of six months after “birth”. A chat channel was considered “born” when at least three members had exchanged at least four messages in 20 minutes. It was considered “dead” when it had zero activity for four weeks.
The researchers observed the influences of variables at four points of time: two hours after “birth”; on the channel’s first day of activity; over its first week of activity; and over its first two weeks of activity.
Results show that the variable that best predicts the chances of a community to survive is its level of heterogeneity: the greater the member turnover, the higher the chances that the group will sustain itself over time. On the other hand, the number of members and the number of actual message posters do not predict the chances of survival.
According to the current study, another reliable predictor is the number of messages that are posted between members of an online community. This number does not have much significance over the first two hours of the group’s existence, but the higher the number of messages between members over the following three time phases, the higher the chances of the community’s survival over time. The study also revealed that if the ratio between the number of messages and the number of members in a group remains the same after two weeks of the community’s activity, the chances of “death” are higher, while an irregular ratio predicts survival. It should be noted that neither an increasing ratio of messages between members nor a decreasing ratio were found to influence the chances of survival.
“The present study shows that prediction of an online community’s survival chances cannot be based on quantitative data relating to the size of the group or even to its growth rate alone. A social predictor, on the other hand, can much better predict its chances,” concludes Dr. Raban.
Rachel Feldman | EurekAlert!
Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
NASA Goddard network maintains communications from space to ground
02.03.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering