Potentials and Limitations of Cyber Knowledge Brokers as Knowledge Providers

Potentials and Limitations of Cyber Knowledge Brokers as Knowledge Providers

Daniel Onaifo (University of Western Ontario, Canada) and Anabel Quan-Haase (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch458
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Background

As social media sites become increasingly integrated into society, they provide a good solution to the problem of connecting people who are looking for expert knowledge with those who have it. According to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 66% of all Internet users make use of social networking sites (Brenner, 2012). Much of the research examining social media has focused on the social aspects of connecting via these sites (boyd & Ellison, 2008; Hogan & Quan-Haase, 2010), without much regard to the potential informational benefits of the sites for their users. This is in spite of the fact that many social media platforms are specifically geared toward supporting knowledge sharing practices. A study of content contribution to YouTube by Oh, Susarla, and Tan (2008) found that social influence contributes to user-generated content (UGC) in such platforms. The idea is that most people will engage in the generation and sharing of content when other individuals within their social network also engage in similar prosocial behavior. This is often referred to as reciprocity in the social network literature (Wellman et al., 2001). Specifically, Doorn and Taborsky’s (2011) concept of “generalized reciprocity” can be used to describe the knowledge sharing that occurs in social networks when members uphold the principle of “help anyone, if helped by someone” (p. 1).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Retrieval: The processes involved in the searching, finding, filtering, and presentation of information in an information system.

Knowledge Sharing: A process through which knowledge content is distributed or exchanged among individuals.

Cyber Knowledge Brokering: A phenomenon whereby online content hosts, through the application of various techniques, engage in the solicitation of knowledge sharing, as well as the provision of structures that facilitate the creation and distribution of knowledge through a particular site.

Knowledge: Broadly refers to the theoretical or practical understanding of an issue. The knowledge of an issue is demonstrable through various knowledge content creation processes, such as the writing of an article, the making of a video, and the recording of an audio podcast that describe the issue.

Search Engine Optimization: The manipulation of website contents and characteristics in order to obtain higher ranking in search engine result pages.

Cyber Knowledge Brokers (CKBs): Websites that engage in cyber knowledge brokering.

Information seeking: Human behaviors that are related to information searching via such information sources as search engines.

Knowledge Content: A piece of work such as an article, a photograph, or a video created by an individual or a group of people to assist others in solving certain problems.

Social media: Conversational media platforms used by a community of users who gather online to engage in common activities, practices, and behaviors, such as the sharing of information, knowledge, and opinions.

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