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Title: A comparative study of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs based on social network analysis
Author: ZHANG Yang ; LING Wanyang
Source: Chinese Journal of Library and Information Science
Issued Date: 2012-12-25
Volume: 5, Issue:4, Pages:51-66
Keyword: Weblog ; Microblog ; Information diffusion ; Social network analysis (SNA) ; Library and information science (LIS)
Subject: 编辑出版
Corresponding Author: Yang Zhang (E-mail:zhangyang2@mail.sysu.edu.cn)
Abstract:

Purpose: This paper intends to explore a quantitative method for investigating the characteristics of information diffusion through social media like weblogs and microblogs. By using the social network analysis methods, we attempt to analyze the different characteristics of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs as well as the possible reasons of these differences.
Design/methodology/approach: Using the social network analysis methods, this paper carries out an empirical study by taking the Chinese weblogs and microblogs in the fi eld of Library and Information Science (LIS) as the research sample and employing measures such as network density, core/peripheral structure and centrality.
Findings: Firstly, both bloggers and microbloggers maintain weak ties, and both of their social networks display a small-world effect. Secondly, compared with weblog users, microblog users are more interconnected, more equal and more capable of developing relationships with people outside their own social networks. Thirdly, the microblogging social network is more conducive to information diffusion than the blogging network, because of their differences in functions and the information flow mechanism. Finally, the communication mode emerged with microblogging, with the characteristics of micro-content, multi-channel information dissemination, dense and decentralized social network and content aggregation, will be one of the trends in the development of the information exchange platform in the future.
Research limitations: The sample size needs to be increased so that samples are more representative. Errors may exist during the data collection. Moreover, the individual-level characteristics of the samples as well as the types of information exchanged need to be further studied.
Practical implications: This preliminary study explores the characteristics of information diffusion in the network environment and verifi es the feasibility of conducting a quantitative analysis of information diffusion through social media. In addition, it provides insight into the characteristics of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs and the possible reasons of these differences.
Originality/value: We have analyzed the characteristics of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs by using the social network analysis methods. This research will be useful for a quantitative analysis of the underlying mechanisms of information fl ow through social media in the network environment.

English Abstract:

Purpose: This paper intends to explore a quantitative method for investigating the characteristics of information diffusion through social media like weblogs and microblogs. By using the social network analysis methods, we attempt to analyze the different characteristics of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs as well as the possible reasons of these differences.
Design/methodology/approach: Using the social network analysis methods, this paper carries out an empirical study by taking the Chinese weblogs and microblogs in the fi eld of Library and Information Science (LIS) as the research sample and employing measures such as network density, core/peripheral structure and centrality.
Findings: Firstly, both bloggers and microbloggers maintain weak ties, and both of their social networks display a small-world effect. Secondly, compared with weblog users, microblog users are more interconnected, more equal and more capable of developing relationships with people outside their own social networks. Thirdly, the microblogging social network is more conducive to information diffusion than the blogging network, because of their differences in functions and the information flow mechanism. Finally, the communication mode emerged with microblogging, with the characteristics of micro-content, multi-channel information dissemination, dense and decentralized social network and content aggregation, will be one of the trends in the development of the information exchange platform in the future.
Research limitations: The sample size needs to be increased so that samples are more representative. Errors may exist during the data collection. Moreover, the individual-level characteristics of the samples as well as the types of information exchanged need to be further studied.
Practical implications: This preliminary study explores the characteristics of information diffusion in the network environment and verifi es the feasibility of conducting a quantitative analysis of information diffusion through social media. In addition, it provides insight into the characteristics of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs and the possible reasons of these differences.
Originality/value: We have analyzed the characteristics of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs by using the social network analysis methods. This research will be useful for a quantitative analysis of the underlying mechanisms of information fl ow through social media in the network environment.

Related URLs: 查看原文
Content Type: 期刊论文
URI: http://ir.las.ac.cn/handle/12502/5657
Appears in Collections:Chinese Journal of Library and Information Science-2012_期刊论文

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Recommended Citation:
ZHANG Yang,LING Wanyang. A comparative study of information diffusion in weblogs and microblogs based on social network analysis[J]. Chinese Journal of Library and Information Science,2012,5(4):51-66.
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