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Analytical Dimensions for Online Gift-giving: ‘other oriented’ contributions in virtual communities
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDA - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Web-based Communities, ISSN 1477-8394 (print) 1741-8216 (online), Vol. 3, no 1, 55-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents five analytical dimensions regarding online gift giving. The dimensions were derived through a six-month ethnographic study of two co-evolving online communities (one web-based and one application-based). The dimensions are: initiative (active/passive), direction (public/private), incentive (enforced/voluntary), identification (anonymous/recognised) and limitation (open/restrictive). Gifting is a central human activity in many communities, both offline and online. Also, it is, in many ways, a convivial and collaborative activity with a rich history of functioning as a social membrane, which could be at the very core of community management. However, research on the relational and structural embeddedness of gifting in technology-mediated contexts is in its infancy. Consequently, it is suggested that the presented gifting dimensions will support the comparison of similar technologies with dissimilar social effects; that they can aid in using social practices to simplify, or improve, a technical implementation; and that they provide a clearer picture of the requirements of gifting technologies and the social objectives and needs of gifting individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 3, no 1, 55-68 p.
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13303DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2007.013774OAI: diva2:18268
Available from: 2008-05-21 Created: 2008-05-21
In thesis
1. Gifting Technologies: Ethnographic Studies of End-users and Social Media Sharing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gifting Technologies: Ethnographic Studies of End-users and Social Media Sharing
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores what dimensions that can be used to describe and compare the sociotechnical practice of content contribution in online sharing networks. Data was collected through online ethnographical methods, focusing on end-users in three large media sharing networks. The method includes forum message elicitation, online interviews, and application use and observation. Gift-giving was used as an applied theoretical framework and the data was analyzed by theory-informed thematic analysis. The results of the analysis recount four interrelated themes: what kind of content is given; to whom is it given; how is it given; and why is it given? The five papers in this thesis covers the four themes accordingly: Paper I presents the research area and proposes some initial gifting dimensions that are developed over the following papers. Paper II proposes a model for identifying conflicts of interest that arise for end-users when considering different types of potential receivers. Paper III presents five analytical dimensions for representing how online content is given. The dimensions are: direction (private-public); identification (anonymous-identified); initiative (active-passive); incentive (voluntary-enforced); and limitation (open-restricted). Paper IV investigates photosharing practices and reveals how social metadata, attached to media objects, are included in sharing practices. The final paper further explores how end-users draw on social metadata to communicate bonding intentions when gifting media content. A general methodological contribution is the utilization of sociotechnical conflicts as units of analysis. These conflicts prove helpful in predicting, postulating and researching end-user innovation and conflict coordination. It is suggested that the conflicts also provide potent ways for interaction design and systems development to take end-user concerns and intentions on board.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping, Sweden: Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköpings universitet, 2008. 94 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1185
Sociala medier, virtuell etnografi, fildelning, gåvor
National Category
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11865 (URN)978-91-7393-892-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-10, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)

Article no. 1 is published 2004 in First Monday Vol 9, nr 12 and re-published 2005 in First Monday, Special Issue #1: Music and the Internet.

Available from: 2008-05-21 Created: 2008-05-21 Last updated: 2014-04-24

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