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Users in Volatile Communities: Studying Active Participation and Community Evolution

  • Tanja Falkowski
  • Myra Spiliopoulou
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4511)

Abstract

Active participation of a person in a community is a powerful indicator of the person’s interests, preferences, beliefs and (often) social and demographic context. Community membership is part of a user’s model and can contribute to tasks like personalized services, assistance and recommendations. However, a community member can be active or inactive. To what extend is a community still representative of the interests of an inactive participant? To gain insights to this question, we observe a community as an evolving social structure and study the effects of member fluctuation. We define a community as a high-level temporal structure composed of “community instances” that are defined conventionally through observable active participation and are captured at distinct timepoints. Thus, we capture community volatility, as evolution and discontinuation. This delivers us clues about the role of the community for its members, both for active and inactive ones. We have applied our model on a community exhibiting large fluctuation of members and acquired insights on the community-member interplay.

Keywords

user communities community evolution community participation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanja Falkowski
    • 1
  • Myra Spiliopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Faculty of Computer Science, Universitätsplatz 2, 39106 MagdeburgGermany

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