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Making an Entrance 2.0: The Linguistics of Introductory Success in Virtual Communities

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5 Author(s)
Dove, J.A. ; Center for Security, Technol. & Human Behaviour, Univ. of Bath, Bath, UK ; Eubanks, D.L. ; Panteli, N. ; Watts, L.A.
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Virtual communities depend on members, and more specifically new members, for their lifeblood. To become a member of a virtual community, one must introduce oneself to the group, and be accepted as a member. We present here a series of two linguistic studies investigating newcomer introductions in seven Web 2.0 online communities. In the first study, we successfully developed a logistic regression model that differentiates introductions from random messages with 82.5% accuracy using 12 linguistic markers. In the second study we correlated linguistic features of introductory messages with measures of their success. Increased usage of 1st person singular pronouns and past tense words in introductions was associated with greater success. Higher levels of first person plural and present tense words in introductions was associated with reduced success. Although these linguistic markers have effect across groups, there is evidence to suggest that some markers might vary between groups, depending on whether a dedicated introductions subforum is provided.

Published in:

System Sciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2011

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