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Non-Public Gifting on the Internet: a case-study of end-user concerns in photo-sharing
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2006 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13982OAI: diva2:22381
Available from: 2006-09-14 Created: 2006-09-14 Last updated: 2010-04-28
In thesis
1. Public and Non-Public Gifting on the Internet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Public and Non-Public Gifting on the Internet
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes to the knowledge of how computer-mediated communication and information sharing works in large groups and networks. In more detail, the research question put forward is: in large sharing networks, what concerns do end-users have regarding to whom to provide material? A theoretical framework of gift-giving was applied to identify, label and classify qualitative end-user concerns with provision. The data collection was performed through online ethnographical research methods in two large sharing networks, one music-oriented and one photo-oriented. The methods included forum message elicitation, online interviews, application use and observation. The result of the data collection was a total of 1360 relevant forum messages. A part from this there are also 27 informal interview logs, field notes and samples of user profiles and sharing policies. The qualitative analysis led up to a model of relationships based on the observation that many users experienced conflicts of interest between various groups of receivers and that these conflicts, or social dilemmas, evoked concerns regarding public and non-public provision of material. The groups of potential recipients were often at different relationship levels. The levels ranged 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. Deepened studies and analysis also revealed needs to address dynamic recipient groupings, the need to control the level of publicness of both digital material and its metadata (tags, contacts, comments and links to other networks) and that users often refrained from providing material unless they felt able to control its direction. A central conclusion is that public and non-public gifting need to co-emerge in large sharing networks and that non-public gifting might be an important factor for the support of continued provision of goods in sustainable networks and communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för datavetenskap, 2006. 42 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1244
Communities, End-user content, file-sharing, online methodology, gift-giving
National Category
Information Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7370 (URN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2006:25 (Local ID)91-85523-93-3 (ISBN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2006:25 (Archive number)LiU-Tek-Lic-2006:25 (OAI)
2006-04-27, Alan Turing,, Hus E, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2006-09-14 Created: 2006-09-14 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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