Title: Identifying communities in blogs: roles for social network analysis and survey instruments

Authors: Alvin Chin, Mark Chignell

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, 10 King's College Road, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G4, Canada. ' Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, 5 King's College Road, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8, Canada

Abstract: We examine the problem of identifying, measuring and evaluating communities in blogs. In our approach, we use sense of community (McMillan and Chavis, 1986) and centrality measures derived from social network analysis. We then describe a method for identifying communities in blogs using both sense of community measurement and Social Network Analysis (SNA). We apply this framework to a blog on Canadian independent music. Hypotheses are developed concerning the specific structural properties of social networks formed by blogging relationships and how those properties are related to the sense of community experienced by the participants (authors and readers of the blogs). Finally, we discuss the implications for blog implementation and use.

Keywords: blogs; virtual communities; sense of community; social hypertext; social network analysis; SNA; web based communities; centrality; Canada; independent music; social networks; blogging relationships.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2007.014243

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2007 Vol.3 No.3, pp.345 - 363

Available online: 27 Jun 2007 *

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