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Gifting Technologies: Ethnographic Studies of End-users and Social Media Sharing
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1185
Keyword [sv]
Sociala medier, virtuell etnografi, fildelning, gåvor
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11865ISBN: 978-91-7393-892-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-11865DiVA: diva2:18271
Public defence
2008-06-10, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

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
List of papers
1. Gifting Technologies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gifting Technologies
2004 (English)In: First Monday, ISSN 1396-0466, E-ISSN 1396-0466, Vol. 9, no 12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

File–sharing has become very popular in recent years, but for many this has become synonymous with file–getting. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that people have strong giving (or gifting) needs. This evidence suggests an opportunity for the development of gifting technologies — and it also suggests an important research question and challenge: what needs and concerns do gifters have and what technologies can be developed to help them? In this paper, we discuss the existing literature on gifting, report on an initial study of gifting in an online sharing community, and suggest some ways the study results can inform future research into gifting desires — as well as the design of specific gifting technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
First Monday, 2004
Keyword
Gifts, P2P, File-Sharing, Open Source
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13301 (URN)10.5210/fm.v0i0.1457 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-05-21 Created: 2008-05-21 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved
2. File-Sharing Relationships: conflicts of interest in online gift-giving
Open this publication in new window or tab >>File-Sharing Relationships: conflicts of interest in online gift-giving
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Communities and Technologies, 2005, 111-127 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper suggests a relationship model for describing, analyzing and foreseeing conflicts of interest in file-sharing networks. The model includes levels of relationship ranging from the individual (ego), to the small group of close peers (micro), to a larger network of acquaintances (meso) to the anonymous larger network (macro). It is argued that an important focal point for analysis of cooperation and conflict is situated in the relations between these levels. Three examples of conflicts from a studied file-sharing network are presented. Finally, the relationship model is discussed in terms of applicability to other domains, recreational as well as professional.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13302 (URN)10.1007/1-4020-3591-8_7 (DOI)978-1-4020-3590-6 (Print) 978-1-4020-3591-3 (Online) (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-05-21 Created: 2008-05-21 Last updated: 2010-01-13
3. Analytical Dimensions for Online Gift-giving: ‘other oriented’ contributions in virtual communities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analytical Dimensions for Online Gift-giving: ‘other oriented’ contributions in virtual communities
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Web-based Communities, ISSN 1477-8394, 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.

National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13303 (URN)10.1504/IJWBC.2007.013774 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-05-21 Created: 2008-05-21
4. Semi-Public End-user Content Contributions: a case-study of concerns and intentions in online photo-sharing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semi-Public End-user Content Contributions: a case-study of concerns and intentions in online photo-sharing
2008 (English)In: International journal of human-computer studies, ISSN 1071-5819, E-ISSN 1095-9300, Vol. 66, no 4, 287-300 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As social networks and rich media sharing are increasingly converging, end-user concerns regarding to whom, how and why to direct a certain digital content emerge. Between the pure private contribution and the pure public contribution exists a large research and design space of semi-public content and relationships. The theoretical framework of gift-giving correlates to semi-public contributions in that it envelopes social relationships, concerns for others and reciprocity, and was consequently adopted in order to reveal and classify qualitative semi-public end-user concerns with content contribution. The data collection was performed through online ethnographic methods in a large photo-sharing network. The main data-collection method used was forum message elicitation, combined with referential methods such as interviews and application observation and usage. The analysis of data resulted in descriptions concerning end-user intentions to address dynamic recipient groupings, the intentions to control the level of publicness of both digital content and its related social metadata (tags, contacts, comments and links to other networks) and the conclusion that users often refrained from providing material unless they felt able to control its direction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2008
Keyword
Rich social networks; Multimedia content; Online ethnography; Flickr; Gift-giving; Social metadata
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13304 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhcs.2007.10.010 (DOI)
Note

The previous status of this article was Manuscript and the working title was Non-Public Gifting on the Internet: a case-study of end-user concerns in photo-sharing.

Available from: 2008-05-21 Created: 2008-05-21 Last updated: 2017-01-11Bibliographically approved
5. Exploring Qualitative Sharing Practices of Social Metadata: Expanding the Attention Economy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Qualitative Sharing Practices of Social Metadata: Expanding the Attention Economy
2009 (English)In: INFORMATION SOCIETY, ISSN 0197-2243 , Vol. 25, no 1, 60-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social metadata are receiving interest from many domains, mainly as a way to aggregate various patterns in social networks. Few scholars have, however, taken the perspective of end users and examined how they utilize social metadata to enrich interpersonal communication. The results of a study of end-user practices of social metadata usage are presented in this article. Data were gathered from a variety of online forums by collecting and analyzing user discussions relating to social metadata supporting features in Facebook. Three hundred and fifteen relevant comments on social metadata usage were extracted. The analysis revealed the use of experimental profiles, clashes between work-and non-work-related social metadata usage and differences in users social investment, causing social dilemmas. The study also resulted in developments of theory relating to social metadata and relationship maintenance. In conclusion, social metadata expand a pure attention economy, conveying a much wider qualitative range of social information.

Keyword
facebook, gift-giving, online ethnography, social metadata
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16516 (URN)10.1080/01972240802587588 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-01-30 Created: 2009-01-30 Last updated: 2009-03-25

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