Sunday, April 17, 2011

Online Community Management: Overview of Mendeley


The site that I am focusing on my final project is Mendeley’s Groups. The groups are part of the Mendeley system. The Mendeley system consists of a citation/referencing software and online community which utilized the software. A “group creation” feature is added on Mendeley for its users to collaborate and integrate as an online community. In sequence on this posting, I will start with describing Mendeley, the site, official rules. Then, I will continue with scenario of three rules that have been broken in this site. Furthermore, prescription and consequences will be suggested for each broken rules. To conclude, I will try to identify 5 unwritten rules.

Official Rules

There are 4 types of governing document which commonly used to regulate online community (Grimes, Jaeger, & Fleischmann, 2008). These documents are: “1) software license agreement, 2) use agreement, 3) privacy policy, and 4) community standards and practices.” Grimes, et al (2008) pointed that these four categories are the most common which can be found, but there are other types of document or rules which specific regarding to the characteristic of the site. On Mendeley, official rules of the site can be found easily by scroll down the front page to the end. At the end of Mendeley front page, there are quick links to official rules about what Grimes et al (2008) called “source code” and “civil code”. In this section, I will briefly describe 3 official rules.

Terms of Use (

This document regulates how user which called “registered member” on using the site features and the software. The latest version of this document is updated by November 16, 2010. This document pointed 21 points which ranging from purpose of the site to jurisdiction & applicable law. The terms of use pointed are numbered and the titled displayed in bold and capital letter. Some sections in these terms of use are also displayed in capital. For example point 12 which stated about disclaimer of liability is displayed like this “THE MENDELEY SERVICE AND SITE … PERFORM AS DESCRIBED.”

Privacy Policy (

In this document, users of Mendeley can get information about Mendeley Principles and Privacy Policy. There are three core principles of Mendeley: 1) data is only uploaded when user signed in, 2) user decide which data to share, and with whom, and 3) User data and user content are owned by the user. Every points of term of used are capitalized and in bold. Some section in the privacy policy was pointed by using bullet points. Different from Term of use, the privacy policy stated on the document is not numbered and there is no section which display in capital. This document was last updated on April 15, 2010.

FAQ: Learn more about groups (

Particularly, this document is a guideline for Mendeley registered users to obtain benefit from creating or joining a group. A group on Mendeley has a function as a place where online community could meet with people who have the same research interest and then develop professional relationship and form collaboration. This governance document explained “barrier to access” and “barrier to participate” (Kollock & Smith, 1994) of different types of groups on Mendeley.

Three examples of rules have been broken

Free-ride and social loafing

Success of online community is determined not only by the owner, but also by the member. Participation and contribution of active members is an important driver of the online community quality. Online community is not always success on obtaining benefit from member-maintained community. Social lofting and free-ride are condition that potentially happened on an online community. The phenomenon of social lofting and free-ride mentioned in a research on USENET by Kollock & Smith (1994) and a research on MovieLens by Cosley, Frankowski, Kiesler, Terveen, & Rieal (2005). These phenomena happened too on Mendeley’s Groups. A group creator or owner on Mendeley initiated to create a group to increase participant of members with the same research interest to add posting. The posting expected is research articles/publications information, comments, questions-answers, and discussion. Normally, most of groups on Mendeley have some key members who actively doing this task, but most of the members are free-ride on the group.

Incorrect/incomplete entry and broken link

Information provided by user of Mendeley will be used by other user for their scholarly purpose, essentially for finding referencing document and appropriate citation. On Mendeley, not all document reference by user can be found. Some of these articles are link to a site which only has the abstract. For accessing the full document, user must purchase or loan the article. In addition, there are some links that broken and cannot be open. The citation provide on the site is not always correct. The incorrectness can be in form of incomplete information and also in form of not suitable with the citation style.

What’s the matter of “Collaboration”?

Groups are created for users to form collaboration. The concept of collaboration in this site is blurring. There are no sufficient information about what kind of collaboration which expected and how the collaboration can be identified. Quality interaction in an online community has to be based on member self-awareness about the existence of community and self-awareness as a member of the community (Gazan, 2009). In short, effectiveness of interaction through online community has to be based on dynamic interaction between individual with the aggregative system. In this case, group member collaboration should contribute on developing “public good” of the community. But, the contribution of collaboration on Mendeley is hardly can be identified in a concrete artifact.

Prescription and consequences

Interface design and accessibility of site features contribute on developing human-computer/internet interactional dimension on social software (Madison, 2006). Fixing the site interface or adding features can be alternatives to solve social lofting and free ride. Instead on having only a number of work/paper cited, a rating feature with comment box can be added for a reference/citation. Asking question similar like Amazon, “what this [reference/citation] helpful to you?” (Coley, et al, 2005) is one of the idea can be used to modify the referencing interface on Mendeley. Using unique icon/emoticon is another alternative to make Mendeley interface and feature become more interesting for users. Flag a post as “education” or “conversational” (Gazan, 2009) is an example idea of unique icon that can be implemented for this site.

Implement peers oversight as well as experts’ oversight (Coley, et al, 2005) is perfect model for fixing incorrectness and uncompleted entry. I always impressed with the way Google improve its translation through “contribute on a better translation”. I think this idea can be implemented as well on Mendeley. Users can be encourage with a pop up or a side window for fixing or contributing for a better quality referencing information after they view the one that already exist. This idea is in general has some similarity with a collaborative authoring on wiki and Slashdot (Madison, 2005; Coley, et al, 2005).

Improvement in collaboration can incorporate Kollock and Smith (1994) idea. A group moderator and key members should actively moderating, governing, welcoming new members, and building interactivity through Q&A. In a group home page, group creators should be required to describe “what is desired of their groups, and what is inappropriate for their groups?” By having this information, a prospective member can decide to join and know clearly what he/she will contribute on the group. In a group, there are some features should be added to be able to encourage interactivity communication besides “wall posting”. A discussion forum, rate members/followers, featured member, and virtual award (for example: ribbon, flag, or start) are features needed for making the discussion on Mendeley groups become more lively and interesting.

Unwritten rules

This is the hardest section for me to write. As a conclusion, these are five “unwritten rules” which I consider implicitly regulated Mendeley users:

  1. A user is allowed to use Mendeley as a place to raise popularity as a scholar which potentially becomes a chance to get a new job.
  2. A newbie on Mendeley should learn individually from the site governance documents and couldn’t count on “old-timers” to get the answer about how to navigate through the site.
  3. A user is not guarantee to get what they expected when joined a group.
  4. A user must not ask for a reason if his/her request to be a member of a group rejected by the group administrator.
  5. All user required to have personal back up of files/data uploaded to Mendeley on another type of storage, either online or offline.


Cosley, D., Frankowski, D., Kiesler, S., Terveen, L., & Rieal, J. (2005). How oversight improves member-maintained communities. CHI 2005, April 2 – 7, Portland, Oregon.

Gazan, R. (2009). When online communities become self-aware. Proceedings of 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Waikoloa, HI, 5-8 January 2009.

Grimes, J., Jaeger, P., & Fleischmann, K. (2008). Obfuscatocracy: A stakeholder analysis of governing documents for virtual world. First Monday, 13(9), Retrieved from

Kollock, P., & Smith, M. (1994). Managing the virtual commons: cooperation and conflict in computer communities. Herring, S (ed.), Computer-Mediated Communication: Linguistic, Social, and Cross-Cultural Perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 109-128, Retrieved from

Madison, M.J. (2006). Social software, groups, and governance. Michigan State Law Review, Vol. 2006, p. 153, Retrieved from

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Creating and expressing online identity

Online Identity

The Internet and many online tools have created a new identity. This new identity is famously known as online identity. Usually, the discussion of online identity was interrelated with online community (OC). Donath (2007) explained this identity by looking to Social Networking Websites (MySpace, Orkut, and LinkedIn). Liu (2007) was looked at MySpace as well. Hodkinson (2006) contributed on analyzing used of LiveJournal by UK Goths community. Furthermore, Ploderer, Howard, and Thomas (2008) identified online identity of Bodyspace members. Based on thes readings, in my opinion, an online identity is a type of social identity generated by the internet user with: 1) forming profile’s information to be known by other users, 2) creating an image to represent the existence on the community, 3) establishing connectivity and friendship, 4) sharing some common interests, and 5) enhancing popularity and trustworthiness.

All of these five elements could be found on the Mendeley’s Groups which is our final project focus. Registered users on Mendeley have a personal profile pages. In this profile pages, users can posted their contact information, education background, photo, list of publication, etc. Using the profile page, users could enhance personal popularity and trustworthiness as a member of the community. In short, profile page of Mendeley looks like a mini resume of the user.

The primary function of Mendeley is for scholars (researchers, professors, and graduated students) to develop references. Extending from this primary function, Mendeley is used to develop online learning community and form scientific collaboration projects. There is a section in this tool for scholars to create and join group based on their common interest on sciences. In the group, scholars shared opinion and resources, popularized their publication, formed communication and collaboration on scholarly projects. In my observation, it is also been used by some college professors for their research classes purposes.

According to Wellman, Quan-Haase, Boase, Chen, Hampton, Diaz, & Miyata (2003), Internet and OCs provide a new alternative to communication. Indeed, “the Internet decreases community, transform community, and supplement community.” Connectivity and communication through the Internet available for human to connected but at the same time develop individualism. For me, hardly to contrast what stated in this article with my definition. Wellman et al (2003) ideas parallel with the social networking that I am focusing as well as my experiences on joining learning community. Internet and online communication online have enable people for having virtual conference and second life conference. In fact, present in a real-life conference is more likely chosen by professional and learning community. During the conference, participants success on maintain switch from the real-life present with their activity online. Their bodies are present in a place with the real-life conference community. At the same time, through their thumb and personal devices, they remain available for others through the Internet.

Interaction on Mendeley

The Mendeley existing users consist of graduate students, professors, and researchers. These users primary use tool for finding resources to support their scholarly work. Online and offline version are particularly useful to manage their references collection. At least there are three forms of interaction on Mendeley and its group. First, users create a profile pages and get their publication listed on the site references list. Second, users used the application create personal and share references list. Third, in a group, users have discussion, share information (references, citation, annotation, etc.), and collaborate on projects.

Using profile page on Mendeley, users introduce their scholarly journey to other users. Publications and education background listed on the profile page can be updated anytime. For earlier career scholars, this profile page is essential for developing trustworthiness of the scholarly community to them. A graduate student has a better impression for new employee when he/she applies for a job. Publication listed on the site can broaden opportunity for the work to be read and cite by other scholars. This is also another way for learning community members to increase their popularity and professional status. The first scenario has certain motif like Bodyspace community (Ploderer et al, 2008) and the Goths community (Hodkinson, 2006). The Bodyspace community could be used by members who want to attend a competition to get support. This can be assuming as a support of Mendeley for increasing their members’ professional image for a prospective employee/grantor. The Goths community support for f2f – online relationship or vice versa can be analogized to how Mendeley community form an annual meeting f2f and online.

Reference list on Mendeley can be grouped into topic. Using folders and categories, users can created reference list as convenient as they want it to be. This reference list can be created online or offline. When users go online to Mendeley, they can synchronize their online references with their offline references. Reference list created by an individual user can be shared to other users who connected as friends. By having this function, users can save time for creating their own reference list. This activity in some sense has a similarity with how SNSs members on Orkut, MySpace, Friendster (Liu, 2007; Donath, 2007) shared their music or movie collection lists.

The third scenario is about how the community members created or joined groups, have communication, shared information, and collaborated. Most of these functions are appeared the OCs discussion of prior researches. For some Mendeley user, typical motif on LiveJournal used in the Goths community (Hodkinson, 2006) is also very obvious. Probably, relationship form between users of Mendeley which has motif like relationship on the LiveJournal is used by a professor for their class purpose. There are two types of group on the Mendeley. The first type is a non-restricted membership groups. All registered members can join the group by click on “join this group” tab. The second type is restricted membership groups. A registered member has to click on “ask to join this group” tab to join this group. Approval from the group creator to become a member has to be achieve before participating on the group. On doing my research for this project, until this post up, I have not succeeded on getting approval to join any restricted-membership group. I have gotten three rejections to join groups. No reasons were given by groups’ creators for these rejections.

So far, there are four goals/interpersonal interactions which I could identify from Mendeley:

  1. Obtain appropriate resources for their works
  2. Get support from community to their project/research
  3. Know new scholars who have a same interest
  4. Popularize them self

The raising number of friends/connections and the increasing statistic on user’s page have potential to be the sunny day for Mendeley user on reaching their goals/interpersonal interactions. Generally, users who have these trends are also having regular update on publications and conference presentations. It means, besides representation online through the community, offline and real-life representation of scholarly works is also an important indicator for obtaining “sunny day” result on joining community. On the other hand, I can also observe, their failure on become success members on the site. This can be identified from members profile page which have no update at all. From an informal communication, a friend of mine has an experience losing all reference she maintained on Mendeley when she tried to synchronize the online and offline collection. This is also can be pointed as another “rainy day” of joining and using Mendeley.

How is online identity shaped and expressed through interactions in this community?

Forming professional connection and friendship though LinkedIn mentioned by Donath (2007) and sharing a common interest on Bodyspace mentioned by Ploderer et al (2008) apparently found on Mendeley. Users on the Mendeley specify distinguished into three types. These three types of users are professional who concern with scholarly activity. Friendship develop can result from offline through online or vice versa. Groups based on subject or area of interest is a sufficient evidence for showing that becoming a member of the groups has valuable chance to obtain the update of information and sharing concern and interest in the same fields or area of research.


Donath, J. (2007). Signals in social supernets. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1).

Hodkinson, P. (2006). Subcultural blogging? Online journals and groups involvement among UK Goths. In Burns A., and Jacobs J. Uses of blogs. New York: Peter Lang, 187 – 199.

Liu, H. (2007). Social networks profiles as taste performances. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1).

Plodeerer, B., Horward, S., Thomas, P. (2008). Being online, living offline: The influence of social ties over the appropriation of social network sites. Proceeding of CSCW 2008.

Wellman, B., Quan-Haase, A., Boase, J., Chen, W., Hampton, K., Diaz, I., Miyata, K. (2003). The social affordances of the Internet for networked individualism. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8(3).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Online Library System and Traditional Library System

Thanks to the Internet, communication and ubiquitous technology. By having these technologies and services, I could keep in touch with this course from a distance, more than a thousand miles away from Honolulu. My social presence as a student can be managed through blogger without any difficulties. I tend to mobilize any kind of newest and available devices to function on serving my technology consumption (Dempsey, 2009). Further, virtual communities (Haythornthwaite, 2009), social networks and social information filtering (Lerman, 2006), as well as, social tagging (Geisler & Burns, 2008) keep me in touch with news about disaster in Japan and how is the situation in Hawaii during Tsunami warning while I was travelling from one airport to another airport. This travel and the entire experiences with mobile devices through social media have given me more gen about the potential of social computing process and social computing tools.

For this posting, I would like to make comparisons between online library systems (OLS) with traditional library system (TLS). What I am going to discuss here is different from Dempsey (2009) and Gazan (2008). However, these two articles influence a lot on sharpening my framework for this analysis.

#1: In TLS, sometime a collection owned by library get lost or not returned by the user. As a consequence, the librarian will file this item as lost item. The librarian will help the user to found secondary or alternative resource to replace this lost item, while the library probably will find a new one to replace this collection. On the other hand, in OLS, item was stored on a system with backup. Thus, the potential for lost item was reduced into minimal. However, the challenge for OLS is the searchability (Gazan, 2008; Dempsey, 2009), where users can locate exactly how to access the item for their personal used. Navigational of OLS is challenging. I remember a time when I assisted a friend on using UH Manoa OLS. She kept complaining about the searchability and the case-sensitive of search system on this OLS. She felt overwhelming at first with have to search for journal articles online. I showed her some steps on navigating the features, where to found online help manual, and ask a librarian function. By having this mentoring, she could overcome the first year scholarly journey on using OLS. The structure, dynamics, and (social) filtering mentioned in Lerman (2006) applied to this condition. Either online or traditional library need to have a convention on organizing collection, the structure of the library system. On the process, users with librarians will figure out how to substitute collection or items with cannot be found, acquiring the new one or interlibrary loan form other libraries. When librarian started to introduce alternative resources and OLS listed links and suggestions on the search engine, these applied the filtering concept mentioned.

#2: Most of The users when they feel devastating on finding the book by themself will turn into a librarian to ask for it. In TLS, librarians are available on libraries during their office hours. When users need help on searching a collection, they must go to the library in person with all information they have to get assistance from a librarian. During this interaction, library users experience in person how helpful is the librarian. They could talk face to face, and looking at one another emotional reaction. In some certain aspects, the human-human emotional interaction was difficult to measure. Moreover, when the feeling transfer to a computer-mediated communication (CMC) between librarians and users. However, there are additional benefits from the CMC. Some to be mentioned are the ability to get assistance 24/7 and options to use email or chat on getting assistance. In my personal experiences, both assistances in the f2f setting and online, librarian always started with a small-talk before assisting me to find the book that I need. The nature of conversation will not change by the change of system of process from real-life to online (Leibenluft, 2007). A little joke, social chat, and a small talk will function as an icebreaker between librarians and users.

#3: TLS uses list of catalog and index card to manage collections. In fact, on most of library, these catalogs and index cards were rarely used by library users. These paper-based cards, for example, using Dewey system, help librarian on organizing books on a shelf and searching collection based on users need. In the past, this system has served the entire librarian on helping their clients. Currently, catalog and index card are replaced with search engine on the OLS. In this system, users search the collection by using key words, phrases, titles, author names, ISBN/ISSN, DOI, etc. Using this search method is helpful for users if they know the mechanism of search engine on their library system. If they do not know well about the mechanism, they have to sit down for some time to get familiar with the search engine navigational mechanism. For some users, spending time to do this work is not convenient. This comparison showed similarity with 4 aspects mentioned on Dempsey (2009). The emerging of new technology, on supporting library services, will not take away “a complex systems environment, sourcing decisions, library value, and the user experiences.” Users experiences have a huge impact on how they convenience with the system they used.

#4: TLS serves printed books, while OLS serves printed book as well as the electronic version. For some printed book users, it is an exciting feeling to be able to hold, touch, and smell the book. This feeling cannot be found on using the electronic version. Electronic books are delivered to the display screen with some additional features which are not available in printed book. These features are electronic highlighting, annotating, and text-to-speech. Users probably will feel happy when they hold a tick printed book to read at home. They will also feel proud by putting it on the shelf. However, when they travel, they must be prepared to bring no books and get the access online while they are settled in the new place. Probably, they will also carry electronics book with their personal mobile devices. The increasing in number of personal digital devices is in some sense affect the increasing of possibility to access the book anywhere with various mobile devices. In Gazan (2008) mentioned, annotated works, particularly “intelligible annotations can become a valuable informational resource for users. That is why the printed/electronic version tried to accommodate this valuable aspect with annotated feature.

In conclusion, it is difficult for me to use all this week articles to analyze my comparison. The cases on each article give me a clear guideline about how to compare these two entities, Online Community with Offline Communities. However, ever cases also provide a different way on performing their comparison. Especially, I feel bad could not make connection with Duguid’s article (2006). This is a good discussion on assurance quality of open access software. I try to fit on several aspects of these readings in my case, although I am not pretty sure about the quality assurances of my analysis. Suggestion for improvement of my analysis in your comment will be appreciated.


Duguid, P. (2006). Limits of self-organization: Peer production and “Laws of quality”. First Monday, 11(10). Retrieve from

Dempsey, L. (2009). Always on: Libraries in a world of permanent connectivity. First Monday, 14(1). Retrieved from

Geiser, G., & Burns, S. (2008). Tagging video: Conventions and strategies of the YouTube community. TCDL Bulletin. 4(1).

Gazan, R. (2008). Social annotations in digital library collections. D-Lib Magazine, 14(11/12)

Haythirnthwaite, C. (2009). Crowds and communities: Light and heavyweight models of peer production. Proceeding of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa, HI, 5-8 January 2009.

Leibenluft, J. (2007). A Librarian’s worst nightmare: Yahoo! Anaswer, where 120 million users can be wrong. Retrieve from

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Understanding Online Communities' Social Capital and Trust Mechanism


The Massa’s article (2007) is the most disrupting reading this week. Not because the reading is too difficult to understand, but because the reading proposed so many interesting websites which always make me turn away from the paper. I turned away from the paper for taking a look at the website for fulfilling my curiosity before I continue to read. For me,,,,, and were some of the website that I just discovered from the reading. It took me 2 days to finish on reading this article before I can move on to others. While this article did not give me a clue about what means by social capitals/trust mechanisms. The vision of this concept started arising after reading about bridging and bonding from Putnam as well as weak-tie and strong-tie from Granovetter (Williams, 2006). What I can understand is, trust mechanism is also depending on social roles, social structures, and online communities ecology (Gleave, Welser, Lento, & Smith, 2008; Eryilmaz, Cochran, & Kasemvilas, 2009; Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007). The trust mechanism/social capital from offline community can influence the way people have relationship online. Therefore, Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2007) add one new type of social capital to the category made by Putnam and Granovetter. They called this social capital as "maintained social capital". With the maintained social capital, I can see clearly how people developing social network to obtained social capital which Allen, Colombo, & Whitaker (2009) called “incentivize cooperation”.

Topic of this week post is social capital/trust mechanism. In sequence, I will describe the two online communities (OCs) which I joined, compare the mechanism of their social capital, suggest some improvement for the sites, and conclude my post with questions proposed for my final project.

Comparing iFanboy with wikiHow

The first OC that I joined is a site for talking and discussion comic books, namely This site was developed in 2000 and targeted to people who like to read and share their opinion about comic books they read. In the section “About Us” on iFanboy website, there are general explanation about the site and description about site administrators. When joining to iFanboy, a user has to register for an account, provide login ID (name and password), create user’s name, provide Twitter name (optional), upload profile picture, and introduce self in a short paragraph. The second OC is The format of wikiHow is somewhat like Wikipedia. The main purpose of this site is a space for sharing collaborative work on “how-to manual”. wikiHow linked people from around the world and has 56 administrators who spread all over the world. Similar like iFanboy, at the section “About wikiHow”, information about this site can be found. When joining to wikiHow, a user also has to follow the same steps like in register for iFanboy. The difference of these sites is wikiHow asked for location and user’s blog/website instead of Twitter link.

Gleve, Welser, Lento, & Smith (2009) emphasized the important of social roles for improving social capital of OCs like Usenet and Wikipedia. Almost similar, Eryilmaz, Cochran & Kasemvilas (2009) highlighted the important of roles on establishing social trust on an emergence situation. Regarding to these two articles, I understand why it is important for implementing a highly moderating system through participation on either iFanboy or wikiHow. Like mentioned by Massa (2007), “worthiness” and “interestingness” are valuable social capital which come together with “the mass amateurisation” on providing information in the digital era. Therefore, having skilled and trained people to moderating discussion posting on the site will lower the risk of vandalism attack (Gleve, Welser, Lento, & Smith, 2009). The iFanboy has 8 administrator who also active contributors. These administrators are posting regularly to the site, commenting and responding to other participants post, and making sure that postings from participants are not overlap one another. The wikiHow has 56 administrators who spread all over the world. The posting on this site is not only in English, but also in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, Arabic, Italy, and Japanese. Administrators are representative of users in every region. They elected every year based on their reputation and contribution to wikiHow. What really impressed me from the site is a guidance email from region administrator. A new registered user will have an email from region administrator which contains links to manual/tutorial. The function of this manual is to make sure that the new member can participate in the right pattern like the site wants him to be. Because I register with Honolulu, Hawaii as my location, an administrator from Hawaii send an email to my inbox on the site, and guide about how I can participate on the site.

When people decide to participate in the OC, there are options for using the same identity like in the offline, or making a new identity. There is also possible for having more than a single identity on the OCs. Identity becomes a matter and also social capital for OCs (Williams, 2006; Massa, 2007; Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007). Most of OCs allows users to create their own persona online. Using an avatar on profile picture and created a pseudo-name are something usual and accepted in the OC. On the one hand, using pseudo persona online probably could protect the real-life persona from stalking and identity theft. However, pseudo persona is increasing the potentiality of “the dark side of online life” (Williams, 2006). iFanboy and wikiHow users can register using a pseudo persona (posted an avatar as picture profile and used a pseudo-name). This is particularly important for iFanboy users who are comic books lovers. The site gives them open opportunity to express their fantasy and impression to their favorite comic book characters. The large numbers of users are using a screenshot from comic book or a comic book character as their profile pictures. In contrast, on the wikiHow, users are more likely to use human picture as a profile picture, either a self-picture or picture of somebody else. In the same pattern, users used pseudo-names are large in numbers compare to users who use their real-name.

The next social capital that I want to discuss is linked and shared to social networking sites (SNS). In the article from Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2007), Massa (2007), William (2006), Allen, Colombo, & Whitaker (2009), we read how the SNS has created a social capital/trust mechanism that can potentially have a function to maintain social capital. Currently, the number of Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace users are kept improving. To increase popularity and easier for users to get update from the site, users recommended linking and sharing the post on this site to SNS. On the iFanboy, users can share their review, audio podcasts, and video podcasts through the whole bounce of SNS. Those SNS are Twitter, Facebook,, Reddit, Digg, MySpace, Stumbleupon, Technorati, and Google Buzz. Besides that, some administrators also link the post to their own blogs, websites, and other websites. Goodreads and Virb are some of websites which are new for me . Goodreads is an online book club/discussing forum. Virb is a website developing social software. One thing on iFanboy which caught my attention is it linked by some users to the site that not written in English. One that I found is a link to a site written in Thai language. This is an indicator that this site has been participated by international users. On the wikiHow, users can share posting with SNS like Facebook, Twitter, iGoogle, RSS Feeds, Google Buz, My Yahoo!, Email your friends, and an Apple Apps for iPhone. The wikiHow is the combination between wiki and blog. It used wiki format on posting information, and it used WordPress as a blog post platform. In addition, users encourage linking their post with their personal blog post and their SNS.

There are some social capitals that cannot be comparing side by side between these two OCs. I will use this paragraph to mention some of these social capitals. First, for iFanboy posts there are pulled, rating, and percentage pick of the week. Postings on the discussion forum appeared with talk bubbles. Member of the community can choose to pay for membership, give a donation, or just become a free member. The site has weekly TV shows and recordings of TV show are going viral on YouTube. Second, for wikiHow post there are rising start and tab for featured the post. The wikiHow users can also post suggestion about what they want other participants to write. As a writer, you can get a topic or idea to write from these suggestions. When you start to post, you will ask to verify, are your post are new contents which not overlapping former posts. In the site home page, when you log in, you can see the recent change keep dynamically moving updated. To focus on a post, you can click on the pause button on the dynamically moving posts of recent change.

Recommendation for improvement

In choosing the site, I not just randomly pick up one. I decided to choose sites that I will be continued on using and participating. Moreover, my basic knowledge about joining and searching for OCs influenced me on choosing these two sites. I used a blog entitle “50 Social Sites That Every Business Need to Presence On” to start searching on these two sites. I must admit that I have social capital motives on joining these sites. For iFanboy as an OC which sharing information on comic books, I would like to see the improvement in tree aspects. First, the site could have sections for sharing, lending, or donating comic books. I get this idea from Williams (2006) on “providing emotional support, access to scarce, mobilize solidarity, and givingness”. Second, instead of only having a link to Amazon, the site can also raise money by cooperating with stores which sell comic character merchandises. This suggestion operationalized the concept of social marketing of e-marketplaces mentioned on Massa (2007). Third, having an annual meeting, either online or face-to-face, will strengthen the feeling of belong to the community. This idea comes from Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2007) which underlined a positive relationship between OC used and “maintenance and creation of social capital”. For wikiHow, I want to see the improvement on how the site giving an incentive to cooperation (Allen, Colombo, Whitaker, 2009). The site already did this by having member to elect administrators who will represent their region. Nominating of the year for its users and giving them an award for their exceptional participation could be used as others incentive to cooperation.

Conclusion and tentative idea for final project

Doing the project for this class always gives me new ideas. I feel that every week posting can be turn into reflection papers and small research papers, because all the posting are based on a mini research project and analytical thinking. To conclude this week posting, I would like to mention ideas for my final project which also influence by this week readings about social capital/trust mechanism and relate with the emerging of the idea on web 3.0. Particularly, in the project, I want to compare between Mendeley and WizFolio. Both Mendeley and WizFolio are well known as a free, web-based tool for organizing research citations. Looking beyond these tools site, they also have members and formed a community. My tentative research questions are: 1) How Mendeley and WizFolio contributed on creating scholarly collaborative OCs for doing research? 2) What are the social capitals/trust mechanisms of these sites? Essentially, I will collect conversation through these sites discussions forum, analyzing contents on these sites blogs, and observe activities of the members on these sites. I would be open and happy to get feedbacks from you folks in this class about the suitable method for researching these sites.


Allen, S.M., Colombo, G., &Whitaker, R.M. (2009). Forming social networks of trust to incentivize cooperation. Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa, HI.

Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, C., and Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook "friends:" Social capital and college students' use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4). Retrieved from

Eryilmaz, E., Cochran, M., & Kasemvilas, S. (2009). Establishing trust management in an open source collaborative information repository: An emergency response information system case study. Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa.

Gleave, E., Welser,H.T., Lento, T.M., & Smith, M.A. (2009). A conceptual and operational definition of social role in online community. Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa, HI.

Massa, P. (2006). A survey of trust use and modeling in current real sSystems. Trust in e-services: technologies, practices and challenges. Retrieved from

Williams, D. (2006). On and off the 'Net: Scales for social capital in an online era. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(2), article 11. Retrieved from Wiley online library.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why we want to participate?

Summary of articles

Participation or content-driven of members was claimed by most of the authors in this week reading as the soul of online communities (OCs). It is impossible for the OCs to alive long lasting without active participation and highly motivated members (Ling, Beenen, Ludford, Wang, Chang, Li, Cosley, Frankowski, Terveen, Rashid, Resnick, & Kraut, 2005). Member’s participation in the OCs has some definite characteristics that similar to the motivation on join the real-life or face-to-face (f2f) communities (Ridings & Gefen, 2004). Thus, I can see that all the authors (Ridings & Gefen, 2004; Tedjamulia, Dean, Olsen, & Albercht, 2005; Ling, et al., 2005; Java, Finin, Song & Tseng, 2007; and Schrock, 2009) are coming in two agreements. First, motivation on joining f2f community can be used to analyze motivation on joining OCs. Second, researching members’ participation and goals of joining OCs will help to explain why there is OCs that going on top of popularity and the others become unpopular.

While I am read these five articles, I mapped the information into table. From this table, we can see that the articles are taken from 2004 until 2007. Every article focused on different OCs. Riding and Gefen (2004) looked at a bulletin board. Tedjamulia et al. (2005) analyzed several OCs like Slashdot, Opinion, and Coolsolutions. Online movie recommender,MoviLens was discussed by Ling et al (2005). Twitter became the focused interest of Java et al (2007). Last but not least, Schrock (2009) took a look at specifically on MySpace. Psychology theories were used frequently as model framework (Ridings & Gefen, 2004; Tedjamulia, et al, 2005; Ling et al., 2005; and Schrock, 2009). Besides that, there are also several theories that come from others field, such as Computer mediated communication(CMC) [Ridings & Gefen, 2004] and Social Network Theory (Java et al., 2007). Because of the used of different framework and methodology, there are various motivations on participation identified in these researchers and only one that similar, which is sharing/exchanging information (Ridings & Gefen, 2004; Tedjamulia, et al. (2005), Java, et al (2007); and Schrock, 2009).

Analyzing motivation to participation using my personal OCs

According to Ridings and Gefen (2004), the most popular reason for people to join a bulletin board is to exchanging information. They also emphasized that for communities on healthiness and occupational discussion, having social supports is the second most frequent reason. Differently, for OCs in hobbies and recreational, the second reason is searching for friendship. In addition, they contended that when people seeking information and social support on the OC, they are not necessary looking for friendship. However, friendship on the OC can help on searching information and social support. I can see these participants’ motivations are more likely the same like WiZiQ, the online teaching and learning forum where I become a member. WiZiQ allows me to teach and learn online, uploads, and stores my files online. In this forum, currently, I have 61 learners contact requests, 17 followers, 7 direct contacts, 40 learners access my resources, 22 members I am following, and one teacher I am learning from. Every time I conduct a class, I always encourage the class participants to give me feedback. I rarely got these feedbacks. While what happened was, frequently the learners send me email to ask for additional resources, request me to conduct a class with a specific topic, asking for advices, and ask permission to use my resources as their references. Therefore, I can conclude that the participants motivation to join WiZiQ is the same like the motivation to join bulletin board discussion on health and occupational, in Ridings and Gefen (2004) research. The participants tend to seek information and find a social support rather than to find friendships.

In contrast, I am totally not agree with what conclude in Schrock (2009) paper that said “…females had on average more computer anxiety, less computer self-efficacy, more extroversion and more ability to self-disclose information.” This result probably can be concluded for the research participants, or data that Schrock (2009) obtained. However, from my experience assisting online courses, having students discussion on NING and WALL, I tend to look at there is no significant different between male and female on those aspects mentioned in Schrock paper. Conversely, I assume that there are different between the educational system in Asia and America on sharping those elements. This assumption made based on my observation when look at the collaboration process between students in Hawaii with students from Japan. Students in Hawaii were taking initiative and leadership roles more compare to students from Japan when they joined on collaborative works. In my opinion, based on interactivity communication on the class discussion forum, the Japanese students tend to have less computer self-efficacy compare to students from Hawaii, while, in fact, their performances are almost the same.

Observation Results

I choose Amazon Kindle discussion forum as an OC to observe. At the time, this information was retrieved (February 12, 2011 – 1:11 PM), there 1,023 discussions topic with 4 current announcements. All of these 4 current announcements have more than 50 posts. I choose Announcement about “Kindle Book Lending Now available”, because this is the top discussion, in which has 252 new posts since the last time I visited the site, last week. I reached 62 posted from February 7, 2011 until February 12, 2011 (1:27 HST). The majority of posts were replies to other comments, 45 out of 62 posts. In total, 21 posts rated. As many as 15 posts rated as adds to the discussion and 6 posts rated as not add to the discussion. From prior post, the administrator will hide the posts which were considered not adds to the discussion. As a replacement, the administrator will show this statement, “Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion?” If you want to see the post you can click on the link which said, “Show post anyway.” From the discussion that I retrieved, there are no posts hide by the administrator. There was one post edited by the participant after initial post. Moreover, there was one post deleted. Majority posting were talked about technical problems on using Kindle rather than about the initial topic, lending book functionality on Kindle. Some participants showed their expertise experiences on using Kindle by answering lots of other users concerns or questions. Only two topics with the highest frequency that I consider highly related to the initial announcement. First is the time of lending Kindle Books (14 days). Second is concern on does this feature can be used on older generation Kindle-readers, the second generation.

Discussion and evaluation

Besides pointed 4 important OC’s users motivated participation factors, Riding and Gefen (2004) revealed the valuable of OC for its users. In the OC, users have the freedom to express their point of views, provide or request information, express their feeling, and give possible solutions. For me, WiZiQ is the place where I can go to broadcast my opinion without have to attend a classroom. On the other hand, for my followers in this forum, they have the freedom to provide opinions. Moreover, they can request a teacher to teach a specific topic. For learners who want to pay, they can choose their own teacher by considering the teacher qualification provided on teacher’s profile home page. From the Amazon Kindle discussion, I found a large number of posts from users suggested solutions for their peers on setting their Kindle reader and other technical assistances. Motivating participation on business OCs like Amazon not only depend on the member-generated content, but has to be balanced with self-sustaining by the company (Riding and Gefen, 2004). The self-sustaining can be in form announcement, initial posting, or by having extrinsic reinforcement (Tedjamulia, et al., 2005).

According to Tedjamulia et al. (2005), gifts, social recognition, and feedback are an effective method of extrinsic reinforcement. For classroom discussion, usually to driven the students on active participation, the instructor have to give a clear instruction and follow with given them a grade or credits. Asking questions and requested students to post their answers as replies to the initial posting are other methods on improving participation. In the business driven OCs, for a particular occasion, business owners implement the extrinsic reinforcement by giving a draw presents, discounts, gifts or special offer to their returning loyalty customers.

By giving extrinsic reinforcement, participants are reminded with their uniqueness as the member of the OCs (Ling, et al., 2005). This is an effective way to touch the feeling of participants. They will proud with recognition given by the community through their unique participation. How do you feel if you receive a calendar with your name on printed on it and congratulation from the OC that you have become the most active member in the prior year? You must be feeling proud of that and tend to be more active in the coming year.

Lastly, I would like to try to look at the relevancy of motivation of participation on Twitter (Java, et al, 2009) and MySpace (Schrock, 2009) with the OCs that I choose to be analyze in this blog. One of the motivations of participation on Twitter relates with motivation on participation on WiZiQ, Wall, and Amazon Kindle Discussion Forum is sharing information and URLs. Furthermore, from paper about MySpace, one of the motivations of participation related is about the self-efficacy of users on using computer.


To conclude this post, I would like to propose several variables for future research on motivation to participation in OCs. Regarding to extrinsic reinforcement (Tedjamulia et al., 2005), and reminding of the user uniqueness (Ling et al., 2005) there are 3 major variables can be pull out. Those variables are the process of moderating, post rating, and post flagging. It is also important to look at how the environment of the site influenced the motivation to participate (Tedjamulia, et al., 2005). Navigational features and additional interactivity tabs (permalink, report abuse, and ignore this customer function, examples from Kindle Discussion Forum) can make a sense for users that people are paying attention to their participation. Leader participant is another variable which must be considered. Leader participant is the person who posting regularly on the OC and acting as expertise for other participants. Getting help/support from this leader participant can be motivation for people to go back to the site for posting when they stuck with their problem.


Ridings, Catherine, and Gefen. (2004). Virtual Community Attraction: Why People Hang Out Online. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 10(1).

Ling, K., G. Beenen, P. Ludford, X. Wang, K. Chang, X. Li, D. Cosley, D. Frankowski, L. Terveen, A.M. Rashid, P. Resnick and R. Kraut (2005). Using Social Psychology to Motivate Contributions to Online Communities. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(4), article 10.

Tedjamulia, Steven J.J., David R. Olsen, Douglas L. Dean, Conan C. Albrecht (2005). Motivating Content Contributions to Online Communities: Toward a More Comprehensive Theory. Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

Schrock, Andrew (2009). Examining Social Media Usage: Technology Clusters and Social Network Site Membership. First Monday 14(1).

Java, Akshay, Xiaodan Song, Tim Finin and Belle Tseng (2007). Why We Twitter: Understanding the Microblogging Effect in User Intentions and Communities. Joint 9th WEBKDD and 1st SNA-KDD Workshop, 12 August 2007, San Jose, California.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reflection on Joined Online Communities

"In a relationship and it's complicated," most of you must be familiar with this post. You will be in this situation if you joined online community (OC) without well known how to maintain your participation on it. You feel engage with the communication, friendship, sharing-exchanging information, and convenient on purchasing products. By the same time, you experience receiving tons of waste email, overwhelming with the keep changing on navigation of the site features, and your information were shared to public without having a consent from you. The entire articles for this week, with an explicit or implicit tone, pointed the double blade of OC. LaRose, Eastin, & Gregg (2001) used the term "paradox". Galston (2000) questioned "Does the internet [OC] strengthen community?". Tedjamulia, Dean, Olsen, Albercht (2005) mentioned about valuable and invaluable contribution of OC's participants. Weeks (2009) and Albrechtslund (2008) mentioned about there are positive and negative effects of OC to personal and social system. Furthermore, a classic article from Licker and Taylor (1968) had made an excellent prediction about the paradox of OC.

I will start the discussion about paradox of OC by reflecting to my personal experiences. I will then end up the post with summary about the similarity and nonparallel pieces from the referred articles.

My Experience with Online Community

A not user-friendly navigational, informational, and transactional aspect on the OC (Java, Finin, Song, & Tseng, 2007) will be burning head, not only for novice users but also for veteran users. How do not your head get burn because normally you want to become more productive by joined the community, but you are wasting too much time to resolve the problem on these technical aspects (LaRose, Eastin, Gregg, 2001). However, for veteran users with more advanced computer skills and high self-efficacy, overcome the difficulty on technical problem on the Internet will be easier compare to the beginners who have the lower self-efficacy (LaRose et al, 2001). A good example for this is setting up account and privacy on Facebook (FB), as well as keeps up date with the innovation on this site. In my pilot project on looking at the adolescent awareness on security and etiquette of FB (The, H.Y., Kong, K., Masaki, E., Ackerman, L., Ayala, P., & Borengasser, C. (2010), I found that the majority of adolescents did not know how to use the setting of account and privacy on FB. As a reflection, if you are a FB user, did you notice that something has change in FB recently? Do you follow the innovation update of FB through its blog or other technology's blogs, or from news? Have you notice that now FB users have their personal email address tight with FB messages that named with user' Do you also have disabled the sharing of your personal information by FB through the apps that you joined on FB?

Now I will move to the consequence of getting unwanted email because of you joined a OC. Unwanted email or I prefer to called it wasted email has caused some people become stressful (Gregg, 2001; Galtson, 2000; La Rose et al, 2001). Usually, when you joined an OC and registered to their site, you will automatically subscribe to the OC site mailing list. You must get to know this earlier and realized about this. While a little bit tricky, you can set up your OC site account for only sending you the email that you are willing to read. Every site has the unique way on doing this setting. It will be useful to look at their online manual, help section, or get assistance from their customer services for performing the setting. Another important strategy is maintaining your email account management. All email services, currently, has email management system. You are allowed to create a folder for your incoming email. You are allowed to make a rule to short the incoming email to exact folder. You are allowed to block and identify incoming email as spam. Moreover, you are allowed to receive email forwarded from another email account that you have. Performing email management system will help you safe your time on shorting the email that has a priority to be responded.

The third important piece from the reading is about cyberspace. According to Albrechtslund (2008), the cyberspace is related with the physical space. This is contradicted with Licklider and Taylor (1968) that stated for OC the concept or proximity become less important. In some certain, Licklider and Taylor correct. With the improvement of computer and Internet technology, OC can help on mediated the relationship across the border of the country and region. There is no boundary for people to meet and interact online 24/7. I experience with what Licklider and Taylor predicted about 50 years ago when I utilized Elluminate, Skype, Google apps, WiZiQ, and Social Networking Website. Other amazing experiences are watch my local TV program live through and read my hometown newspaper, Pontianak post on their site. I also keep in touch with colleagues, in my field of study, through join professional education OC, such as,,,, and With a friend in Indonesia, I administrated as our personal blog. However, on the other hand, I also agree with Albrechtslund (2008). Through conferences OC, I can have communication online and also meet in person with people while we have our annual meeting. Through Second Life (SL) and IMVU, I can send my avatar to attend a meeting, a class, or a presentation. Furthermore, I want to show you one excellent online virtual conference that held by campus technology 2010. In this conference, the whole representation of physical space was represented in a good setting for the campus technology virtual conference sim.

Microblogging such as Twitter is also a unique OC. I am not an active Tweeter. Regarding to Tedjamulia et al (2005), my participation on Twitter can be labeled as a lucker. As mentioned by Java et al (2007), Twitter has been used particularly for daily chat, conversations, sharing information, and reporting news. I used Twitter in order to gain information and update from several technology blogs. Several names of those blogs are mashable, education week, the young and the digital, and Google blogs. The updates from these blogs are running quickly, and I could not read every single update of them. I feel the benefit of joining this running information, particularly for mining new resources and getting ideas for writing my research paper.

There are so many things to tell about my relationship with the OC. I still want to continue on telling a story about getting discount from online book store, benefit of free book for book club, and a free magazine send to me every month by an OC that I joined. It is also interesting for discussing apps on FB or Google by reflecting to the paper from Bernstein, Michael, Tan, Smith, Czerwinski, & Horvitz (2010) that focused on Collabio, a tagging game. More specific, it will be awesome to discuss IMVU and SL by making the connection with the concept of online identity and affective emotional such as mentioned by Bigge (2006). If I keep continuing those things, this blog will be too long for a session post. I will keep that for the next posting.

The similarities and differences from the referred articles

The common things that appear on all these referred paper are:

  1. Analyzing characteristics of OC in general or in specific (Twitter, Collabio, and Internet Paradox).
  2. Starting the discussion with the usability and functionality of OC and then narrow down to identify the impact of OC to its members and the society.
  3. Authors try to be neutral by provided in balance the discussion and evidence for positive and negative impact of OC to its members.
  4. The main purpose for doing the study is the author want to contribute on determine how the members of OC develop and benefit from join the community.

The uniqueness of each paper are:

  1. Using a different concepts or terms for starting the discussion about OC. For example, Java et al (2007) specified on understanding the usability of OC and Tedjamulia et al (2005) focused on motivating contribution of participants on OC.
  2. Convincing audiences by implementing different methods. For example, Biggie (2006), Albrechtslund (2008), and Galston (2000) wrote opinion papers; while Java et al (2007)and LaRose et al (2001) are using statistical data.
  3. Variables that become focus are specifically different and in my opinion will be adding exclusive contribution for developing the hypothetical and theoretical framework on analyzing OC.

Albrechtslund, A(2008). Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance. First Monday 13(3).

Bernstein, Michael, Tan, D., Smith, G., Czerwinski, M., & Horvitz, E. (2010). Personalization via Friendsourcing. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 17(2), Article 6.

Bigge, Ryan (2006). The Cost of (Anti-) Social Networks: Identity, Agency and Neo-Luddites" First Monday 11(12).

Galston, W. A. (2000). Does the Internet Strengthen Community? National Civic Review 89(3), 193-202.

LaRose, R., Eastin, M.S., & Gregg J. (2001). Reformulating the Internet Paradox: Social Cognitive Explanations of Internet Use and Depression. Journal of Online Behavior 1(2).

Licklider, J.C.R., and Taylor, R. (1968). The computer as a communication device.

The, H.Y., Kong, K., Masaki, E., Ackerman, L., Ayala, P., & Borengasser, C. (2010). Adolescent awareness of security and etiquette on Facebook. 33rd AECT 2010 Annual Conference Proceeding Volume 1.

Weeks, L. (2009). Social Responsibility and the Web: A Drama Unfolds. 8 January 2009.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Conceptions of Social Computing: A Blog Analysis

In this posting, I would like to discuss the blog post made by Zornic (Jan 8, 2011) entitle “[UPDATED] Democratic Rep. Grabrielle Giffords, 18 Others Shot at Even in Arizona; Judge, Child among Dead”. The discussion starts with identification of blog characteristics, elements, and structures. Analyzing the relation of what I identified with prior research about blogging will be following the discussion. The discussion closes with definition of social computing and identification of it impact to social life.

Blog’s Identification

Zornick posted the blog about shooting tragedy of Giffords on Jan 8. 2010 at 2:14 pm. The Blog post was published on, which is a news-blog post from Center for American Progress Action Fund. In the title, author put the word UPDATE in parentheses with capitalized to show that this blog was showed the update of what happened after the tragedy. Blog post were made as describe what happened with quoted statements from eminent politicians, such as Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Kelly, and President Barack Obama. The text-post was featured with pictures as well as links to other blog post related with the topic. There are 13 links of resources provided. The list of those cited resources was posted at the end of the blog post.

The blogger allowed readers to mashup the blog post with other social networking tools. When it was retrieved, January 11, 2011 at 08.30PM, the blog post had been tweeted by 46 users and liked by 857 Facebook users. In total, 1891 comments were posted for this blog. The blog comment area was featured with “like” tab and “reply” tab. In the comments, it was clear those readers not only commenting, but they were arguing, insulting one another, and flagging other reader’s comments. For examples, “So don't put your stupid words into my mouth”, “go f*** yourself you subhuman f***”, “Look in the mirror you Leftist hate monger!”, and “This comment was flagged for review.” The blog post comments can also being shorts in fourth modes: popular now, best rating, newest first, and older first. The blog post can be subscribed with email or RSS feed. Links for users to contact the blogger and make a donation, advertisements, blog rolls, and archives drop down menu are some additional features that can be found on this blog.


According to Blood (2002), blog genre can be divided into filters, personal journals, and notebooks. While as, Krishnamurthy (2002) categorize blog genre into fourth, which are online diaries, support group, enhanced column, and collaborative content. Enhanced column on Krishnamurthy by Halavais (2002) and Herring, Scheidt, Bonus, and Wright (2004) was identified has the same characteristics with filters. Zornic’s blog (Jan 8, 2011) can be categorized as filters blog. Where the blog post has these three characteristics: 1) the blog post content are about current events, which just happened and has a big impact to people, especially for people in Arizona, USA; 2) the blogs were posted for external information; and 3) readers can react and make a comment to the events in the blog comment area. In term of structural features, the blog has most of feature mentioned on Herring, et al. (2004). Those freatures are “archives, badges, images, comments allowed, link to email blog author, ads, and search function (p.7)”.

Blogging sites have improved in quantity and quality. Design recommendation mentioned on Nardi, Schiano, and Gumbrech (2004) for improving blogging systems was mostly accomplished being embedded on current blogging sites, including the blog that analyzed in this post. The figure below showed the relation of what being recommended by Nardi et al. (2004) with the existing blogging structures and features.

In the analyzed blog, Zornic (Jan 8, 2011), we can also see the mashups mentioned by Beer and Burrows (2007) happened. Most of blogging sites, like this one is now mashups with web 2.0 tools. Zornic’s blog enables the reader for tweeting the blogs, using Facebook to show their like the blog, printing friendly the blog, and feeding the blog with RSS or email. With the possibility to link the blog post with other popular social networking websites such as, Twitter and Facebook will increase the popularity of the blog.

In one hand, the development of social computing has positive impacts that we mentioned which are more features and more options. On the other hand, it also has negative impacts for social life. Some of these negative impacts mentioned by Boyd and Ellison (2007) are difficulty on differentiate the truth and not truth, difficulty on controlling privacy, and change in social interaction online. These negative impacts clearly can be identified from Zornick’s blog (Jan 8, 2011). When the tragedy happened, the blogger want to deliver the information quickly, while as the information still not being verified. The blogger could not explain the accuracy of information, except mentioned some unverified information. When the comment of blog posting is enabling for everyone, there is a possibility of coming in to the comment post, the inappropriate posting. The blogger seems try to maintain the comment by flagging inappropriate comments, but other inappropriate comments still keep come into the comment forum. Moreover, disagreeing on posting, and different on political ideology, religion, ethnicity, etc. caused the readers of this blog involved on online conflict, which is the latent functionality of the social computing.


Social computing is a study that concern about the emerging and transforming of social behavior with the improvement of communication and interaction through the online platform. The online platform can be blogs, social networking sites, instant messaging (IM), etc. The positive aspects of improvement in social computing are 1) news and information can be broadcasted quickly to the entire world people without restriction of time and region; 2) people can have collaboration on improving knowledge and research; and 3) the free version of the tools can be used as an alternative to replace pay version software. The negative impact of social computing are 1) challenge of the quality and trustiness of information; 2) challenge on providing privacy and security for sites/tools users; and 3) challenge on developing suitable ethic regarding to copyright and property rights.


Blood, R. (2002). The weblog handbook: Practical advice on creating and maintaining your blog. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Pub.

Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Retrieved from

Halavais, A. (2002). Blogs and the “Social Weather. Internet Research 30.

Herring, S. C., Scheidt, L. A., Bonus, S., & Wright, E. (2004). Bridging the gap: A genre analysis of weblogs. 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2004 Proceedings of the (Vol. 0, pp. 101-111). Ieee. Retrieved from

Krishnamurthy, S. (2002). The Multidimensionality of Blog Conversations: The Virtual Enactment of September 11. Internet Research 30 (Vol. 3).

Nardi, B. A., Schiano, D. J., & Gumbrecht, M. (2004). Blogging as social activity, or, would you let 900 million people read your diary? Proceedings of the 2004 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work CSCW 04 (Vol. 6, pp. 222-231). ACM Press. Retrieved from

Zornic, G., (Jan 8, 2011). [UPDATED] Democratic Rep. Grabrielle Giffords, 18 Others Shot at Even in Arizona; Judge, Child among Dead. Retrieved from

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