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What makes hyper-local online discussion forums sustainable?

Lopez, C and Lin, YR and Farzan, R (2015) What makes hyper-local online discussion forums sustainable? In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

© 2015 IEEE. Despite the global success enjoyed by a few social media platforms such as Wikipedia and Facebook, many platforms that target geographically bounded communities struggle to sustain users' participation over time. Understanding what makes such 'hyper-local' communities sustainable can lead to better technologies for encouraging community awareness and civic participation. However, little is known about how the social structure of such online communities impacts their sustainability. In this study, we conceptualize sustainability through the aspects of viability and performance. We measure three system-level factors that affect sustainability, including network size, connectedness and centralization, which capture the communities' social structures. We test our hypotheses on the longitudinal data collected from E-Democracy.org. Our results indicate that network connectedness and centralization are positively associated with performance but not with viability. The findings reveal a system design dilemma for hyper-local forums. We discuss the implications and potential solutions to overcome the sustainability challenge.


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Details

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lopez, C
Lin, YRyurulin@pitt.eduYURULIN
Farzan, Rrfarzan@pitt.eduRFARZAN
Date: 1 January 2015
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume: 2015-M
Page Range: 2445 - 2454
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1109/hicss.2015.292
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9781479973675
ISSN: 1530-1605
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 18:50
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2017 15:02
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/25488

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