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Wybo is a sociologist and PhD/DPhil student at the Oxford Internet Institute.

He studies online social behaviour. Especially: How social media affect protest movements such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wallstreet. More...

Also: MSc in Social Science of the Internet, MA in Digital Humanities (distinction), 3 BAs (firsts/cum laude) in History, Philosophy of Information Science and Information Science

Papers feed

Articles tagged "Online Communities"

The Invisible Hands of Time:

How Timezones Shape Online Communities

A popular view of online communities is that they transcend time and place. As threads and comments are posted during the circadian cycle, however, participants will see different (new) threads as they arrive, which then affects who interacts with whom and the social ties that form.

A case-study of the Hacker News community was conducted to measure these effects. Strong time-pressure effects were found at the thread-level. For social ties statistically significant effects were found as well; especially for users at the edge of the network. Even the two-week gap between the introduction of daylight savings time in the US and UK had an impact.

These findings indicate that online communities may not be as global as generally believed, and might limit the validity of purely social interpretations of online reply structures.

Simulating the Emergence of Critical Mass:

How Forums Grow by Stimulating User Contributions

Attaining critical mass is notoriously difficult for online platforms, and many online communities fail because of this. A common feature of most successful communities, are threads, which are found on forums, Facebook, and on Quora, among other places.

In this paper Agent-Based Simulation was used to examine the impact of variations in thread-structures on growth and critical mass attainment.

What was found was that threads perform better than no threads at all, and indented thread-structures that allow users more control over what to read, improve engagement even further.