Howard T. Welser

Howard T. Welser
Ohio University · Department of Sociology & Anthropology

PhD MS BPhil

About

30
Publications
26,719
Reads
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1,636
Citations
Introduction
I design theory-driven research projects that investigate how social context, social structure, and technology shape how people accomplish their goals. I want to contribute directly to the design of user systems and learn how to improve those systems in ways that help people advance their goals and achieve the missions of their organizations.
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - present
Ohio University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2007 - present
Ohio University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2006 - July 2007
Cornell University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 1998 - May 2006
University of Washington Seattle
Field of study
  • Sociology

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
Access to information and resources via the Internet is an increasingly vital dimension of contemporary life. However, there can be several impediments to optimal Internet utilization in the form of access, skills, and motivation. Even when access is available, several digital inequalities arise as citizens often lack the skills and motivations to...
Chapter
Social critics claim that emerging adults are subjecting themselves and one another to a variety of risks through the use of mobile dating and hookup applications, or “apps.” These narratives emphasize concerns about authenticity, the threat of sexual predators, and changing expectations about the nature and emotional intimacy of relationships. The...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the effect of depression symptoms and their associated severity on reducing treatment sought for chronic medical conditions in respondents living in a low-/middle-income country. Design/methodology/approach Data for this paper are provided by the national cross-sectional World Health Survey (2003) c...
Article
This mixed‐methods study examines rural young professionals' migratory intentions in relation to sense of community. The most significant difference we found in migratory intentions was between two groups, which we call stayers and seekers. Both groups highly valued sense of community but they reported dramatically different experiences related to...
Article
Full-text available
While all students enter college with varying levels of digital skills, those from rural areas may face extra challenges because their own skills and those of their pre-college networks may be underdeveloped. Without some type of intervention, digital deficits can perpetuate further educational disadvantages. We developed an online learning communi...
Article
Full-text available
More than 100 years ago, Robert Michels (1911) observed that even organizations based on the strongest democratic principles tend to devolve into oligarchy. Leaders will use their authority to serve their own interests, they will cultivate loyalty with a small clique of elites, and they will subvert the mission of the organization. This corruption...
Chapter
Full-text available
In large and small ways technological development is leading to the unintended yet inevitable degradation of wilderness spaces and the demise of the potential for wilderness experience on Earth. To the extent that the technological development continues unabated, this progress will eventually result in the extinction of wilderness spaces and the lo...
Chapter
Full-text available
A wiki is a web site anyone can edit, where each modification to each page is recorded and archived. Because of their flexible structure, support for discussion, and ease of use, wikis are becoming an increasingly popular platform for supporting online communities. The core of the chapter introduces three example inquiries employing NodeXL to addre...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual teams and other online groups can find it challenging to establish norms that allow them to effectively balance task and relational aspects of their discussions. Yet, in our reliance on organizational and team theories, small group scholars have overlooked the potential for learning from examples offered by online communities. Theories of d...
Article
There are numerous indirect ways in which socioeconomic status (SES) can advantage or disadvantage people in developing social capital. Specifically, SES affects the access individuals have to beneficial resources that indirectly affects the social capital benefits individuals receive from personal and group social networks. With the advent of soci...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper investigates some of the social roles people play in the online community of Wikipedia. We start from qualitative comments posted on community oriented pages, wiki project memberships, and user talk pages in order to identify a sample of editors who represent four key roles: substantive experts, technical editors, vandal fighters, and so...
Conference Paper
The series of protests against the Church of Scientology known as "Project Chanology" marks the emergence of an important form of contemporary protest movement defined by networked internal structures and pervasive memetic culture. Such a protest movement is highly dynamic- rapidly adapting to changing challenges and contextual settings. This cultu...
Article
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Both online and off, people frequently perform particular social roles. These roles organize behavior and give structure to positions in local networks. As more of social life becomes embedded in online systems, the concept of social role becomes increasingly valuable as a tool for simplifying patterns of action, recognizing distinct user types, an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Community based question and answer systems have been promoted as Web 2.0 solutions to the problem of finding expert knowledge. This promise depends on systemspsila capacity to attract and sustain experts capable of offering high quality, factual answers. Content analysis of dedicated contributorspsila messages in the live QnA system found: (1) few...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social media communities (e.g. Wikipedia, Flickr, Live Q&A) give rise to distinct types of content, foremost among which are relational content (discussion, chat) and factual content (answering questions, problem-solving). Both users and researchers are increasingly interested in developing strategies that can rapidly distinguish these types of con...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study investigates how heavily active contributors affect recruitment and retention in online social systems. We find that core enthusiasts are more successful recruiters, their recruits are more likely to become enthusiasts, and interacting with enthusiasts makes users less likely to exit the system. We also find evidence that strong dyadic t...
Article
Systems for computer-mediated interaction provide unprecedented research opportunities for social scientists. The scale and complexity of these data also pose practical and theoretical challenges regarding data management, aggregation, analysis, and inference. This chapter discusses these challenges and describes a series of techniques that help re...
Article
How can disproportionate prior exposure cause a behavior to evolve in a population? This article investigates how this mechanism might evolve cooperation in a manner that can overcome the tendency towards defection in human societies. We extend Mark's analysis by testing his emulation model in a social setting where defection is likely, and we offe...
Article
Full-text available
Analytic Narratives [Bates et al. 1998] makes a path-breaking contribution to historical methodology by combining formal theory and historical narrative. It includes both a general manifesto for their argument that rational choice models using extensive form game theory can be used to construct narratives of particular historical outcomes, and a se...
Article
Full-text available
Social roles in online discussion forums can be described by patterned characteristics of communication between network members which we conceive of as 'structural signatures'. This paper uses visualization methods to reveal these structural signatures and regression analysis to confirm the relationship between these signatures and their associated...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding the social roles of the members a group can help to understand the social context of the group. We present a method of applying social network analysis to support the task of characterizing authors in Usenet newsgroups. We compute and visualize networks created by patterns of replies for each author in selected newsgroups and find tha...
Article
Full-text available
Are people who remain active as webloggers more socially con- nected to other users? How are the number and nature of social ties related to people's willingness to continue contributing con- tent to a weblog? This study uses longitudinal data taken from Wallop, a weblogging system developed by Microsoft Research, to explore patterns of user activi...
Article
Usenet is a complex socio-technical phenomenon, containing vast quantities of information. The sheer scope and complexity make it a challenge to understand the many dimensions across which people and communication are interlinked. In this work, we present visualizations of several aspects and scales of Usenet that combine to highlight the range of...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 2006. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 218-233).

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I have been using the MICE and MICEadds packages in R to impute missing values for a variety of survey data sets. These sets have about 200 survey items, many of which require recodes, transformations, and construction into indices. After that, we can explore regression models for various research questions.
Short nutshell explanation: In practice I impute an initial version of the data set, then perform all of the recodes and variable construction tasks. Then I make a version of the data set that only includes case-id and variables to be used in the regression analyses. Then I re-identify the cases that have missing values for each variable (and constituent variables) and create a dataset of the model vars but with NA where there should be an NA. Then I run MICE again, this time generating 40 or 60 datasets to run the regression models and pool the results.
Details:
My plan now is to construct a version of the initial dataset that has a 0,1 dummy code to indicate (1) for cases that have NA for each variable, then I combine thes indicator variables with the initial imputed dataset. (using a simple naming strategy like age, gender.id, are represented with x.age, x.gender.id, etc)
Then I include in my variables construction area of my syntax file, both the construction of the main variables as well as the indicator variable
index1 <- (var1 + var2 +var3) / 3
x.index1 <- (x.var1 + x.var2 + x.var3)
Use index 1 and other variables as usual until exploratory analysis is done.
Then, make an indicator variable that recodes index1 to "NA" if x.index > 0, and keeps value of index1 otherwise.
"i.index1" for impute or indicator
repeat this for all model variables,
write.csv(group of all i.vars for model vars)
Run imputation process on this set of variables.
Improvements? alternatives?