社交网络与互联网连接效应

关系越强的人交流的媒介越多,关系越弱的人交流的媒介越少

本文探索了传播媒介和互联网对人们之间的连接性(connectivity)的影响,这一研究的背景是一系列针对社交网络媒介使用的研究,它们考察了一个学术研究团队成员和远程学习者所能使用到的所有媒介。通过询问媒介使用和传播双方的关系强度,研究发现:那些存在着强连带的人们(较之那些存在弱连带的人)会使用更多类型的媒介;此外,团体内部的媒介使用符合一个一维量表(unidimensional scale),展现了这样一种格局,即使用不同层级(tiers)的媒介使用者支持不同关系强度的社交网络。这些结论导向了一些关于媒介和互联网连接性的应用,包括:媒介应用状况如何被引入到社交网络连带的特征中;如何通过引入以媒介来为团体内部成员创造潜在连带(latent tie)连接性,为激活弱连带提供技术手段;媒介的变化如何会破坏现有的弱连结网络;媒介使用层(tiers)如何揭示不同媒介支持不同类型的信息流动;组织层面有关提供/推广哪种媒介的重要意义。文章以互联网效应的应用讨论作为结尾。


作者在本文中提出了著名的Media multiplexity(媒介多样性理论?)的概念:更强关联的交流着会使用更多类型的媒介形式。传播内容并不会因为媒介的不同而有所不同,而主要取决于关系类型:仅有工作关系的人讨论的仅为工作,朋友关系的人会讨论更多情感和社交话题——并不存在着在某个媒介只说某类型话题的状况。不同关系类型对媒介使用影响的另一个关键的发现是,媒介使用状况是符合一个一维量表的,仅使用某种单一类型媒介的人,其所使用的媒介更可能是相同的;使用两种媒介的人,也是倾向于选择两种相同的媒介。


研究还发现前述有关社交网络连接和媒介使用的理论对互联网角色也有重要应用。

原文题目:Social networks and Internet connectivity effects

原文摘要等:

Abstract


This paper explores the impact of communication media and the Internet on connectivity between people. Results from a series of social network studies of media use are used as background for exploration of these impacts. These studies explored the use of all available media among members of an academic research group and among distance learners. Asking about media use as well as about the strength of the tie between communicating pairs revealed that those more strongly tied used more media to communicate than weak ties, and that media use within groups conformed to a unidimensional scale, showing a configuration of different tiers of media use supporting social networks of different ties strengths. These results lead to a number of implications regarding media and Internet connectivity, including: how media use can be added to characteristics of social network ties; how introducing a medium can create latent tie connectivity among group members that provides the technical means for activating weak ties, and also how a change in a medium can disrupt existing weak tie networks; how the tiers of media use also suggest that certain media support different kinds of information flow; and the importance of organization-level decisions about what media to provide and promote. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for Internet effects.



Media multiplexity
In both the Cerise and LEEP environments, indicators of a stronger tie – greater communication, maintenance of more relations (relational multiplexity), and of relations that include emotional and social support – are found hand in hand with the use of more means of communication. Asking ‘who talks to whom about what and via which media’ revealed the unexpected result that more strongly tied pairs make use of more of the available media, a phenomenon I have termed media multiplexity. (This result has also been found by Koku et al. (2001) for communication patterns of distributed scholars, with those with stronger ties using more means of communication.)

While the number of media used differs by tie strength, what is communicated does not differ by medium. It does, however, differ by the type of tie: work-only pairs communicate about work relations; pairs who combine work and friendship communicate about both work and social relations; and friends include more emotional and social communication than non-friends. However, none of these kinds of pairs systematically allocates communications of particular types to particular media (Haythornthwaite 2000, 2001, 2002a, 2003).

More significantly for the differential impact of ties on media use (and vice versa) is the finding that, within a group, use of media conforms to a unidimensional scale: those who use only one medium, use the same one medium; those who use two, tend to use the same second medium, etc. In the co-located Cerise group, the unidimensional scale for overall communication shows: (1) Face-to-face Unscheduled meetings, (2) Scheduled meetings, (3) email, then (4) ‘Other’ media, a combination of infrequently used media: phone, fax, and an under-development videoconference system (Guttman scaling: Coefficient of Reproducibility (CR)=0.92; 10 per cent cutoff (CR=0.90) accepted as indication of a fit to a unidimensional scale; McIver & Carmines 1981). In two LEEP classes for which the response rate was sufficient to measure conformity to a unidimensional scale, use of media was ordered as: Class F97: IRC, Webboard, email, then phone (CR=0.99); Class F98: IRC, email, then phone (CR=0.94).

This ordered pattern of media use reveals that one or at most two media connect nearly everyone in each group, while other media connect only strongly tied pairs. For the distance classes, it is IRC that connects nearly all members of the class – both weakly and strongly tied pairs – with email added to an IRC ‘base’ only by those with stronger work or friendship ties (see Figures 1 and 2). In class F97 in particular, email connections show a clear association with work ties, as the patterns reflect the arrangement of class members into group projects (see Figure 1). When we look at work and social communication separately in Cerise (Figure 3), we see that email plays a special role for those maintaining closer social ties: communication for overall work is accomplished almost equally via scheduled meetings and email, but socializing via email is reserved for a much smaller subset of overall contacts (note that the Guttman scaling for media use given above was calculated for overall communication). These figures show how media use settles into several tiers of media use, each supporting ties of different strengths. They also show that across these groups there are media-based, group-wide networks that are also tie-strength related: Unscheduled meetings or IRC connecting all pairs, but particularly weakly tied pairs, and email networks connecting strongly tied work or social pairs.

作者:Caroline Haythornthwaite
Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 501 East Daniel Street, Champaign, tIL, 61822, USA
Read more from Information, Communication & Society.
To cite this article: Caroline Haythornthwaite (2005): Social networks and Internet connectivity effects, Information, Communication & Society, 8:2, 125-147

下载链接:Social networks and Internet connectivity effects_13691180500146185


Comments are closed.



无觅相关文章插件