Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1083-6101
Publications
Article
Many breast cancer patients currently turn to Internet-based education and support to help them cope with their illness. This study explores the role of training in influencing how patients use a particular Interactive Cancer Communication System (ICCS) over time and also examines what pre-test characteristics predict which people are most likely to opt in or out of training in the first place. With use of pre-test survey and unobtrusive individual records of ICCS system use data (N = 216), nonparametric tests revealed that only having a later stage of cancer predicted whether or not patients participated in training. Results indicated that participating in training was a significant predictor of higher levels of using the CHESS system. In particular, the repeated measures analysis of covariance found the significant interaction as well as main effect of group (i.e., training vs. no training) and time (i.e., individual's CHESS usages at different times) in interactive and information CHESS services, suggesting that 1) the training group has a higher level of usage than the no training group, 2) both of the groups' usage decreased over time, and 3) these joint patterns hold over time. Practical guidelines for future ICCS campaign implementation are discussed.
 
Factor loadings over .40, communalities, and descriptive statistics for 8 items from CHESS information services by information style (N = 271)
Factor loadings over .40, communalities, and descriptive statistics for 10 items from CHESS information services by information topic (N = 272)
Sub-categories of CHESS information service: information style and topic
Regression analysis predicting CHESS information service use: information style (4 months) Information Style
Regression analysis predicting CHESS information service use: information topic (4 months) Information Topic
Article
This study attempts to examine the role of social support perception and emotional well-being on online information seeking among cancer patients within the context of CHESS, a well-established Interactive Cancer Communication System (ICCS). Factor and regression analyses conducted among 231 breast cancer patients revealed that social support perception and emotional well-being interacted with each other to influence online health information seeking. Patients with low social support perception and high emotional well-being were most likely to seek health information, whereas patients with high social support perception and high emotional well-being sought out the same information least. Practical implications of the study findings were further discussed.
 
Article
To understand the underlying psychosocial reactions against the unfolding of medical events that announce the disease progression, the objective of this analysis was to identify the patterns of online discussion group message themes in relation to the medical timeline of one woman's breast cancer trajectory. 202 messages posted by Darlene (our studied case) were analyzed by 2 independent coders using a grounded theory approach. The findings suggest that the pattern of messages was clearly correlated with distress-inducing events. The most frequent interaction theme was about building friendship with peers through communication of encouragement, validation, appreciation, and life sharing. Narratives of medical progression were constantly updated to identify similarities with peers. Family issues were increasingly raised at the end of life.
 
Article
In order to provide insights about cancer patients' online information seeking behaviors, the present study analyzes individuals' transaction log data and reports on how demographics, disease-related factors, and psychosocial needs predict patterns of service use within a particular Interactive Cancer Communication System (ICCS). Study sample included 294 recently diagnosed breast cancer patients. Data included pretest survey scores of demographic, disease-related, and psychosocial factors and automatically collected ICCS use data over the 4-month intervention. Statistical analyses correlated pre-test survey scores with subsequent, specific types of ICCS service usage. Patterns of online cancer information seeking differed according to the patients' characteristics, suggesting that lower income, less educated women and those lacking in information-seeking competence use the computer and online services to the same or a greater degree if those services are made available to them. Results of this study can inform more effective resource development for future eHealth applications.
 
Article
This paper presents the theoretical framework and rationale for the ACTive intervention which proposes the use of video technology to facilitate patient and family participation in hospice interdisciplinary team meetings where plans of care are determined. It is surmised that patient and family involvement will improve communication and compliance in hospice care. An analysis of data from a pilot project of the ACTive intervention was conducted to explore active participation among family caregivers and the hospice team. Through the use of videophone technology caregivers participated in video-recorded team meetings. The actual communication behaviors of caregivers and team members were analyzed for active participation. Findings revealed that team-prompted caregiver participation was most common, however, team use of supportive talk in this context was considerably less frequent. The study also found that the team's use of active participation behaviors elicits caregiver active participation behaviors. The results of this study suggest the intervention was an effective way to involve family caregivers as active participants in the designing of care for their loved one. Findings also suggest that hospice staff would benefit from education and training on best practices for communicating with caregivers in the team meeting setting.
 
Article
This study documents our experience in designing, testing, and refining human subjects' consent protocol in 3 of the first NIH-funded online studies of HIV/STI sexual risk behavior in the USA. We considered 4 challenges primary: a) designing recruitment and enrollment procedures to ensure adequate attention to subject considerations; b) obtaining and documenting subjects' consent; c) establishing investigator credibility through investigator-participant interactions; d) enhancing confidentiality during all aspects of the study. Human consent in online studies appears more relative, continuous, inherent, tenuous, and diverse than in offline studies. Reasons for declining consent appear related to pragmatic concerns not human subjects' risks. Reordering the consent process, and short, chunked, stepwise, tailored consent procedures may enhance communicating information and documenting consent.
 
Conference Paper
Text-only CMC has been claimed to be interactionally incoherent due to limitations imposed by messaging systems on turn-taking and reference, yet its popularity continues to grow. In an attempt to resolve this apparent paradox, this study evaluates the coherence of computer-mediated interaction by surveying research on cross-turn coherence. The results reveal a high degree of disrupted adjacency, overlapping exchanges, and topic decay. Two explanations are proposed to account for the popularity of CMC despite its relative incoherence: the ability of users to adapt to the medium, and the advantages of loosened coherence for heightened interactivity and language play
 
Planning Delphi Discourse Structure
A Dynamic Voting Visualization
General Semantic Hypertext Morphology (Based upon Guilford's theory of the human intellect)
Conference Paper
Using application-oriented conceptual maps to categorize group discussions would be an advancement in the design of computer-mediated communications (CMC) systems to allow much larger groups to collaborate productively. The group meta-communication process should allow the group to modify and evolve these conceptual discourse templates
 
Conference Paper
Although the archive of text generated by a persistent conversation (i.e. newsgroup, mailing list, recorded chat, etc.) is searchable, it is not very expressive of the underlying social patterns. We discuss the design of graphical interfaces that reveal the social structure of the conversation by visualizing patterns such as bursts of activity, the arrival of new members, or the evolution of conversational topics. Our focus is on two projects: Chat Circles, a graphical interface for synchronous conversation and Loom, a visualization of threaded discussion. Through these examples we explore key issues in the generation, design and use of graphical interfaces for persistent conversations
 
Conference Paper
The paper poses the question: how does the representation of the body in virtual environments affect the mind? The article considers how virtual reality interfaces are evolving to progressively embody the user. The effect of embodiment on the sensation of physical presence, social presence, and self presence in virtual environments is discussed. The effect of avatar representation on body image and body schema distortion is also considered
 
Ternary Plot: Proportion of Organizations' Tweets in each Category
Tweet Functions
Article
The rapid diffusion of "microblogging" services such as Twitter is ushering in a new era of possibilities for organizations to communicate with and engage their core stakeholders and the general public. To enhance understanding of the communicative functions microblogging serves for organizations, this study examines the Twitter utilization practices of the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. The analysis reveals there are three key functions of microblogging updates-"information," "community," and "action." Though the informational use of microblogging is extensive, nonprofit organizations are better at using Twitter to strategically engage their stakeholders via dialogic and community-building practices than they have been with traditional websites. The adoption of social media appears to have engendered new paradigms of public engagement.
 
Chapter
During the past decade, organizational theorists, business consultants, and telecommunications managers and vendors have directed our attention to the strategic role that information can play in the competitive strategy of firms (see, for example, Bradley, Hausman and Nolan, 1993; Keen, 1988; Porter and Millar 1985). Throughout the 1980s, widely discussed case examples demonstrated how the use of telecommunications networks to link firms to their suppliers and distribution chains conveyed important first mover advantages to such firms as American Hospital Supply and McKesson. The reported benefits to the firms deploying such interorganizational networks included: increased efficiency of order processing; reduced costs due to just-in-time inventory management; locking in trading partners because of the difficulties competitors faced once a network was in place; and greater ability to customize products and services based upon information arising from the transactions carried by the network (Cash and Konsynski, 1985; Johnson and Vitale, 1988).
 
Popularity trends of three Internet slang words.
Illustration of the peak detection.
Proportions of users with different retweet times in early stages of different diffusions. Here we mainly focus on times of 1 and 2, which take the majority of the retweets.
Article
Trends in online social media always reflect the collective attention of a vast number of individuals across the network. For example, Internet slang words can be ubiquitous because of social memes and online contagions in an extremely short period. From Weibo, a Twitter-like service in China, we find that the adoption of popular Internet slang words experiences two peaks in its temporal evolution, in which the former is relatively much lower than the latter. This interesting phenomenon in fact provides a decent window to disclose essential factors that drive the massive diffusion underlying trends in online social media. Specifically, the in-depth comparison between diffusions represented by different peaks suggests that more attention from the crowd at early stage of the propagation produces large-scale coverage, while the dominant participation of opinion leaders at the early stage just leads to popularity of small scope. Our results quantificationally challenge the conventional hypothesis of influentials. And the implications of these novel findings for marketing practice and influence maximization in social networks are also discussed.
 
Article
Computer-assisted interventions represent an innovative approach to adolescent smoking cessation that may offer advantages over traditional smoking interventions in their potential to provide adolescents with a variety of appropriate cessation-related activities, as well as interactive feedback tailored to their developmental, psychosocial, behavioral, and biological needs. As part of a larger project to evaluate the effectiveness of an Internet-based approach to smoking cessation among adolescents, this paper will describe the intervention development process. Stomp Out Smokes (S.O.S.), an Internet-based information and support system, was created to address the specific needs and experiences of adolescents who want to quit smoking. The development of S.O.S. involved an iterative process with five distinct yet often overlapping phases: Phase 1: review of the adolescent development, smoking cessation, and health literature; Phase 2: development and implementation of a needs assessment; Phase 3: construction of a site development strategy; Phase 4: development, review, and revision of content; and Phase 5: development of the website architecture and graphic design.
 
Article
Several studies indicate that only a small minority of Web 2.0 users actively participates, while the minority do not contribute at all. This article investigates whether a similar division applies for adolescents' Internet behavior. Using Szuprowicz’ (1995) typology of interactivity, we distinguish different types of user-generated content (UGC): media, narrative, and metadata UGC. Our results show a 20%–80% division between high- and low-frequency seeders. Furthermore, we utilize the uses-and-gratifications paradigm to investigate how these high- and low-frequency seeders differ in their overall gratifications obtained by WWW use. Although the gratifications' rank orders are identical for all groups, their magnitudes differ significantly. Finally, this article focuses on how these WWW gratifications can predict seeding, while controlling for socio-demographics and usage frequency.
 
Article
Although it is increasingly obvious that the Internet is changing human life; the details of this change are not yet clear. A major debate in current literature involves the capacity of the Internet to enhance social capital and wellbeing in old age. In this regard, the present study attempts to investigate the relationships between Internet use and older people’s social capital and wellbeing. An online survey was conducted at the University of Sydney. 222 seniors responded to the survey. The measures used included a wide range of instruments related to the Internet use, social capital and wellbeing. Respondents used the Internet for various purposes, including seeking information, entertainment, commerce, communication, and finding new people. The main findings of the study were that the relationships between Internet use, social capital and wellbeing is a complex construct and the Internet has different effects on social capital and wellbeing resulting from different use of this technology. The study results revealed that the Internet is a 2-edged sword with the ability to both harm and help. According to the findings of this study, using the Internet can be helpful for older adults if they are aware how they use it.
 
Article
During the war on drug in the 1980s, state and federal laws sent thousand of street level drug offenders to prison which unwittingly facilitated the spread of HIV/AIDS. Many drug offenders were liable to be infected with HIV from sharing dirty needles. According to Moran, “Prisons are notorious breeding grounds for HIV. Infection rates are five times higher than outside the wall… One study by a national police association found that at least 40% [of incarcerated men] had sex with another man in prison. And despite strong evidence that condoms reduce the spread of AIDS, they are forbidden in all federal and most state and local prisons.” Jim Thomas, professor of public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill remarks, “To make condoms available in prison would be to admit that sex occurs in prison. And for some reason the prisons don’t want to admit that that happens. But if we want to encourage HIV transmission, this is the perfect policy.” AIDS activists suggest, although HIV/AIDS testing is available, most inmates are not tested because HIV positive inmates can demand costly treatment. Consequently, as Moran notes, “men can leave prison with HIV and never know it. And most men say that when they leave prison they will resume having sex with women.”
 
Article
This study explores the implications of political weblogs for theories of mediated public deliberation. Guided by contemporary questions surrounding the internet and the public sphere, we examine blog and newspaper coverage of the nomination and confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court of Samuel Alito with an eye toward further development of theories of mass deliberation. Specifically, we pursue questions concerning volume of coverage, ideological polarization, and interactive features in the blogosphere, using newspaper coverage as a point of reference. Data come from content analyses of newspaper stories mentioning Alito in the headline or lead paragraphs from the initial nomination announcement through final confirmation, as well as archival impressions of blog posts featuring hyperlinks to the newspaper stories. Our analysis suggests that blogs may enhance as well as complicate processes of mediated deliberation. We conclude by discussing empirical and conceptual implications of these findings for future research on the role of blogs in the contemporary public sphere.
 
Article
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of online support group (OSG) use by those with chronic health problems and to identify characteristics associated with use of OSGs and face-to-face groups. METHODS: 6, 795 Californians living with chronic health problems were asked to describe OSG use, face-to-face support group use, and frequency/perceived benefit of support group use. RESULTS: 16% had used a face-to-face group for health, and 1.8% reported having used an OSG. OSG use was associated with depression/anxiety (OR = 3.51), stroke (OR = 3.03), diabetes (OR = 2.96), cancer (OR = 2.86), and arthritis (OR = 2.52). Use of OSGs was also associated with greater education (OR = 12.2), higher income (OR = 3.1), use of complementary/alternative therapies (OR = 5.2), and worse health status (OR = 3.1). Those with asthma (OR = 0.4), over age 65 (OR = 0.2), and Latinos (OR = 0.2) were less likely to use OSGs. CONCLUSION: Prevalence of use of OSGs for those with chronic health conditions is low, but internet-based health-related services have potential to increase the reach of support services for those living with chronic conditions.
 
Article
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools can be used to integrate time-intensive tasks, such as case study analyses, more easily into formal learning environments. How students talk together online in CMC environments is an area that has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This paper extends findings from a previous study by comparing two groups of preservice teachers analyzing cases in a synchronous and asynchronous environment. A case study and computer-mediated discourse analysis approach was taken to make sense of the discussion transcripts and student reflections. Booth and Hulten’s (2003) taxonomy of learning contributions is used as an analysis framework. Students made more participatory moves to establish presence in asynchronous environments and more interactive moves in synchronous environments. Reflective contributions were made in both environments, with few learning moves made in either. Students participated asymmetrically in both modes. The interplay between types of contributions, affordances of each mode, student preferences and student epistemological beliefs is explored, with implications for the design and analysis of case discussion tasks in CMC environments.
 
Description of the Genres of IED Web Pages
Extended Feature Set for Genre Classification
Results of Genre Classification of IED Web Pages
Site Map Featuring Intensity of Materials Pages in Page Levels
Site Map Featuring Intensity of Discussion Pages in Page Levels
Article
This paper presents a cyber-archaeology approach to social movement research. The approach overcomes many of the issues of scale and complexity facing social research in the Internet, enabling broad and longitudinal study of the virtual communities supporting social movements. Cultural cyber-artifacts of significance to the social movement are collected and classified using automated techniques, enabling analysis across multiple related virtual communities. Approaches to the analysis of cyber-artifacts are guided by perspectives of social movement theory. A case study on a broad group of related social movement virtual communities is presented to demonstrate the efficacy of the framework, and provide a detailed instantiation of the proposed approach for evaluation.
 
Study Protocol for Each Participant
Path Model for Revised 4-Factor Structure of the E-Health Engagement Tool
Description of Participants (By Gender and Household Income Level) Description of Participants (By Gender and Household Income Level)
Internal Consistency of the Primary e-Health Engagement Subscales
Item-Total Statistics
Article
A scale for measuring the engagement properties of eHealth content was adapted from commercial advertising research. We define engagement as the process of involving users in health content in ways that motivate and lead to health behavior change. Complete responses were obtained from 230/260 participants exposed to health content from seven content areas in online remote testing. After viewing each of three randomly assigned health content areas, the participants completed two questionnaires. The first one assessed the appropriateness, applicability, motivation, and intentions to change or engage in health behaviors relevant to the set of content components displayed for that health topic. The second questionnaire was the eHealth Engagement Scale in which participants rated each of 12 descriptors on a 5-point Likert scale. Internal reliability of each of the two multi-item subscales of the Engagement Scale was .878 for Involving and .805 for Credible. A 4-factor solution eliminating three of the original 12 word descriptors was found to be the superior in the subsequent analysis of predictive validity. The eHealth Engagement Scale may prove to be an important mediator of user retention of information, intentions to change, and ultimately efforts to undertake and achieve behavior change.
 
Article
As computer networks improve, more social and work interactions are carried out "virtually" by geographically separated group members. In this paper we discuss the design of a tool, PAVE, to support remote work interactions among colleagues in different time zones. PAVE extends a 2D graphical MOO and supports synchronous and asynchronous interactions. PAVE logs and indexes activities in the space. This capture facility enables playback and augmentation of meeting interactions by non-collocated group members. Thus, members can participate asynchronously in meetings they could not attend in real time, not just review them. 1.#
 
Article
Mobile text messaging is one of the world’s most popular asynchronous communication tools, but few empirical studies have examined users’ abilities and attitudes toward such technologies. The study employs 2 distinct, yet complementary, expectancy-based constructs (i.e., self-efficacy and locus of control) to predict anxiety and attitude valence toward mobile text messaging. Survey data collected from text messaging users show that the attitude toward text messaging behaviors can be examined through their beliefs in their competence and sense of control. Results indicate that enhancing users’ ability and their sense of personal control can further the use of future mobile text-based applications and services. These findings suggest that future research should consider incorporating these variables into existing information technology adoption frameworks.
 
Article
This article investigates Facebook users' awareness of privacy issues and perceived benefits and risks of utilizing Facebook. Research found that Facebook is deeply integrated in users' daily lives through specific routines and rituals. Users claimed to understand privacy issues, yet reported uploading large amounts of personal information. Risks to privacy invasion were ascribed more to others than to the self. However, users reporting privacy invasion were more likely to change privacy settings than those merely hearing about others' privacy invasions. Results suggest that this lax attitude may be based on a combination of high gratification, usage patterns, and a psychological mechanism similar to third-person effect. Safer use of social network services would thus require changes in user attitude.
 
Article
While many themes have been explored in relation to religion online—ritual, identity construction, community—what happens to religious authority and power relationships within online environments is an area in need of more detailed investigation. In order to move discussions of authority from the broad or vague to the specific, this article argues for a more refined identification of the attributes of authority at play in the online context. This involves distinguishing between different layers of authority in terms of hierarchy, structure, ideology, and text. The article also explores how different religious traditions approach questions of authority in relation to the Internet. Through a qualitative analysis of three sets of interviews with Christians, Jews, and Muslims about the Internet, we see how authority is discussed and contextualized differently in each religious tradition in terms of these four layers of authority.
 
Article
The aim of the research project EMIWA (elektronische Markte und institutioneller Wandel) is to achieve a better understanding of technology-induced changes of markets. For this purpose, the capital market and its exchanges are studied as one of the most prominent installations of electronic markets. A noticeable gap between the postulated rationalization potential of computer exchanges on the one hand and the existing technological support on the other can be observed. Reasons for this installation gap are supplied and conclusions are drawn for a more differentiated discussion of the impact of information technology on the market as a coordination mechanism.
 
Article
Although fields such as e-commerce, information systems, and computer-mediated communication (CMC) acknowledge the importance of validity, validating research tools or measures in these domains seems the exception rather than the rule. This article extends the concept of validation to one of an emerging genre of web-based tools that provide new measures, the Wayback Machine (WM). Drawing in part on social science tests of validity, the study progresses from testing for and demonstrating the weakest form of validity, face validity, to the more demanding tests for content, predictive, and convergent validity. Finally, the study tests and shows nomological validity, using the diffusion of innovations theory. In line with prior diffusion research, the results of tests for predictive and nomological validity showed significant relationships with organizational characteristics and two WM measures: website age and number of updates. The results help validate these measures and demonstrate the utility of the WM for studying evolving website use.
 
Article
Although the use of the World Wide Web has expanded tremendously in the past few years, we still know very little about how users are working with this new medium, what they attempt to accomplish, what works, what doesn’ t. One way to answer such questions is to simply ask users for descriptions of their own activities. This paper presents an analysis of 133 stories of Web use contributed by users over a period of 40 months, since the Web Storybase began operation in December 1994. Usage of the Storybase is examined in general, and the stories are analyzed along several dimensions. The stories convey usage experiences that not only involve global information retrieval and person-to-person contact, but also the development of both good and bad interpersonal relationships, as well as extensive reflection on how the Web is changing our lives.
 
Word and phrase types in the corpus of HO nicknames
Article
This article demonstrates how nicknames that are used by participants in a German forum on eating disorders can be read as identity displays and how they may be related to eating disorders. A qualitative analysis of 83 nicknames of the Hungrig-Online forum reveals that denotational and stereotypical features, along with well-known referents of the names, interdependently characterize participants. Persona attributes such as smallness, weightlessness, childishness, negative self-evaluation, and depression, but also (arguably) self-confidence, are shown to be apparent in the nicknames; many of these attributes can be linked to multifaceted femininity. These findings are then related to general characteristics of eating disorders. In concluding, the far-reaching rules for registration of nicknames in the forum are taken into account and questioned, for it may be that in sensitive online groups, nicknames play an especially important role in identity construction.
 
Article
Virtual environments provide a rich testing ground for theories of gender and language. This paper analyzes interactions in one virtual environment, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), to look at the extent to which research on face-to-face (FTF) talk and computer-mediated communication (CMC) can describe gender and its relationship to language. I find that neither the function of utterances nor the construction of gender adheres to dualistic descriptions, as past research has implied. Reconceptualizing gender as performative helps researchers break out of binary categories that have bound past research. Conceiving of gender as under constant construction also helps demystify and thus disrupt the binary gender system which naturalizes patriarchy.
 
Article
For improving interoperability and gaining in many more benefits, standard interfaces for connecting modules in Information Technology (IT) are a need. Biometrics is not different from other IT fields. In fact in Biometrics those interfaces are needed at different levels: applications, data interchange, processing modules or sensors. Standardization bodies have already published standards related to data interchange and application programming interfaces (API), but some others are still missing. Authors present in this paper a first approach for a definition of a common interface for those biometric related modules to be integrated in small and low cost embedded systems. Definition is done at two different levels, leaving open the final implementation, but outlining such implementation with state of the art communication protocols.
 
Article
This research explores traditional mass media as an antecedent to nondirected self-disclosure online. New Internet-based tools allow users to communicate with global audiences, and to make intimate personal information available to this audience. At the same time, a culture that rewards the public performance of private thoughts and emotions is increasingly evident in “reality” television (RTV) programming. This study used survey data to examine RTV consumption, authoritarianism, and users' offline social context as potential antecedents for nondirected self-disclosure via blogs, online photo sharing, and online video sharing. RTV consumption correlated with blogging and video sharing, but not photo sharing. Social support network size was a significant correlate of photo sharing, indicating that photo sharing may be a more relational activity.
 
Article
This article examines nicknames of IRC users. On IRC, a person's physical existence and identity must be condensed textually into a single line which states his or her nickname, the electronic address, and a slogan or the person's real name. IRC users attempt to make these representational elements as prominent as possible, by choosing an original nick which will tempt other participants to strike up a conversation. In this paper I demonstrate that although people play many kinds of games with their nicknames, the nicks they choose are very important to them. They are an inherent part of their Net- identity, and even of their “real-life” identity. Two hundred sixty nicknames were collected from IRC logs, and were analyzed and classified. Only rarely did the IRCers in this study use their real names. The largest category was that of nicks related to the self in some way, referring to character traits, physical appearance, the physiological or psychological state of the self, or the person's profession or hobbies. The list of nicknames and the relative frequency of the different categories illustrate prominent features of electronic culture, a culture in which the individual is placed at the center. Participants in this culture have a high awareness of technology and technological change. They value linguistic virtuosity, yet they show contempt for the rules of the language. Although there is freedom to engage in constantly changing identity games through the manipulation of nicks, most people tend to keep to one nick for a long period of time.
 
Article
There have been many successful e-businesses as well as many failed e-businesses. The methods and practices that were evident in the development of both surviving e-businesses and failed ones have much to teach us. Why did some e-businesses fail while others survived? At present few guidelines exist to assist e-business owners and managers wanting to succeed in their Internet-based ventures. This study empirically investigated factors that may lead to e-business success or failure; these were categorized as management, market, and financial factors. The results of a survey were combined with one-on-one interviews of venture capitalists who funded successful and failed e-businesses. The results indicate that certain factors deemed applicable to an e-business may have contributed to the firm’s eventual success or failure.
 
Article
This paper explores the important factors affecting the choice of electronic marketplace (EM) functionalities. We propose that buyer-supplier relationship-related factors, such as transaction uncertainty, transaction specific investment, transaction frequency, complexity of product description, and non-contractible factors, can affect the choice of different EM functionalities. A case study method was employed to verify these propositions. We found that transaction frequency and non-contractible factors were two strong indicators of EM functionality choice, and transaction specific investment is a weak indicator. Depending on different types of transaction uncertainty, companies will choose different EM functionalities. Complexity of product description was low in all the cases we studied, and did not appear to affect functionality choice. An additional finding was that supplier power could influence a buyer's choice of different functionalities.
 
Article
The Internet has had a major impact on threats and opportunities available to intermediaries in many industries. Prior research using transaction cost theory shows four possible outcomes: Internet supplemented direct market, threatened intermediaries, cybermediaries and Internet supplemented intermediaries. This paper extends the “four outcomes” framework, by integrating it with research on dynamic capabilities. This new framework explains emerging patterns of response from threatened intermediaries in the personal computer industry. The specific scenario chosen by the threatened intermediary depends on its dynamic capability. Future research can use the integrated framework to predict Internet impacts on intermediaries in other industries.
 
Differences Between Facebook Members and Nonmembers
Article
This study examines if Facebook, one of the most popular social network sites among college students in the U.S., is related to attitudes and behaviors that enhance individuals' social capital. Using data from a random web survey of college students across Texas (n = 2,603), we find positive relationships between intensity of Facebook use and students' life satisfaction, social trust, civic engagement, and political participation. While these findings should ease the concerns of those who fear that Facebook has mostly negative effects on young adults, the positive and significant associations between Facebook variables and social capital were small, suggesting that online social networks are not the most effective solution for youth disengagement from civic duty and democracy.
 
Article
Document-centered software, such as the CoNote application developed at Cornell University, supports cooperative work systems by facilitating communication within work groups via shared annotations (marginal notes) on a set of documents. The central idea is that shared annotations provide an effective communications forum for groups whose work involves frequent reference to some set of documents (e.g., teachers and students, field service workers, editors and publishers, organizations). In this study we examined how students used annotation tools for communication and learning and attempted to identify which factors influenced students’ interpretations of these collaboration tools. It appears that the beliefs that users hold about what constitutes a legitimate educational experience can influence the value they ascribe to educational software. Gender also seemed to have an impact on whether students felt that the annotations helped them create better Web sites and learn more effectively.
 
Article
This paper examines perceptions of three different communication channels (written, interpersonal, and e-mail) in a new organizational form, from six perspectives: social information processing, decision making, cost minimization, social presence, uncertainty reduction, and appraisal. In this study three functional groups within the Cancer Information Service (CIS) were examined: Project Directors (N=11), Outreach Coordinators (N=16), and Telephone Service Managers (N=17). The results indicated that there were few significant differences between these functional groupings. While there were clear differences between theoretical perspectives, the specific functional role differences related to them only marginally supported our hypotheses. This study suggested that refocusing on fundamental underlying processes may be necessary at this stage in the development of the literature on channel selection in organizations.
 
Article
Currently the use of the computer is limited by the perception of it as a platform with advanced software tools to solve specific problems such as balancing a budget or computing grade point averages. While this is not a bad use of computers it does not fully employ their potential. By expanding our view of computer as tool to computer as medium that facilitates communication and sharing, we can fundamentally change the way we think and learn. This paper discusses the computer as a communication medium to support learning. Specifically, the paper illustrates the benefits of this reconceptualization in the context of having students author and play interactive simulations games and exchange them over the Internet.
 
Article
Text-only CMC has been claimed to be interactionally incoherent due to limitations imposed by messaging systems on turn-taking and reference, yet its popularity continues to grow. In an attempt to resolve this apparent paradox, this study evaluates the coherence of computer-mediated interaction by surveying research on cross-turn coherence. The results reveal a high degree of disrupted adjacency, overlapping exchanges, and topic decay. Two explanations are proposed to account for the popularity of CMC despite its relative incoherence: the ability of users to adapt to the medium, and the advantages of loosened coherence for heightened interactivity and language play.
 
Article
Although the development of relationships on the Net may be seen as “community,” the increasing global presence from commercial media such as online newspapers suggest that another metaphor may be jousting for preeminence – colonization. Findings from an on-going case study of online newspapers suggest the early ideals of democratic community-building in cyberspace are encountering resistance as newspaper organizations delineate “virtual geographic space” and stake out “territory” on the web by subtly discouraging access to other sites (i.e., a type of virtual “homesteading”). Additionally, changes in the production practices of print journalists due to the emergence of electronic newspapers are discussed.
 
Article
In recent years, it has been widely stated that electronic commerce will signify the dawn of a friction-free market (Gates, 1995). Structural changes in markets, such as disintermediation, would occur due to the impact of electronic trade and electronic information exchange. As argued by Sarkar, Butler and Steinfield (1995), these statements are oversimplified and exaggerated, because different outcomes are possible, such as cybermediation and re-intermediation. In order to clarify the issues concerning the implications of e-commerce for market structure, this paper attempts to validate the model developed by Sarkar et al., by applying the model to the art and antiques market. The implications of e-commerce depend on the choice to internalize electronic inter-organizational activities or outsource these activities to so-called cybermediaries. The emergence of new intermediary roles and actors is not always based on pure economic arguments. Of equal importance are the constraints imposed by the social and cultural embedding of intermediary roles. However, the precise impact on market structure cannot be explained exclusively by e-commerce. In this paper, it is argued that a better understanding of the evolutionary impact of e-commerce on existing market structures and intermediary roles is reached by taken into account both historical and regional perspectives.
 
Article
Communication is fundamental to any form of organizing but is preeminent in virtual organizations. Virtual organizations are characterized by (a) highly dynamic processes, (b) contractual relationships among entities, (c) edgeless, permeable boundaries, and (d) reconfigurable structures. Relative to more traditional settings, communication processes that occur in virtual contexts are expected to be rapid, customized, temporary, greater in volume, more formal, and more relationship-based. To glean insight into communication processes for virtual organizations, we draw on the rich body of literature on synchronous and asynchronous electronic organizational communication. The vast set of empirical findings regarding mediated communication can foreshadow how communication will change as firms “go virtual.” Six areas of electronic communication research provide implications for the major aspects of virtual organization design: (1) communication volume and efficiency, (2) message understanding, (3) virtual tasks, (4) lateral communication, (5) norms of technology use, and (6) evolutionary effects.
 
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New technologies have affected language use and attitudes in many communities. Kreol, a French-lexified Creole and the nonstandardised first language of the majority of Mauritians, is now gaining ground as a written language in the specific context of electronic-mediated communication. This has led to the emergence of writing norms among users of the language. These norms are founded on etymological phonemic and mixed conventions. This study based on data gathered through questionnaires analyses the attitudes of 66 young Mauritians towards the three orthographies used in electronically mediated communication and the standardisation of the language in new technologies. It also briefly discusses some of the spelling conventions used in Internet postings. I show that the etymological system is perceived as most readable, learnable and closest to French. Users believe that Kreol can act as a unifying factor among different ethnolinguistic groups in Mauritius. Responses also highlight the potential of users and electronic-mediated communication in bringing about the standardisation of Kreol.
 
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This paper studies the diffusion of SuggestBot, an intelligent task recommendation system that helps people find articles to edit in Wikipedia. We investigate factors that predict who adopts SuggestBot and its impact on adopters' future contributions to this online community. Analyzing records of participants' activities in Wikipedia, we found that both individual characteristics and social ties influence adoption. Specially, we found that highly involved contributors were more likely to adopt SuggestBot; interpersonal exposure to innovation, cohesion, and tie homophily all substantially increased the likelihood of adoption. However, connections to prominent, high-status contributors did not influence adoption. Finally, although the SuggestBot innovation saw limited distribution, adopters made significantly more contributions to Wikipedia after adoption than nonadopter counterparts in the comparison group.
 
Top-cited authors
Nicole B Ellison
  • University of Michigan
danah boyd
  • Microsoft
Charles W Steinfield
  • Michigan State University
Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa
  • University of Texas at Austin
Sebastián Valenzuela
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile