NICHE ONLINE NETWORKSIS NOW THE TIME WHEN LESS IS MORE?         Carlos Osorio         Newcastle University Business School...
MOTIVATIONS   Increment of new users and new Social Network Sites (SNS)   Investment on SNS related start-ups (Arthur,20...
WEB 2.0    Web 2.0 as a platform. (OReilly, 2005)    Creation of communities based on users continued interaction    “I...
SOCIAL NETWORK SITES (SNS)   Social Network is a set of nodes (can be people,    organizations, enterprises) connected th...
NICHE SNS   Contrast between general purpose and niche SNS    (Boyd and Ellison, 2008; Goldbeck,2007; Quan,2009;    Hanse...
RESEARCH IN SNS   Structural approach dominance       Try to explain and predict the interaction between        network ...
RESEARCH AIMS   Understand why a user would prefer to join an    independent Niche SNS over a general purpose    group.  ...
USES AND GRATIFICATIONS THEORY  Highly used to understand users‟ choices (Lee, et al   2009 )  Assumptions:      a) Com...
GRATIFICATIONS             Socialising                                                         Information seekingNetworki...
NICHE THEORY Interest in explaining “how organisms that consume  similar resources and perform similar functions in  an e...
MEASURES Niche breadth measures the degree of  specialization of a niche regarding the dimension or  gratifications that ...
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Niche online social networks

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presentation for the Co-Production of Knowledge Conference - York 18-20 July 2012

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Niche online social networks

  1. 1. NICHE ONLINE NETWORKSIS NOW THE TIME WHEN LESS IS MORE? Carlos Osorio Newcastle University Business School The Co-productions of Knowledge . 2012
  2. 2. MOTIVATIONS Increment of new users and new Social Network Sites (SNS) Investment on SNS related start-ups (Arthur,2012)  i.e. Facebook bought Instragram for $1.000.000  Who is next? Pinterest, Spotify, Path? Trend related with personalization/customization features of SNS: i.e. Close friends in FB, circles in Google + or promoted post and twits. Uncertainty about success likelihood of SNS initiatives Previous research consider all SNS in a single category to find patterns, but ignoring the differences can be dangerous (Wilson et al. 2012). Are we in a SNS bubble similar to the “.com” in the early 2000‟s?
  3. 3. WEB 2.0  Web 2.0 as a platform. (OReilly, 2005)  Creation of communities based on users continued interaction  “Is about „transforming monologue (one-to-many) into dialog (many-to-many)‟ ” (Hansen et al., 2010, P. 12)Online vs Offline communities Attributes  Aspatial  Purpose  Asynchronous  Place: chat, SNS, virtual world, etc  Acorporal  Platform: Synchronous, non-  Bandwidth synchronous  Astigmatic  Population: (1) small group, (2)  Anonymous network (3) publics (Smith, 1992)  Profit model (Porter, 2004):
  4. 4. SOCIAL NETWORK SITES (SNS) Social Network is a set of nodes (can be people, organizations, enterprises) connected through a series of ties, generating patterns (Wellman, 2003). Focus on structural issues Social Network Analysis (SNA), Divorce between sociological meaning and computer science Boyd and Ellison (2008) defines a Social Network Site as meaning (Quan,2009)  “Web-based services that allow individuals to  Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system  Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection  View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system”.
  5. 5. NICHE SNS Contrast between general purpose and niche SNS (Boyd and Ellison, 2008; Goldbeck,2007; Quan,2009; Hansen et al. 2010), Research consider all SNS in a single category to find patterns, but ignoring the differences can be dangerous (Wilson et al. 2012) Niche SNS looks to narrow audiences through the focus on  Characteristics of the population: aSmallworld or Beautiful people  Activities: Coachsurfing and wayn  Identity: Blackplanet and Cafemom  Affiliations: Mychurch  Dependency: Standalone or secondary feature in a website (Goldbeck,2007; Quan,2009)
  6. 6. RESEARCH IN SNS Structural approach dominance  Try to explain and predict the interaction between network members, based on patterns found in the ties (Oinas-Kukkonen et al., 2010). i.e. Homophily and Triadic closure Focus:  General-purpose SNS:  large data available  public character of the information*  Comparison of the network characteristics(structural and operational approach)  Take all networks as if they were from same category regardless the size and /or purpose
  7. 7. RESEARCH AIMS Understand why a user would prefer to join an independent Niche SNS over a general purpose group.  What are the main factors that drive a user to join an independent niche SNS?  Independent vs Dependent
  8. 8. USES AND GRATIFICATIONS THEORY  Highly used to understand users‟ choices (Lee, et al 2009 )  Assumptions:  a) Communication behaviour is goal-directed, purposive, and motivated,  b) people select media,  c) many factors guide our media selection,  d) media compete with other channels for messages  e) people are typically more influential than media
  9. 9. GRATIFICATIONS Socialising Information seekingNetworking Social support Information sharing and seeking Privacy and Innovativenes Identity Learning security s Social Network Sites Uses and Gratifications Entertainment ConveniencePleasurable way to spend time Covenience Market Boredom relief Channel use profile Figure 1 SNS Uses and Gratifications
  10. 10. NICHE THEORY Interest in explaining “how organisms that consume similar resources and perform similar functions in an environment compete and coexist” (Feaster, 2009, P.967). Dimmick (1993) propose an adaptation of the biological formulas, following the Hutchinson approach of n-dimensions, in which the factors identified trough factor analysis become the resources that the species will be competing for.
  11. 11. MEASURES Niche breadth measures the degree of specialization of a niche regarding the dimension or gratifications that fulfil. A general medium can fulfil a wide range of dimensions, whereas a specialist will fulfil a narrow spectrum (Dimmick et al., 2000; Nyland, 2007). Niche overlap measures the similarity in the resources used. Hence, a big overlap means that the populations are competing for the same resources. Niche superiority as its name indicates, will measure which media is superior to the other regarding the dimensions considered by media.

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