explains that people “hang out” on line for four reasons: 1) Information; 2) Social Support; 3); Friendship and 4) Recreation. I agree with this statement. In fact, I can give examples from my own experiences with SNS that fit into those categories.
1. I hang out at many places for Information (CNN, NPR, Hawaii News Now);
2. For Social Support (The Happiness Project , The People’s Therapist);
3. For Friendship (Facebook)
4. For Recreation (I hang out at lots of these places, but my favorites are Above The Law, NPR books, and Copporette).
The authors, referencing two earlier articles (Furlong, 1989; S. G. Jones, 1995; Wellman et al., 1996), state that, “The most frequently cited reason [for joining a virtual community] in the literature is to access information.” I agree. That is why I chose to join THR. I am currently completing at externship at a law firm, working under an attorney specializing in Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. I want to learn as much as I can about the current cases, research and litigation trends in the field.
In the article, Using Social Psychology to Motivate Contributions to Online Communities the authors give a thorough explanation of studies and experiments using social psychology theories to explain and manipulate contributions to online communities. The authors posit that people will not contribute if they feel like their “contributions have little likelihood of influencing the group.” I agree with this, somewhat. I see the point, but I am not sure most participants really care about “influencing the group.” That would put the conversation in the area of debate or persuasive conversation. Perhaps for some groups like political communities , or legal communities this may be true. In fact, as I will explain later, most of the comments in the community I followed were of this nature. THR, Esq. focuses on issues in Entertainment Law. But I think the majority of people on many mainstream sites are not there to debate or persuade.
The authors state that people will contribute to the online conversations if: 1)they feel like they are unique and their comments are unique and not redundant; 2)there is a goal; 3) there is a perceived benefit (personal or group, direct or indirect) or 4) they feel that they are helping a group they value.
Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities defines and explains microblogging and specifically Twitter. The authors state, “Such networks were found to have a high degree correlation and reciprocity, indicating close mutual acquaintances among users.” I do not agree with this statement, (see my previous blog entry about my experiences with Twitter). I did not experience any reciprocity even with my “close mutual aquaintances.” However, I do agree with the following statement, “New Twitter users often initially join the network on invitation from friends. Further, new friends are added to the network by browsing through user proﬁles and adding other known acquaintances.” I joined Twitter after my husband joined and I collected my first followers and people I follow from searching through my hubby’s followers. I also agree with “Most posts on Twitter talk about daily routine or what people are currently doing. This is the largest and most common user of Twitter.” This is mostly how I use Twitter, and I find that I read my friends tweets just to see what they are up to today.
Finally I want to discuss Examining Social Media Usage: Technology Clusters and Social Network Site Membership
in relation the to the second part of this assignment.
The online community I observed was
THR, Esq. The Intersection of Hollywood and Law.
I figure, for this one I would multitask a bit. When I read THR, Esq. I usually say to myself, “I gotta spend some time here looking around.” THR, Esq. is a part of The Hollywood Reporter; it focuses on the legal aspects of the entertainment business. I wanted to look around and see what’s going on in the entertainment law community outside of Hawaii. So I am glad this assignment came up.
As far as modes of participation go, anyone can comment, and anyone can comment on other’s comments. According the Schrock article this a “Many to Many” technology cluster. In addition to definitions and explanations of microblogging and microbolgging terms, this article also discusses gender difference and phychological factors of SNS use and technology clusters.
In THR, Esq. participants can be anonymous or identified, and their identification can be verified and not verified.
As I read through the first posts I noticed there are no comments. Maybe there are no comments because the posts are relatively new. But the more I read I realize that most of the posts have no comments. And the ones that do get commented on usually only have a few comments. I looked at over 55 posts. Here is a list of the only posts that got more than 3 comments:
|Post subject||Number – types of comments|
|Piracy lawsuit||4 - debating both sides of issue|
|Michael Moore lawsuit||Over 50 – people love or hate with this guy|
|CBS lawsuit (family ties song)||6 - copyright/fair use debate|
|75 million dollar Kardashian lawsuit||17 – wow people are not shy about how they feel about theKardashian- vitriolic, name calling|
|Live nation rolling stones suit||6 – people love the stones|
|Suits against people who “share” movies||5 – debate on the merits of suing 100,000 people|
|“King’s speech” action||9 – treatment of animals in film|
|“Lie To Me” stolen idea lawsuit||6 - whining about stolen ideas—side note the copyright act protects the unique expression of the ideas, not the ideas themselves!|
|"Monster-In-Law" law suit||13 – debates about how the suit turned out|
|Former Golden Globes Publicist Sues Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. Claiming 'Payola’||10 - merits of Golden Globes “wins”|
|Legal fight over the song from “The Fighter”||14 – discussion about sampling|
I think participation is only somewhat encouraged. At the end the each post there is a large, easy to use comment box. And there are reply buttons on the comments to make it easy to comment on a comment.
There is not a lot of participation, perhaps because as described in the article Why We Twitter, this wasn’t a community of “mutual aquantences” as expained in the article. Why We Twitter also discusses the growth of microblogging, and the logistics and usage of microblogging sites (like Twitter). For instance, most tweets are "daily chatter" or just declarations of what folks are doing throughout their day. THR is less daily chatter and more news and information for entertainment and IP lawyers.
Not surprisingly the Kardashian post drew a lot of comments. People love to hate those girls, but that is the subject for another paper, perhaps one exploring the female negative objectification issues - that alone is at least worth 10 pages. And surprisingly, Michael Moore still makes news. People love to hate him too. But for different reasons than the Kardashians I reckon.