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Handbook of Research on Methods and Techniques for Studying Virtual Communities

Book Description

Over the last decade, virtual communities have evolved from massive experimental, educational, technological, business, and social environments to experiential and practical environments, supplementing their geographical counterparts.The Handbook of Research on Methods and Techniques for Studying Virtual Communities: Paradigms and Phenomena satisfies the need for methodological consideration and tools for data collection, analysis and presentation in virtual communities. Chapters cover studies on various types of virtual communities, making this reference a comprehensive source of research for those in the social sciences and humanities. Additionally, the book supports executives and corporate leaders concerned with the management of expertise, social capital, competence knowledge, and information and organizational development in different types of virtual communities and environments.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Editorial Advisory Board and List of Reviewers
    1. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
  5. Foreword
  6. Preface
    1. INTRODUCTION
    2. PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
    3. TARGET AUDIENCE
    4. BENEFITS AND SCHOLARLY VALUE
    5. ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK
  7. Acknowledgment
  8. Section 1: Introduction to Virtual Communities
    1. Chapter 1: Introduction to this Volume
      1. ABSRTACT
      2. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES
      3. STANDARDIZED METHODS FOR STUDYING VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES
      4. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS VOLUME
    2. Chapter 2: GEEK
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. GEEK: ANALYSING ONLINE COMMUNITIES FOR EXPERTISE INFORMATION
      3. RELATED WORK
      4. TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
      5. AN ONTOLOGY FOR MODELLING PARTICIPATION AND EXPERTISE
      6. GEEK, AN EXPERTFINDER PROTOTYPE
      7. APPLICABILITY TO THE ENTERPRISE SCENARIO
      8. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK
    3. Chapter 3: Recurrent Interactions, Acts of Communication and Emergent Social Practice in Virtual Community Settings
      1. ABSRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. UNDERSTANDING VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES THROUGH A PRACTICE LENS
      5. RESEARCH AIMS, METHODOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS AND APPROACH
      6. ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF ELECTRONIC SQUADS & LESSONS LEARNT
      7. DISCUSSION, SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS
    4. Chapter 4: Toward Diversity in Researching Teaching and Technology Philosophies-in-Practice in e-Learning Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. INSIDE THE GESTALT OF E-LEARNING
      4. IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL PRACTIONTIONERS, RESEARCHERS, AND INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
      5. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      6. CONCLUSION
  9. Section 2: Social Networks and Data Mining
    1. Chapter 5: Data Mining Techniques for Communities' Detection in Dynamic Social Networks
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. RELATED WORK
      4. IDENTIFYING DENSE AND ISOLATED SUBGRAPHS IN A STATIC GRAPH
      5. MINING EVOLVING SUBGRAPHS
      6. EXPERIMENTATION
      7. CONCLUSION
    2. Chapter 6: A Methodological Approach for Blended Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. CONTENT ANALYSIS: FROM A QUANTITATIVE TO A QUALITATIVE APPROACH
      5. SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS: FROM REAL TO VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES
      6. STUDY LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
      7. CONCLUSION
    3. Chapter 7: Semantic Social Network Analysis
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. REPRESENTING SOCIAL DATA WITH SEMANTIC WEB FRAMEWORKS
      4. BRIDGING FOLKSONOMIES AND ONTOLOGIES
      5. SEMANTIC SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS
      6. TRANSFORM, ENRICH AND WRAP SOCIAL DATA
      7. PERSPECTIVES: BUILDING “SHARED KNOWLEDGE GRAPHS”
      8. CONCLUSION
    4. Chapter 8: Using Social Network Analysis to Guide Theoretical Sampling in an Ethnographic Study of a Virtual Community
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
      4. DISCUSSION
      5. Appendix
  10. Section 3: Tools and Techniques for Analysis and Building of Virtual Communities
    1. Chapter 9: Graphically Mapping Electronic Discussions
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. GRAPHICALLY MAPPING ONLINE CONVERSATIONS
      4. UNDERSTANDING ELECTRONIC MESSAGES VIA CONVERSATIONAL ANALYSIS
      5. GRAPHICAL MAPPING OF DISCUSSION THREADS
      6. RESULTS
      7. DISCUSSION
      8. CONCLUSION
    2. Chapter 10: A Tool to Study the Evolution of the Domain of a Distributed Community of Practice
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. DISTRIBUTED COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
      4. A TOOL TO STUDY DISTRIBUTED COPS
      5. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      6. CONCLUSION
    3. Chapter 11: Exploring Virtual Communities with the Internet Community Text Analyzer (ICTA)
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. RELATED WORK
      4. INTERNET COMMUNITY TEXT ANALYZER (ICTA)
      5. AUTOMATED DISCOVERY OF SOCIAL NETWORKS IN ICTA
      6. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH
    4. Chapter 12: Making the Virtual Real
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. ACADEMIC APPLICATIONS
      5. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      6. CONCLUSION
    5. Chapter 13: Virtual Communities as Tools to Support Teaching Practicum
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. DO GENERATION C POSSES A NEW TYPE OF CAPITAL?
      5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
      6. SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
      7. FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING AND EDUCATION:
      8. CONCLUSION
    6. Chapter 14: Conversation Analysis as a Tool to Understand Online Social Encounters
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. SIX ANALYTIC PASSES OF CA ON ONLINE INTERACTIONS
      5. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      6. CONCLUSION
  11. Section 4: Data and User Modelling
    1. Chapter 15: Modeling the Diversity of User Behavior in Online Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. ESSEMBLY
      4. MODELING THE DIVERSITY OF ACTIVITY
      5. USERS
      6. CONTENT
      7. LINKS
      8. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      9. IMPLICATIONS OF THE MODELS
      10. CONCLUSION
    2. Chapter 16: Context and Explanation in e-Collaborative Work
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. WHAT IS CONTEXT?
      5. AN EXPLANATION TYPOLOGY IN CONTEXTUAL GRAPHS
      6. A CASE STUDY
      7. CONCLUSION
    3. Chapter 17: Intelligent LMS with an Agent that Learns from Log Data in a Virtual Community
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. RELATED STUDIES
      4. LMS “SAMURAI”
      5. AN AGENT USING THE DECISION TREE MODEL FOR E-LEARNING HISTORY DATA
      6. COMPARATIVE PREDICTION EXPERIMENTS
      7. FEEDBACK FOR TEACHERS
      8. EVALUATIONS
      9. CONCLUSION
    4. Chapter 18: A Computational Model of Social Capital in Virtual Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. A MODEL OF SOCIAL CAPITAL
      4. CASE SCENARIOS
      5. UPDATING THE MODEL
      6. CHALLENGES
      7. CONCLUSION
  12. Section 5: Methods, Measurements and Matrices
    1. Chapter 19: A Beginner’s Guide to Geographic Virtual Communities Research
      1. INTRODUCTION
      2. MINING GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FROM VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES
      3. THE GEOWEB SCALE PROBLEM: ALASKA ON THE HEAD OF A PIN
      4. PROJECTIONS: YOU KNOW THE EARTH ISN’T FLAT, BUT DO YOUR TECHNIQUES AND METHODS?
      5. SPATIAL AUTOCORRELATION: IF YOU SMELL, IT’S LIKELY YOUR ROOMMATE WILL SMELL TOO
      6. CASE STUDY: DETECTING SELF-FOCUS IN WIKIPEDIA
      7. NEXT STEPS: WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
    2. Chapter 20: A Theoretical Method of Measuring Virtual Community Health and the Health of their Operating Environment in a Business Setting
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. MEASURING THE HEALTH OF BUSINESS-BASED VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES
      5. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      6. CONCLUSION
    3. Chapter 21: Building Web Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. DEFINING WEB COMMUNITIES
      4. DEFINING COMMUNITY PURPOSE
      5. DEFINING THE USERS
      6. BUILDING A COMMUNITY
      7. SUMMARY
      8. COMMUNITY BUILDING PITFALLS
      9. CONCLUSION
    4. Chapter 22: Virtual Geodemographics
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. THE DENUDATION OF REAL WORLD GEODEMOGRAPHICS
      3. TOWARDS A GEODEMOGRAPHY OF CYBERSPACE?
      4. VIRTUAL CHOICES AND INFORMATION ASYMMETRY
      5. IMPLICATIONS AND CHALLENGES
    5. Chapter 23: Development of Cellular Phone Software to Prompt Learners to Monitor and Reorganize Division of Labor in Project-Based Learning
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. EVALUATION OF PROBOPORTABLE IN AN UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
      4. REDESIGNING TO ACHIEVE CLASSWIDE MUTUAL ASSESSMENT AND TO MAKE THE ENTIRE CLASS A LEARNING COMMUNITY
      5. CONCLUSION
    6. Chapter 24: Mathematical Retrieval Techniques for Online Mathematics Learning
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. MATHEMATICAL RETRIEVAL AND RANKING
      5. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
      6. CONCLUSION
    7. Chapter 25: Online Ethnographic Methods
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. THE ONLINE ETHNOGRAPHICAL PROCEDURE
      4. DISCUSSION: BENEFITS, DRAWBACKS AND EPISTIMOLOGICAL ISSUES
      5. CONCLUSION
    8. Chapter 26: Understanding Online Communities by Using Semantic Web Technologies
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. UNDERSTANDING VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES
      4. SOCIAL SEMANTICS TO THE RESCUE
      5. ONTOLOGIES FOR THE SOCIAL WEB: STATE OF THE ART
    9. Chapter 27: Understanding and Using Virtual Ethnography in Virtual Environments
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. THE PROCESS OF VIRTUAL ETHNOGRAPHY
      5. THE IDENTIFICATION OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL STRUCTURES IN THE MMORPG/MMOLE ENVIRONMENTS
      6. THE IMPLICATIONS FOR VIRTUAL EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT DESIGN
      7. FUTURE TRENDS
      8. CONCLUSION
    10. Chapter 28: Participant-Observation as a Method for Analyzing Avatar Design in User-Generated Virtual Worlds
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
      4. RESEARCH DESIGN
      5. WORKSHOP AND FOCUS GROUP RESULTS
      6. PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
      7. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION
    11. Chapter 29: Participatory Design Experiment
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. HYBRID ECOSYSTEM
      4. RESULTS: TOWARDS NEW WAYS OF STORYTELLING IN HYBRID ECOSYSTEM
      5. CONCLUSION
    12. Chapter 30: Researching Community in Distributed Environments
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND AND BRIEF REVIEW OF LITERATURE
      4. CROSS-BLOG INTERACTIONS
      5. SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS
      6. CONTENT ANALYSIS
      7. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
      8. CONVERSATION ANALYSIS
      9. NARRATIVE ANALYSIS
      10. ETHNOGRAPHY
      11. BLENDING THE APPROACHES
      12. TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
      13. BLOG SEARCH ENGINES
      14. SOCIAL BOOKMARKING TOOLS
      15. BLOGS
      16. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE STEPS
    13. Chapter 31: Methods for the Measurement and Visualization of Social Networks in Multi-User Virtual Worlds
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. METHOD
      5. CASE STUDY
      6. RESULTS
      7. DISCUSSION
      8. CONCLUSION
    14. Chapter 32: Online Multi-Contextual Analysis
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. SOCIAL NETWORK SITES
      4. APPROACHES TO STUDYING SOCIAL NETWORK SITES
      5. ONLINE MULTI-CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS: AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
      6. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
    15. Chapter 33: Participant Observation in Online Multiplayer Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION AS A STARTING POINT FOR A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING
      4. CONDUCTING PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION IN A MULTIPLAYER COMMUNITY
      5. CONCLUSION
    16. Chapter 34: Proposed Techniques for Data Collection and Analysis in the Study of News-Oriented Virtual Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. BACKGROUND
      3. VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES AND SOCIAL NETWORKS
      4. SOCIAL NETWORKS
      5. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES
      6. CONTENT ANALYSIS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS
      7. SCAN PATH ANALYSIS
      8. CONCLUSION
    17. Chapter 35: Challenges of Analyzing Informal Virtual Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. RELATED WORK
      4. RESEARCH METHODS AND CONTEXT
      5. RESULTS
      6. CONTENT ANALYSIS
      7. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
    18. Chapter 36: Research Methods for Studying Virtual Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. PUTTING A RESEARCH STUDY INTO PERSPECTIVE
      4. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
      5. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF METHODOLOGICAL PARADIGMS
      6. DATA SOURCES FOR A CHOSEN STUDY
      7. INTERPRETATION OF ANALYSED DATA
      8. STEPS IN QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
      9. DATA NEEDED FOR A RESEARCH STUDY
      10. DATA AND DATA SOURCES
      11. DATA AND MEASUREMENT
      12. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH AND QUALITATIVE DATA
      13. APPROACHES TO QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSES
      14. GENERAL STEPS IN DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
      15. MAKING CONNECTIONS AND ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS AMONG DATA
      16. CONCLUSION
    19. Chapter 37: Methodological Considerations for Quantitative Content Analysis of Online Interactions
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. PROCEDURES FOR CONTENT ANALYSIS OF ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE DISCUSSION
      5. METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
      6. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      7. CONCLUSION
    20. Chapter 38: Measuring Brand Community Strength
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. OVERVIEW OF @COSME
      5. THEORY
      6. DATA ANALYSIS
      7. COMMUNITY GRAVITY
      8. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      9. CONCLUSION
    21. Chapter 39: An Approach for Analysing Interactions within Virtual Learning Communities
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. THE BACKGROUND
      4. THE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH
      5. THE INTERACTION ANALYSIS MODEL: TAM
      6. THE APPLICATION OF THE INTERACTION ANALYSIS MODEL
      7. CONCLUSION
  13. Section 6: Online Phenomena and Case Studies
    1. Chapter 40: The Sense of e-Learning Community Index (SeLCI) for Computer Supported Collaborative e-Learning (CSCeL)
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. RESEARCH DESIGN
      5. RESULTS & DISCUSSION ON THE SELCI ATTRIBUTES
      6. GLOBAL SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS
      7. DISCUSSION
    2. Chapter 41: Tracer Studies
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND AND PREVIOUS USE OF TRACER STUDIES
      4. BACKGROUND OF THE VCOP MOVEMENT
      5. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      6. CONCLUSION
    3. Chapter 42: Digital Museums in 3D Virtual Environment
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. BACKGROUND
      4. COMPARISONS OF 3D VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS
      5. DIGITAL MUSEUMS IN SECOND LIFE
      6. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
      7. CONCLUSION
    4. Chapter 43: Weaving the Social Fabrics
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. MMORPGS AS A ‘SOCIAL-SPHERE’
      4. THE SIMS ONLINE (TSO) AND HOW IT INTENDS TO SUPPORT SOCIAL AWARENESS
      5. STUDY ONE: THE SOCIAL INTER-ACTIONS AND AWARENESS IN TSO
      6. STUDY TWO: MORE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO MMOGS
      7. LESSONS LEARNED: RAISING PLAYER SOCIAL AWARENESS IS THE FIRST STEOP
      8. CONCLUDING REMARKS AND FUTURE WORK
    5. Chapter 44: Studying Social Capital in the New Communitarian Horizon
      1. ABSTRACT
      2. INTRODUCTION
      3. TRUST AND COMMON GOOD, ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF THE SOCIAL CAPITAL
      4. CONCLUSION
  14. Compilation of References
  15. About the Contributors