SOCIAL ROLES IN SOCIAL NETWORKS: Identifying Role Behaviors from Structure
Eric Gleave Thomas Lento Howard T. Welser Marc Smith
University of Washington Cornell University Ohio University Microsoft Research
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Moving from individuals to social roles Roles are identified through direct
simplifies complex social structures. observation and review of structural data.
Behavioral data identifies important Local network structures of individuals
social roles in online communities. Hello, performing key social role behaviors are
Corresponding social network structures Yes, it is possible. IIS uses NTFS security, and you can configure the
correct NTFS settings on the files. By doing this, your users will be
prompted for a password. generated. Structural role models are
are characteristic of individuals playing You can also completely remove the possibility for anonymous users by doing
then used to identify additional individuals
specific social roles in computer-mediated
In IIS Manager, right click the Website and click Properties
who resemble the role. The models
Click on the Directory Security tab.
Click the Edit button for “Anonymous Access and authentication control”
Remove the check box for “Anonymous access”
interaction spaces. Make sure that “Integrated Windows Authentication” is selected.
are iteratively refined by subsequent
If you have further questions in setting this up, the people in the IIS
newsgroup will help you (it is easier for us to find your messages if you
Since 2000 over two billion messages Conclusion
have been posted by tens of millions Traces of social structure are created by
of authors to hundreds of thousands of individual behaviors and interactions in
threaded conversation newsgroups in computer-mediated interaction systems.
Usenet. The Netscan Project has collected These traces reveal the presence of
every message posted to Usenet and built several distinct social roles. These roles
structural models of every author, thread are durable patterns of both individual
and newsgroup. Our research shows that behavior and structural position. The
technical support, social support, and structural signature of a role can be used
political discussion spaces are habitats in to rapidly identify additional individuals
which specific stable behaviors, “social performing defined roles without resorting
roles”, occur. The following are several to more labor intensive content analysis.
facets of behavior that illustrate key Communities can be classified on the
social roles in these computer-mediated basis of the ecology of roles found within
collective action systems. them. These measures can also flag
Answer Person Discussion Person Discussion Catalyst
Microsoft Research Netscan Project important changes in groups over time as
High Out-Degree High Degree High In-Degree the community ecology evolves.
Welser, H.T., Gleave, E., Fisher, D., and Smith, M.A. (2007). “Visualizing the Structure
of Social Roles in Online Discussion Groups”. Journal of Social Structure. Vol. 8 No. 2. Low In-Degree Alters Highly Connected Low Out-Degree
Alters are Unconnected High Tie Mutuality Alters Highly Connected
Turner, T.C., Smith, M.A., Fisher, D., and Welser, H.T. (2005). “Picturing Usenet:
Mapping Computer-Mediated Collective Action”. JCMC. 10(4), article 7.
Low Tie Strength High Tie Strength Low tie Strength