Exploring Users’ Information Behavior in Social Networks


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Presentation of my Master Thesis for the International Master in Digital Library Learning (DILL). Prepared for the 2nd  QQML 2010 International Conference Chania, Crete (Greece), 25-28 May 2010. Paper due to appear on the Conference’s Proceedings.

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Exploring Users’ Information Behavior in Social Networks

  1. 1. Exploring Users’ Information Behavior in Social Networks By Juan Daniel Machin Mastromatteo Supervised by Sirje Virkus International Master in Digital Library Learning Tallinn University Institute of Information Studies Prepared for the 2nd  QQML 2010 International Conference Chania, Crete (Greece), 25-28 May 2010 . To appear on the Conference’s Proceedings
  2. 2. Information Behavior <ul><li>“ the totality of human behavior in relation to sources and channels of information, including both active and passive information seeking, and information use.” (Wilson, 2000) </li></ul>“ how people need, seek, give, and use information in different contexts, including the workplace and everyday life.” (Pettigrew, Fidel & Bruce, 2001) … there is a “movement in social network research towards attention to contextual variables mirrors a similar shift of information behavior research.” (Shultz-Jones, 2009)
  3. 3. Social Networks… and web 2.0 <ul><li>Web 2.0 is generally taken to encompass a variety of sites and tools for shared information creation and updating, and social networking and communication. </li></ul><ul><li>blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasts, sites for sharing photographs and videos, sites for social interaction and social bookmarking, and virtual worlds. </li></ul><ul><li>(Bawden & Robinson, 2009) . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danmoynihan/4321733771
  5. 5. Issues of Web 2.0 and Social Networks <ul><li>Trust </li></ul>Decision Making Users’ Satisfaction Information Overload Quality Control Permanence Repackaging Crowdsourcing Clash with the Real World Psychological Issues Privacy Loss of Identity
  6. 6. Research on Social Networking Sites <ul><li>MOSAICA </li></ul>Social Ties Computer Mediated Communication Groups Internet Discussion Groups
  7. 8. Aim and objective <ul><li>Explore the impact the web 2.0 is having on people’s information behavior when using social networks and how users deal with some of the issues of the web 2.0 identified in the literature. </li></ul><ul><li>The objective: find trends and tendencies in user’s information behavior and also explore how they confront web 2.0 issues. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Research Questions <ul><li>What are the trends and tendencies of users’ information behavior in social networks? </li></ul><ul><li>How users confront web 2.0 issues? </li></ul>
  9. 10. Via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cau_napoli/4438809405/
  10. 11. Methodology <ul><li>Qualitative approach </li></ul><ul><li>Sample: 4 Second Year Students and 4 Professors from DILL Master Program (4 males, 4 females) </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy statement </li></ul><ul><li>Semi structured interview </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot interview (from 28 to 25 questions) </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse/Comparative Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Coding answers </li></ul><ul><li>Topic Categorization </li></ul>
  11. 12. Via: http://giveupinternet.com/2008/12/20/comic-the-danger-of-social-networking-by-haley-nahman/
  12. 13. Categories (1) <ul><li>The Different Roles of Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>The Friendship Factor </li></ul><ul><li>A Question of Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing is Caring </li></ul><ul><li>What to Use and Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Be Careful Who You Trust </li></ul><ul><li>On the Negative Views </li></ul><ul><li>The Wisdom of the Crowds </li></ul><ul><li>Quality Control </li></ul>
  13. 14. Categories (2) <ul><li>Information Needs and Overload </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem of Permanence and Volatility of Information </li></ul><ul><li>Reblogging and repackaging </li></ul><ul><li>On Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations and Social Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Communication vs. Alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Negative Consequences </li></ul>
  14. 15. Via: http://clifmims.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/realfollower.jpg
  15. 16. Some Results (1) <ul><li>No significant differences in answers among interviewees </li></ul><ul><li>No need to know someone in person </li></ul><ul><li>Means of communication, know our friends better, keep friendships, monitor students </li></ul><ul><li>Share means having social life, personal visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Top 5: Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Twitter, Tumblr </li></ul><ul><li>People is trustable, not platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Some embrace them, some fear them </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia and Quality Control </li></ul>
  16. 17. Some Results (2) <ul><li>Keep undesired content out </li></ul><ul><li>Hiding, blocking, don’t be there too much, measures for Overload </li></ul><ul><li>Needs? When is the need to know about people, quick reference, light stuff… </li></ul><ul><li>Reblogging for multiplying information </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Useful for educational/working environment </li></ul><ul><li>Banning is nonsense </li></ul>
  17. 18. Some Results (3) <ul><li>Balance on the time invested, a question of avoiding misuse </li></ul><ul><li>What you or your fiends share about yourself constitutes your image </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid controversies, careful with defamation </li></ul><ul><li>What about the children? </li></ul><ul><li>Horror stories </li></ul>
  18. 19. Via: http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/07/mike07222009.jpg
  19. 20. Thank you for your attention!