Jiang Yang, Meredith Ringel Morris, Jaime Teevan, Lada A. Adamic, and Mark S. Ackerman
Online social networking tools are used around the world by people to ask questions of their friends, because friends pro-vide direct, reliable, contextualized, and interactive respons-es. However, although the tools used in different cultures for question asking are often very similar, the way they are used can be very different, reflecting unique inherent cultur-al characteristics. We present the results of a survey de-signed to elicit cultural differences in people’s social ques-tion asking behaviors across the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and India. The survey received responses from 933 people distributed across the four countries who held similar job roles and were employed by a single organ-ization. Responses included information about the questions they ask via social networking tools, and their motivations for asking and answering questions online. The results re-veal culture as a consistently significant factor in predicting people’s social question and answer behavior. The promi-nent cultural differences we observe might be traced to peo-ple’s inherent cultural characteristics (e.g., their cognitive patterns and social orientation), and should be comprehen-sively considered in designing social search systems.
In Proceedings of ICWSM 2011
Publisher Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Copyright © 2011, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (www.aaai.org). All rights reserved.