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Friday, June 29th, 2007

    Time Event
    2:20p
    Rhythms of social interaction at Facebook
    Rhythms of social interaction: messaging within a massive online network. Scott A. Golder, Dennis M. Wilkinson and Bernardo A. Huberman (HP labs).

    Scott Golder presenting at C&T. Log analysis of Facebook messaging patterns, from 496 North American universities.

    The college weekend goes Friday noon to Sunday noon. Message traffic follows the same pattern Mon-Thurs. Friday morning is same as Mon-Thurs. morning. Sunday afternoon/evening is same as Mon-Thurs. Saturday all day, plus Friday PM and Sunday AM, have much lower traffic.

    45% of messages and pokes went to people at different schools. However, this percentage was much lower in the late night/early morning hours.

    Perhaps the most surprising result is the seasonal variation in the percentage of messages that are within versus between schools. During vacations, the percentage of within-school messages increases! The authors give the plausible explanation that the messaging is substituting for in-person communication between the same people that would occur when school is in session. This seems surprising to me, however, as I would have thought that the complementarity effect would be stronger-- you send a poke or message to someone that you saw earlier today or expect to see later today. It would be interesting to see some future research that explores more directly the complementarity/substitution effects of various communication modalities with f2f meetings in everyday use.
    2:55p
    How newsgroups refer to NetScan data
    Reflections and Reactions to Social Accounting Meta-Data. Eric Gleave (U of Washington) and Marc Smith (Microsoft Research). At C&T.

    In 18 months, there were about 5000 messages that explicitly referred to "netscan.research". Analyzed/coded 952 messages.

    Basic findings:

    • Half discuss groups. 80% of those linking to the Netscan report card for the group, 17% explicitly discuss the group's "health".

    • 22% discuss the message's author, such as saying that the author is #1 in the group.

    • 31% discuss others, including their stats; 5% of these are "troll checks"

    • 48% discuss the Netscan system itself



    Some discussion points:

    • Helpful for comparisons between competing groups on similar topics

    • Reduces costs of monitoring and sanctioning

    • Facilitates construction and maintenance of status

    • Identifies people who are trolls

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