What do virtual “tells” tell? Placing cybersociety research into a hierarchy of social explanation

Quentin Jones, Sheizaf Rafaeli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Like archaeological Tells, large mounds resulting from the accumulation of human settlement debris, the remains of virtual communities can inform researchers about phenomena operating at many levels. However, for excavations to be effective they need to be conducted within the framework of a scientific research program. The theory of interactive communication in cyber places developed here distinguishes between the social relationships that emerge from interactive group computer-mediated communication, and the cyber places where such communication occurs. It also links the density and form of cyber material to communication technology types. In so doing, it identifies four distinct levels of analysis. These are: i) individual behavior or social theory; ii) spatial and temporal patterning of artifacts in cyberspace; iii) technology and the parameters of human interaction; and iv) cyber-ecology or online behavior and resource supply. The recognition of four distinct levels of analysis allows for the production of a hierarchy of social explanation for cybersociety. To date the majority of research into online behavior has focused on the level of social theory. However, a balanced understanding of all levels of the hierarchy is preferable. The theory outlined is also linked to a research program into the material aspects of computer-mediated communication. Research into this under represented level should inform e-commerce strategists as well as those interested in usability as a group level concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2000
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)0769504930
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2000 - Maui, United States
Duration: Jan 4 2000Jan 7 2000

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2000-January
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2000
CountryUnited States
CityMaui
Period1/4/001/7/00

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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