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Assessing online community-building through assortativity, density and centralization in social networks

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4 Author(s)
Chung, K.S.K. ; Complex Syst. Res. Group, Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia ; Piraveenan, M. ; Levula, A.V. ; Uddin, S.

In this exploratory paper, we examine community capacity building over ten-years via an online e-government sponsored forum. Using social network analytics, we postulate that as communities evolve over time, the pattern of communication becomes denser and less centralized. We also postulate that there are clear patterns of assortativity where similar actors engage in communication with each other over time. Results show that there are mixed results in terms of growth in density and centralization values. Using sliding windows analysis, we observe a clear pattern of networks losing their disassortative character in the early years followed by disassortative networks in the later years. These network-level results add further insights to government-level metrics of communitybuilding success such as unique visitors per month or webpage hits. The research also suggests network analytics as an empirical avenue for achieving richer understanding of social processes involved in the very nature of community building.

Published in:

System Sciences (HICSS), 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

7-10 Jan. 2013