Assessing Differential Usage of Usenet Social Accounting Meta-Data

We describe a usage study of Netscan\Tech, a system that generates and publishes daily a range of social metrics across three dimensions: newsgroup, author, and thread, for a set of approximately 15,000 technical newsgroups in Usenet. We bring together three interlinked datasets: survey data, usage log data and social accounting data from Usenet participation, to triangulate the relationship between various user roles and differential usage of social metrics in Netscan\Tech. We found our most frequent users focused on information related to individual authors far more than any other information provided. In contrast, users that visited less frequently focused more on information related to newsgroups and viewing newsgroup metrics. Our results suggest features that designers and developers of online communities may wish to include in their interfaces to support the cultivation of different community roles.

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Publisher  Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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