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Book part
Publication date: 3 November 2014

Emma Hutchinson

To examine the potential for including forums in an online ethnography that draws on data from multiple online sites.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the potential for including forums in an online ethnography that draws on data from multiple online sites.

Methodology/approach

Taking a broadly post-structuralist approach to identity and embodiment online, the research drew on three sources of data: asynchronous email interviews, in-game participant observation and six months of forum observation.

Findings

The community in question was socially located around multiple field sites online and forums remain an integral part of the social lives of online gamers. The practice and ethics for examining forums from a qualitative perspective are outlined and how this can fit into an ethnographic account. Some of the data is then presented from this strand of the research to illustrate how researching a forum as a ‘lurker’ can complement theoretical trajectories and analyses from other parts of the dataset.

Originality

This research details a novel way of examining forums qualitatively as part of a larger dataset. Furthermore, the chapter posits how relatively unobtrusive methods of observation can bring to the fore the ways in which prejudice still structures online social interaction.

Details

Big Data? Qualitative Approaches to Digital Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-050-6

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2007

Emmanuelle Vaast

To investigate the presentation of self of participants in occupational online forums.

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the presentation of self of participants in occupational online forums.

Design/methodology/approach

Interpretation of more than 300 profiles of participants to a banking‐related occupational online forum based on Goffman's seminal analysis of presentation of self and on the literature on mystification and fragmentation in virtual environments.

Findings

Contributors to the occupational online forum adopted one of several main categories of profiles. These categories differed in the degree of detail with which profiles were filled and showed that forum users chose a certain degree of mystification or de‐mystification for their profile. The presentation of self in the online occupational forum was related to the presentation in offline environments, such as in the workplace as well as to other online contexts, such as in electronic chats. The categories of profiles were also associated with strikingly different registration dates and number of posts per year and per contributor.

Research limitations/implications

The research analyzed only the profiles of contributors to the online forum, but not their motivations or posts.

Practical implications

Employees and employers should hone their ability to present online information about themselves and to interpret the virtual image(s) others present.

Originality/value

This paper covers: grounded categorization of adopted fronts in occupational online forums; conceptualization of the presentation of self in online environments as related to the participation of multiple online and offline social contexts; identification of simultaneous processes of fragmentation and continuity at play in online forums through their participants' presentation of self.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Tri D. Le

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of word-of-mouth (WOM) types, WOM valence, content types and discussion topics of user posts on online engagement in two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of word-of-mouth (WOM) types, WOM valence, content types and discussion topics of user posts on online engagement in two channels of a consumption community. The posts are composed by users on the discussion forum and shared to the Facebook channel of the consumption community by the administrators.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this study were obtained from a popular car consumption community in Vietnam. A total of 505 user posts on the discussion forum were manually coded and assigned to WOM types, valence and content characteristics. The online engagement metrics were measured by the number of views and replies on the discussion forum, and the number of likes, comments and shares on Facebook.

Findings

The results indicate that the WOM types and valence have a significant impact on online engagement and the popularity of posts on Facebook is associated with the number of views on a discussion forum. The content type and discussion topic partially influence some factors of the online engagement metrics.

Practical implications

The findings are helpful for consumption community administrators to understand and manage their users’ engagement. Moreover, it indirectly supports brands and companies, since the consumption communities also include sub-communities of particular brands and marketers cooperate with consumption communities for their social media marketing strategies.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature of online engagement in two aspects. First, this study examines the impact of WOM types and valence. Second, this is the first study investigating the effects of posts by users within an information flow from a discussion forum to Facebook.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Micheal Moos van Wyk

This paper aims to explore student teachers’ views related to the online academic support e-tools used under the COVID-19 lockdown.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore student teachers’ views related to the online academic support e-tools used under the COVID-19 lockdown.

Design/methodology/approach

Mapping a pragmatic research approach, an explanatory mixed methods design was used for the study.

Findings

Empirical evidence revealed that student teachers were satisfied and experienced the academic support tools as being positively applied to their online learning. Furthermore, it is reported that student teachers preferred the discussion forum as the most appropriate academic support e-tool in the course under coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory pragmatic study extends the knowledge of the online academic support e-tools for an open distance e-learning (ODeL) context that was used under COVID-19 lockdown. This study provides additional evidence concerning a revised academic support frame for an ODeL online learning context. Research limitations: small sample size was used, and therefore caution must be applied, as the findings might not be transferable to a similar context. The current study has only examined a teacher education course and could not be generalised to similar conditions as those under COVID-19 lockdown. This exploratory research has raised many questions that require further investigation. More research is required to determine the efficacy of the academic support e-tools with regard to student learning in other online courses and contexts.

Practical implications

The student teachers that participated in this study were empowered to using the academic support e-tools to support them under COVID-19 lockdown. The discussion was mostly preferred academic supportive e-tool as an engaged, participatory and communicative platform for accelerated learning in the teaching methodology of economics course.

Originality/value

A noteworthy contribution was made in the design and testing of the reliability of methodological tools, which could be replicated in blended and ODeL contexts.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Nan Zhang

This paper aims to explore the roles Web 2.0 applications play in niche cultures such as rock music diffusion.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the roles Web 2.0 applications play in niche cultures such as rock music diffusion.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper aims to examine the influence of online forums on fans of rock music and to validate the intermediating roles of the cognitive variables.

Findings

The results show that the three factors associated with innovation diffusion theory play different intermediating roles in the relationship between the stickiness of online forums (their ability to make users stay longer and return) and the levels of appreciation displayed by fans of rock music. While stickiness shows a significant positive impact on an individual's perception and image of a rock band, visibility has a significant negative influence on the individual's level of enthusiasm for the band.

Research limitations/implications

Additional data and measures are required for in‐depth investigations of other cultural contexts.

Practical implications

The study could be helpful for determining the influence of online forums on rock music diffusion and for planning innovative promotions and sales strategies for rock bands. Moreover the findings could be applicable to the marketing and promotion of other niche culture items.

Originality/value

This study's originality lies in confirming the intermediating roles of the cognitive variables based on innovation diffusion theory between online forums' stickiness and appreciation of rock bands by using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach and then by showing the opportunities and challenges provided by networking to rock music.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Dennis A. Pitta and Danielle Fowler

To explore an emerging area in internet practice that has implication for consumer marketers.

Abstract

Purpose

To explore an emerging area in internet practice that has implication for consumer marketers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates concepts including a range of recently published (1993‐2004) theoretical works and ongoing case developments in internet practice.

Findings

Provides information and action approaches to consumer marketers that may increase the success, providing want‐satisfying market offerings. Outlines the market research benefits of monitoring and participating in internet community forums and offers practical suggestions for maximizing their value in the marketing and marketing research. It also provides a series of tactics that consumer marketers may use to maximize the value of internet community forums for their firms.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical concepts that form the foundation of the paper appear to have a significant application to consumer marketing, but have not been tested empirically.

Practical implications

Uncovers a previously unrecognized source of direct consumer input and cooperation in the design and valuation of new products and the identification of emerging consumer wants.

Originality/value

This paper describes the nature and application of internet community forums to an important marketing process. It offers the potential of increasing marketing success by clearly and accurately identifying the wants of specific market segments.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Wei Zhang and Stephanie Watts

The purpose of this paper is to investigate to which extent the concept of communities of practice (CoPs) can be applied to online communities and to explore how

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate to which extent the concept of communities of practice (CoPs) can be applied to online communities and to explore how organizations can better utilize online social structures for their knowledge management practice.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was used to examine an online community with the practice‐and‐identity framework that characterizes conventional CoPs. Qualitative data analysis was conducted primarily on 7,853 messages downloaded from the online community during a six week period.

Findings

The results showed how an online community could manifest the practice and identity characteristics of conventional CoPs as community members actively engaged in their shared practice and identity development while pursuing a joint enterprise. Research limitations/implicationsThe study was conducted in a single Chinese online community on traveling, which may limit the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

This study suggested how organizations can nurture online CoPs. In addition, a hierarchical model was proposed to help organizations identify the appropriate online social structure for their knowledge management purposes. Originality/valueThis study empirically verified that CoPs can emerge from online communities and demonstrated that the concept of CoPs can be used to guide knowledge sharing and knowledge creation in online environments.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2019

Chuan Luo, Xin Luo and Ning Ma

The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of review group’s content-related and environment-associated attributes on information adoption intention of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of review group’s content-related and environment-associated attributes on information adoption intention of information readers. In addition, this study further investigates the effects of these determinants in different websites with different commercial attributes (i.e. online stores and third party forums).

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a structured online survey to collect data from an online store and a third party forum in China; totally 302 responses were collected.

Findings

The empirical results confirm that all of the five determinants significantly affect the information adoption intention of information readers. Furthermore, the authors found that four of the determinants have distinct effects in different websites.

Originality/value

The findings of this study validate the significant moderating role of website attributes in readers’ information processing. Information readers use distinct criteria to evaluate the received review information; electronic word-of-mouth determinants have varying effects on different websites with different commercial attributes.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Judith McNamara and Catherine Brown

The purpose of this paper is to examine how online discussion can be used in work‐integrated learning as a vehicle for students to demonstrate their learning in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how online discussion can be used in work‐integrated learning as a vehicle for students to demonstrate their learning in the workplace and to facilitate collaborative learning where face‐to‐face classes are not feasible.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper evaluates the use of assessable online discussion in facilitating collaborative learning and scaffolding reflection in work placement subjects. It reviews the literature regarding the use of online discussion, particularly for work placement subjects, and evaluates the use of an online discussion forum in a case study subject in the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) undergraduate law course.

Findings

The paper suggests that assessable online discussion forums are appropriate to facilitate student collaboration and collaborative learning in work placement subjects.

Originality/value

The paper is original in its examination of the assessment of online discussion in a work‐integrated learning context.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2015

Matthew H. Rafalow

This study illustrates how youth and young adults use boundary-making processes to create a regulated community online.

Abstract

Purpose

This study illustrates how youth and young adults use boundary-making processes to create a regulated community online.

Methodology/approach

Ethnographic methods are used to compare deviance models of internet participation with work on digital youth culture.

Findings

This paper finds that digital youth draw boundaries around three categories of participation (n00bs, trolls, and idols) to identify new people who need help, ward off bullies, and uphold community ideals.

Originality/value

Contrary to deviance perspectives, this study finds that digital youth use boundary-making processes to cultivate a civil online community.

Details

Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-265-8

Keywords

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