Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Life and death of online communities

09.03.2010
The more heterogeneous the community of an online chat channel, the more chances the channel has to survive over time. This has been concluded in a new joint study carried out by researchers of the University of Haifa and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“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!
Further information:
http://www.haifa.ac.il

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>