My dissertation, “The Sharing of Wonderful Ideas: Influence and Interaction in Online Communities of Creators,” addressed how people in online communities create, influence one another, and share knowledge. Online communities of creators are sociotechnical systems that emphasize 1) people sharing their original creations, 2) discussing one another’s work, and 3) associating particular contributions with their creators. I did this work with two communities, the Scratch Online Community and the Computer Clubhouse Village. The research investigations included 1) a series of quantitative analysis of the communities’ behavioral patterns, identifying the factors that predict members’ influence and how new features were adopted by users and 2) an ethnography of a after-school Scratch club and their experiences when the Scratch web site went live. I also developed a social network visualization tool for the members of communities like these.
Sylvan, E. (2010). Predicting influence in an online community of creators. In Proc. of CHI ’10. April 10 – 15, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ACM New York, NY, 1913-1916. [pdf]
Sylvan, E. A. (2010). Predicting social influence and project influence in Online Communities of Creators. In Proc. of the ICLS ’09 Vol.2 June 29 – July 02, 2010, Chicago, Illinois, 455-457.