Modeling the Diversity of User Behavior in Online Communities

Modeling the Diversity of User Behavior in Online Communities

Tad Hogg (Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, USA) and Gabor Szabo (Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-040-2.ch015
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This chapter describes models of the diversity of behavior seen in online communities, in particular how users contribute and attend to content, and how they form social links with their peers. We illustrate the models and parameter estimation procedure with a political discussion community. The models identify key characteristics of users and the web site design leading to the diverse behaviors, and suggest future experiments to identify causal mechanisms producing these characteristics.
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Essembly is an online community for political discussion. These discussions center around user-created resolves reflecting controversial political issues such as “overall, free trade is good for workers”. Similar to other online communities, Essembly allows users to contribute, rate, and discuss content, in this case political policy questions.

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