Picturing Usenet: Mapping Computer-Mediated Collective Action

Usenet is a complex socio-technical phenomenon, containing vast quantities of information. The sheer scope and complexity make it a challenge to understand the many dimensions across which people and communication are interlinked. In this work, we present visualizations of several aspects and scales of Usenet that combine to highlight the range of variation found in newsgroups. We examine variations within hierarchies, newsgroups, authors, and social networks. We find a remarkable diversity, with clear variations that mark starting points for mapping the broad sweep of behavior found in this and other social cyberspaces. Our findings provide the basis for initial recommendations for those cultivating, managing, contributing, or consuming collectively constructed conversational content.

Publisher  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
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