[Air-l] feedback, overload, and equilibrium in online nets

Ronald E. Rice rrice at scils.rutgers.edu
Fri May 24 09:18:51 PDT 2002


I hesitate to resurrect such an old publication, but my dissertation
developed and tested a mode of equilibrium among the network relations of
users and groups of the EIES computer conferencing system: Rice, R.E.
(1982). Communication networking in computer-conferencing systems:  A
longitudinal study of group roles and system structure.  In M. Burgoon
(Ed.), Communication yearbook, vol. 6. (pp. 925-944). Beverly Hills, CA:
Sage.  It made a similar argument, that there is both a basement level of
interaction required to maintain online groups, and a ceiling of interaction
beyond which people can't process more messages.  Groups must evolve toward
the middle range, and reciprocity within and across groups is the feedback
mechanism.  I know that Lin Freeman also applied Q-analysis to the maximum
carrying capacity of online conferences, but don't know if he ever published
it.

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Ronald E. Rice
Professor, Chair of Department of Communication
School of Communication, Information & Library Studies
Rutgers University
4 Huntington St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1071
w: 732-932-7500, ext. 8122; f: 732-932-6916
e: rrice at scils.rutgers.edu; http://scils.rutgers.edu/~rrice
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