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Title: Assimilation Processes of Newcomers in Online Communities
Authors: Suh, C
Lee, H
Choi, Y
Zhang, Z
Yoo, Y
Keywords: online community;digital trace data;assimilation process;sub-sequence mining;process study
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2020
Citation: Suh, C., Lee, H., Choi, Y., Zhang, Z. and Yoo, Y. (2020) 'Assimilation Processes of Newcomers in Online Communities', Proceedings of the 25th UK Academy for Information Systems International Conference, Oxford, UK (virtual), 31 Mar.-1 Apr., pp. 1 - 21.
Abstract: Online communities (OCs), computer-mediated virtual space, have become one of the crucial parts of our lives. For example, users of visited 1.36 billion times in July 2017 that is comparable to Facebook or YouTube. While several studies explain the underlying mechanisms of members’ participation and revisit behaviours, we still do not understand the evolutionary processes of members who progress from newcomers to core members. The gap mainly stems from the dominance of variance studies that deal with covariance between variables that capture different aspects of a given phenomenon in OC literature. This study takes the process-oriented approach and aims to reveal the evolutionary socialisation process of OC members by applying a novel inter-disciplinary computational qualitative method based on critical realism. Critical realism is employed for the study to help explaining complex structures of the online community and interactions between its users. Primarily, we analyse two-years event data obtained from the database of an OC. The events allow us investigate how newcomers assimilate in OCs. We find a common sequence of events created by newcomers of OCs to identify demi-regularities through clustering and visualisation. Specifically, we find that a group of assimilated users show a demi-regularity of “Like” events for other’s postings and comments , which is consistent with previous studies (e.g., Morrison (1993)). Our results can show how newcomers are assimilated into OCs visually.
Appears in Collections:Brunel Business School Research Papers

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