[Air-l] Re: Lurking

Ben Davidson bendavidson at totalise.co.uk
Wed Feb 6 09:09:24 PST 2002


Sorry if I'm being dense, but you say first that your focus is more on the
significant structural properties of electronic groups (eg their
embeddedness in face-to-face networks), but then go on to outline the
influences on active participation that are very much more personal in
nature - hope for reciprocity, status and contact.

Could you clarify.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Uwe Matzat" <u.matzat at t-online.de>
To: <air-l at aoir.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 4:33 PM
Subject: [Air-l] Re: Lurking

> I am busy wading through my saved emails - that's the reason I
> react so lately to the thread on lurking in electronic group
> discussions.
> In December I finished my Ph.D. thesis at the Department of
> Sociology, University of Groningen (the Netherlands) which is of
> interest for those analyzing 'lurking' or active participation in
> electronic discussions.
> The thesis contributes to answering the question under which
> conditions some electronic groups on the Internet reach a high
> degree of active member participation (posting) in group
> discussions while other Internet groups fail to involve many
> members.
> The focus is more on structural properties of the electronic group
> (e.g. does it stimulate the discussion if an electronic group is
> embedded in face-to-face networks of researchers?) than on
> properties of individuals (e.g. does it stimulate the discussion if a
> member is an altruist?)  that faciliate the involvement of members
> in group discussions.
> You don't have to read the whole book. In chapters 5 and 6 of the
> book, three models for explaining the active participation of
> researchers in discussions of academic mailing lists are presented
> and empirically tested. These models rely on three different basic
> arguments about which incentives influence the provision of help
> and information in discussions of electronic groups:
> 1. a hope for reciprocity
> 2. the goal to obtain some status in the research community
> 3. the goal to make new contacts to other researchers
> Since these models are instruments for finding out what are crucial
> structural properties, they leave out ideas about altruistic
> motivations, like group attachment etc, that could stimulate group
> discussions.
> Matzat, U. (2001). Social Networks and Cooperation in Electronic
> Communities. A theoretical-empirical Analysis of Academic
> Communication and Internet Discussion Groups. Amsterdam:
> Thela Publishers (ISBN 90-367-1541-5)
> The models make use of economic price-theory in a very simple
> way, so that the reasoning and results are understandable for
> Internet researcher who may not be  familiar with micro-economics.
> By the way, the book is also online available at the university
> library of the University of Groningen :-):
> http://www.ub.rug.nl/eldoc/dis/ppsw/u.matzat/
> Best wishes,
> Uwe
> PS: The project information on my web-site is not yet up-dated. I
> am sorry!
> +++++++++++++++++++++
> Uwe Matzat
> Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS)
> Department of Sociology
> University of Groningen
> Grote Rozenst. 31
> 9712 TG Groningen
> The Netherlands
> u.matzat at ppsw.rug.nl
> Social Networks and Academic Internet Discussion Groups:
> http://www2.ppsw.rug.nl/~matzat
> Tel: +31/50/3636237 (NL) or +49/2841/173112 (GER)
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++
> _______________________________________________
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