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Characteristics of Opinion Leaders in Second Life

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Association of Internet Researchers 2007

Association of Internet Researchers 2007

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  • Hi, Aleks. This is Han. I asked some social network questions after your presentation at the AoIR. Thanks for sharing your slide with others. I used it for my class. If you have a paper, pls send me. You could take a look at my research at http://www.hanpark.net<br /><br/>
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  • 1. Characteristics of opinion leaders in Second Life Aleks Krotoski University of Surrey
  • 2. Background ψ Social searching Virtual community Cyber- Tagging celebrity Blogging Social Marketing
  • 3. Questions • How does interpersonal diffusion work in a social virtual world? – What are the characteristics of the network? – What are the characteristics of opinion leaders in this virtual world?
  • 4. How? • Social network analysis: mapping the connections between people in a social environment – Rogers’ communication network analysis • Focus on closeness, normative behaviours, opinion leadership • Asking personal questions: – Who are your friends? – What do you think about them?
  • 5. Ne tw o rk N = 6767 No t huge ly de nse : the re are still co mpo ne nts N = 750 o f the ne tw o rk w hich are unco nne cte d to o ne ano the r Ave rage be tw e e n re achable frie nds = 5.81 Lo nge st distance be tw e e n tw o pe o ple in the ne tw o rk = 16 Ave rage numbe r o f frie nds = 7
  • 6. A note on the results on next few slides Partial network: ego-centric data collection In-degrees: Who’s the Most “Popular”?
  • 7. What’s it look like?
  • 8. Opinion Leader demographics • Older (both in real life and in- world) – Above average age of 33.7 years – All but one is has been resident for more than one year • Spend more time than average per week (> 9 hours) • 58% female • Little gender-bending activity • 83% from the USA* • As sexually active • Less likely to have experienced a breach of personal privacy • As likely to have been a scam
  • 9. Psychological Relationships • (Multi-level modelling) • Positive relationship between opinion leadership/popularity and: – Perceived trustworthiness – Perceived credibility – Perceived prototypicality – Recipient of social comparison
  • 10. Summary • The people who have the most social impact in the virtual world (using opinion leader models) are remarkably homogenous • One national culture dominates • There’s a surprisingly small and interconnected cohort of people who dominate diffusion in the virtual world (Feted Inner Core?)
  • 11. Future work • Partial network analysis means that in-degrees emphasise “popularity” rather than actual opinion leadership • Dissecting the relationships between psychological characteristics and network characteristics • Whole network: follow the diffusion of voice through the networks of the virtual world – If one is meant to be more self-aware while online (Spears et al), what role do friends/groups play in the adoption of innovations in this space? – What does social psychology contribute to the diffusion of innovations within a social network?
  • 12. Thank you A.Krotoski@surrey.ac.uk www.toastkid.com Social Simulation Research Lab (Hyperborea)