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ERIC Number: ED520239
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 308
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-7802-1
Network Analysis of Shared Interests Represented by Social Bookmarking Behaviors
Oh, Jung Sun
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Social bookmarking is a new phenomenon characterized by a number of features including active user participation, open and collective discovery of resources, and user-generated metadata. Among others, this study pays particular attention to its nature of being at the intersection of personal information space and social information space. While users of a social bookmarking site create and maintain their own bookmark collections, the users' personal information spaces, in aggregate, build up the information space of the site as a whole. The overall goal of this study is to understand how social information space may emerge when personal information spaces of users intersect and overlap with shared interests. The main purpose of the study is two-fold: first, to see whether and how we can identify shared interest space(s) within the general information space of a social bookmarking site; and second, to evaluate the applicability of social network analysis to this end. "", one of the most successful instances of social bookmarking, was chosen as the case. The study was carried out in three phases asking separate yet interrelated questions concerning the overall level of interest overlap, the structural patterns in the network of users connected by shared interests, and the communities of interest within the network. The results indicate that, while individual users of "" have a broad range of diverse interests, there is a considerable level of overlap and commonality, providing a ground for creating implicit networks of users with shared interests. The networks constructed based on common bookmarks revealed intriguing structural patterns commonly found in well-established social systems, including a core periphery structure with a high level of connectivity, which form a basis for efficient information sharing and knowledge transfer. Furthermore, an exploratory analysis of the network communities showed that each community has a distinct theme defining the shared interests of its members, at a high level of coherence. Overall, the results suggest that networks of people with shared interests can be induced from their social bookmarking behaviors and such networks can provide a venue for investigating social mechanisms of information sharing in this new information environment. Future research can be built upon the methods and findings of this study to further explore the implication of the emergent and implicit network of shared interests. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A