Web sociology

Web Sociology and Cyberspace


Web sociology - The sociology of the Internet includes the application of sociological hypothesis and strategy to the Internet as a source of data and communication. 

The internet has risen as a unused communal institution, recognizing, transmitting and now and then indeed characterizing shared values, culture and behavior. Its incipience and improvement challenges existing convictions of craftsmanship, science, legislative issues and social characters.


Web Sociology


  • Acquisti, Alessandro / Gross, Ralph [2006]
    Imagined Communities: Awareness, Information Sharing, and Privacy on the Facebook
    In: Golle, P. / Danezis, G. (Eds.), Proceedings of 6th Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies. (pp. 36-58). Cambridge, U.K. Robinson College. June 28-30. 
    Online social networks offer attractive means for interaction and communication, but also raise privacy and security concerns. In this study a representative sample of the members of the Facebook at a US academic institution is compared to information retrieved from the network itself. The authors analyse underlying demographic and behavioral differences between the communities of the network’s members and non members; the impact of privacy concerns on members’ behavior. They conclude that an individual’s privacy concerns are only a weak predictor of his membership to the network. Privacy concerned individuals join the network and reveal great amounts of personal information. there are significant misconceptions among some members about the online community’s reach and the visibility of their profiles.
  • Adamic, Lada A. - University of Michigan
    • [1999] The Small World Web [pdf]
      The author shows that the WWW is a small world, in the sense that sites are highly clustered yet the path length between them is small: every site can be reached from every other site through only 4.2 hotlinks. Search engines might make use of the fact that pages corresponding to a particular search query can form small world networks.
    • [2001] Network Dynamics: The World Wide Web [pdf]
      Can the regularities on the internet be understood by drawing on methods of statistical physics? Adamic shows that a stochastic theory can explain the power-law distributions in website sizes, traffic, and links. He also shows that the Web is a "small world": to reach one site from any other takes an average of only 4 hops, while most related sites cluster together.
  • Adamic, Lada A. / Adar, Eytan [2001]
    Friends and Neighbors on the Web [pdf]
    The internet is a rich and large repository of information about individuals. The links and text on a user's homepage to the mailing lists the user subscribes to are reflections of social interactions a user has in the real world. It this article techniques are devised to mine this information in order to predict relationships between individuals. It demonstrates that some pieces of information are better indicators of social connections than others. The high quality information provides a glimpse into the social life of two communities and has potential applications in automatically inferring real-world connections and discovering and labeling communities.
  • Adar, Eytan / Zhang, Li / Adamic, Lada A. / Lukose, Rajan M. [2004]
    Implicit Structure and the Dynamics of Blogspace
    The paper describes the information epidemics in the complex structure of the weblogs. It proposes a tool to infer and visualize the paths specific infections take through the network of blogs.
  • Ahn, Yong-Yeol / Han, S. / Kwak, H. / Moon, S. / Jeong, H. [2007]
    Analysis of topological characteristics of huge online social networking services.
    In: Proceedings of the 16th international conference on World Wide Web, May 2007 (pp. 835-844). New York, NY, USA 
    It is unknown if online relationships and their growth patterns are the same as in real-life social networks. The structures of three online social networking services (Cyworld, MySpace, and Orkut) are compared. They concludes that certain online social networking services encourage online activities that cannot be easily copied in real life: they deviate from close-knit online social networks which show a similar degree correlation pattern to real-life social networks.
  • Akamai
    State of the Internet
    Each quarter, Akamai publishes a quarterly “State of the Internet” report. This report includes data gathered across Akamai’s global server network about attack traffic, average & maximum connection speeds, Internet penetration and broadband adoption, and mobile usage, as well as trends seen in this data over time.
  • Alstyne, M.V. / Brynjolfsson, E. [1997]
    Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans? [pdf]
    Information technology can help link geographically separated people and facilitate search for interesting or compatible resources. These attributes have the potential to bridge gaps. But they also have the potential to fragment communities by leading people to spend more time on special interests while screening out less preferred contact. This paper introduces precise measures of ‘balkanization’ then develops a model of individual knowledge profiles and community affiliation to examine how improved access, search, and screening might fragment interaction. As IT capabilities continue to improve, policy choices we make could put us on more or less attractive paths. You can download the article in pdf format.
  • alt.cyberspace - Google Group
  • Ambrose, David [2007]
    Virtual Interactive Communication: A Bicultural Survey Through the Lens of Web 2.0.
  • Andrejevic, Mark [2005]
    The work of watching one another: Lateral surveillance, risk and governance
    In: Surveillance & Society, 2 (4): 479-497. 
    An exploration of the range of technologies for ‘lateral surveillance’ or peer monitoring. In a climate of perceived risk and savvy skepticism individuals are increasingly adopting practices associated with marketing and law enforcement to gain information about friends, family members, and prospective love interests. The author argues that the adoption of such technologies corresponds with an ideology of ‘responsibilization’ associated with the risk society: consumers need training in the consumption of services and the development of expertise to monitor one another. Rather than displacing ‘top-down’ forms of monitoring, such practices emulate and amplify them, fostering the internalization of government strategies and their deployment in the private sphere. In an age in which everyone is to be considered potentially suspect, all are simultaneously urged to become spies.
  • Aoki, Kumiki [1994] (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA)
    Virtual Communities in Japan
    Presented at the Pacific Telecommunications Council 1994 Conference.
    Virtual communities have proliferated thanks to the converging technologies of telecommunications and computing. In the USA, numerous virtual communities exist and have been expanding its scope beyond the national boundaries. But, those virtual communities originating in the USA carry heavy American-biased culture which members often take for granted because of the long history of domination in developing computer networks by American organizations. As examples of alternative virtual cultures, this paper presents major virtual communities in Japan which originated in Japan and mainly sustained by people in Japan. Aoki argues that, as virtual communities expand their scope, it becomes important to design communication systems which are sensitive to different cultural values and social principles.
  • Athanasopoulos, E. / Makridakis, A. / Antonatos, S. /Antoniades, D. / Ioannidis, S. / Anagnostakis, K.G. / Markatos, E.P. [2008]
    Antisocial Networks: Turning a Social Network into a Botnet
    Antisocial Networks are distributed systems based on social networking Web sites that can be exploited by attackers, and directed to carry out network attacks. Malicious users are able to take control of the visitors of social sites by remotely manipulating their browsers through legitimate Web control functionality such as image-loading HTML tags, JavaScript instructions, etc. The authors experimentally show that Social Network web sites have the ideal properties to become attack platforms. They identified all the properties of Facebook, and then studied how to utilize these properties and transform it into an attack platform against any host connected to the internet. They also developed a real-world Facebook application that can perform malicious actions covertly. They experimentally measured it’s impact by studying how innocent Facebook users can be manipulated into carrying out a Denial-of-Service attack. Finally, they explore other possible misuses of Facebook and how they can be applied to other online Social Network web sites.


  • Back, Mitja D. / Stopfer, Juliane M./ Vazire, Simine / Gaddis, Sam / Schmukle, Stefan C. / Egloff, Boris / Gosling, Samuel D. [2010]
    Facebook Profiles Reflect Actual Personality, Not Self-Idealization
    In: Psychological Science, 21(3):372-374.
    Online social networks have become integrated into the milieu of modern-day social interactions and are widely used as a primary medium for communication and networking. The question is: do the profiles convey accurate impressions of profile owners? According to the idealized virtual-identity hypothesis, profile owners display idealized characteristics that do not reflect their actual personalities. According to the extended real-life hypothesis that people use online social networks to communicate their real personality. In this study the two competing hypotheses are tested. The results are consistent with the extended real-life hypothesis and contrary to the idealized virtual-identity hypothesis.
  • Backstrom, Lars / Huttenlocher, Dan / Kleinberg, Jon / Lan, Xiangyang [2006]
    Group Formation in Large Social Networks: Membership, Growth, and Evolution
    In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Knowledge Discovery in Data Mining. (pp. 44-54). New York ACM Press.
    The processes by which communities come together, attract new members, and develop over time is a central research issue in the social sciences: political movements, professional organizations, and religious denominations all provide fundamental examples of such communities. In the digital domain, on-line groups are becoming increasingly prominent due to the growth of community and social networking sites. However, the challenge of collecting and analyzing large-scale time-resolved data on social groups and communities has left most basic questions about the evolution of such groups largely unresolved: what are the structural features that influence whether individuals will join communities, which communities will grow rapidly, and how do the overlaps among pairs of communities change over time? The authors address these questions using two large sources of data: friendship links and community membership on LiveJournal, and co-authorship and conference publications in DBLP. They conclude that the propensity of individuals to join communities, and of communities to grow rapidly, depends in subtle ways on the underlying network structure. For example, the tendency of an individual to join a community is influenced not just by the number of friends he or she has within the community, but also crucially by how those friends are connected to one another.
  • Barker, Valerie [2009]
    Older Adolescents' Motivations for Use of Social Networking Sites: The Influence of Group Identity and Collective Self-esteem
    In: CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11 (1): 81-85.
    Social networking web-sites are sites where users create a profile and connect their profile to others for the purpose of forming a personal network. Older adolescents are frequent users of such social networking sites. This study investigates the motives of older adolescents for use of them. The findings reveal that there were four motivations for use of social networking sites: passing time, entertainment, social identity gratifications and virtual companionship. Among participants who identified with their peer groups and reported positive feelings about them, the most important motivations for use were ritual in nature — entertainment and passing time. By contrast, those participants who did not identify strongly with their peer groups and felt negative about them appeared to act instrumentally by seeking virtual companionship from social networking sites.
  • Bangemann Report - Europe and the global information society [1995]
    Recommendations to the European Council.
  • Baym, Nancy [2007]
    The new shape of online community: The example of Swedish independent music fandom
    In: First Monday, 12(8).
    Online groups are taking new forms as participants spread themselves amongst multiple Internet and offline platforms. The multinational online community of Swedish independent music fans exemplifies this trend. This participant-observation analysis of this fandom shows how sites are interlinked at multiple levels, and identifies several implications for theorists, researchers, developers, industry and independent professionals, and participants.
  • Beamish, Anne [1995] (Urban Studies and Planning, MIT)
    Communities Online: Community-Based Computer Networks
    Beamish argues that community networks are primitive, rather crude, and barely begin to address the ambitious goals that they have set out for themselves. “They are underfunded good intentions that will lose. They will collapse from the exhaustion of their volunteers and staff struggling with a lack of revenue, donated equipment, escalating demands of their users, and ambition that can't be satisfied with their resources.” But this crudeness can also be seen as indication of youth. “Community networks may now [1995] be at the stage of barely being able to walk but there is every expection that they will learn to run.” The key to their future success will be the same as what it took to get them to the stage in the first place: their ability to spark and tap an extraordinary amount of energy and enthusiasm in their communities. The author suspects that community networks’ role as providers of information and communication may be secondary to their role as animators for creating a stronger sense of place and community.
  • Beckers, Dennis (Social Science Informatics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) 
    Research on virtual communities: an empirical approach 
    Recent innovations in computers and telecommunication technologies are changing social interaction between people. However, we have only vague notions of the precise effects. This leaves space for both utopian as dystopian views, both seldom founded in empirical data. Research at community networks also serves a more direct practical goal: how can a virtual community try to support their town if they do not know who is using this system? In this paper, Beckers tries to formulate some guidelines for empirical research on virtual communities based on experience gained at research on two digital cities in Europe (Amsterdam and Parthenay).
  • Benschop, Albert -University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Bigge, Ryan [2006]
    The cost of (anti-) social networks: Identity, agency and neo-luddites
    In: First Monday, 11(12)
    The media coverage and resultant discourse surrounding social networking sites contain narratives of inevitability and technological determinism that require careful explication. Borrowing a tactic from the Russian Futurists, Bigge attempts to make strange (that is, to defamiliarize) social network sites and their associated discourses by drawing upon an eclectic but interrelated set of metaphors and theoretical approaches, including: the digital enclosure, network sociality, socio-technical capital and Steven Jones’s recent examination of neo-Luddites.
  • Birdsall, William F. [1996] (Dalhousie University, Canada)
    The Internet and the Ideology of Information Technology 
    He contents that the Internet will become enmeshed in the political and economic dynamics of the 'ideology of information technology'. This ideology promulgates a set of economic values that are permeating the political and cultural spheres of society. Paper presented at the INET96 conference in Montreal.
  • Bonchek, Mark S. [1996] (Cambridge, M.A.)
    From Broadcast to NetCast: The Internet and the Flow of Political Information
    A thesis on the use of internet for political participation. It explores how interactive media can be used to facilitate political participation.
  • Bonneau, Joseph / Anderson, Jonathan / Anderson, Ross / Stajano, Frank [2009]
    Eight Friends Are Enough: Social Graph Approximation via Public Listings
    In: Proceedings of the Second ACM Workshop on Social Network Systems.
    Facebook exposes a “public view” of user profiles to search engines which includes eight of the user’s friendship links. What interesting properties of the complete social graph can be inferred from this public view? In experiments on real social network data, the authors were able to accurately approximate the degree and centrality of nodes, compute small dominating sets, find short paths between users, and detect community structure. This demonstrates that it is difficult to safely reveal limited information about a social network.
  • boyd, danah
  • boyd, danah /Ellison, Nicole B. [2007]
    Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship
    In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1).
    Social network sites [SNS] are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena. In this introductory article the authors analyse the features of SNSs and present a comprehensive definition. Then they present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments. They also briefly summarize existing scholarship concerning SNSs.
  • boyd, danah / Hargittai, Eszter [2010]
    Facebook privacy settings: Who cares?
    In: FirstMonday, 15(8)
    The decisions that Facebook makes about its privacy settings have the potential to influence many people. This paper examines the attitudes and practices of a cohort of 18– and 19–year–olds surveyed in 2009 and again in 2010 about Facebook’s privacy settings. The results challenge widespread assumptions that youth do not care about and are not engaged with navigating privacy. The modifications to privacy settings have increased during a year in which Facebook’s approach to privacy was hotly contested. Making modification to privacy settings are correlated with both frequency and type of Facebook use as well as internet skill. There are few gender differences in how young adults approach their Facebook privacy settings.


  • Canadian Information Highway Advisory Council (IHAC) [1997]
    Preparing Canada for a Digital World
    Final report from the IHAC september 26, 1997.
  • Chesher, Chris
    Colonizing Virtual Reality
    Construction of the Discourse of Virtual Reality, 1984-1992. From: Cultronix (volume 1, number 1). An analysis of the cultural processes by which computer-generated immersive technologies known as "virtual reality" and "cyberspace" came to mainstream attention and acceptance.
  • Chew, Monica / Balfanz, Dirk / Laurie, Ben [2008]
    (Under)mining Privacy in Social Networks
    Social networking sites allow users to keep in touch with their friends, communicate and share content with them, as well as engage in other multiuser applications. Users make their social network explicit: who your friends are (and —by omission—who they aren’t) is a constant presence in the user interface of such sites. It is perhaps because of this that social networking sites give the impression of a semi-public stage on which one can act in the privacy of one’s social circle. The authors identify three distinct areas where the highly-interlinked world of social networking sites can compromise user privacy: (i) lack of control over activity streams, (ii) unwelcome linkage, and (iii) deanonymization through merging of social graphs.
  • Cicognani, Anna (University of Sydney, Australia)
    On the Linguistic Nature of Cyberspace and Virtual Communities
    The author presents an hypothesis for a linguistic explanation of the nature of Virtual Communities. Her paper presents a perspective of how electronic space (or cyberspace) can be considered language based. She argues that a definition of electronic space cannot be given beyond its linguistic characteristics, which underlie and sustain it. She beliefs is that the more we understand the relationship between language and cyberspace, the more we are able to use specific metaphors for dwelling and inhabiting it.
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property Resources (SocioSite)
  • Courses on WebSociology (SocioSite)
  • CyberSex (SocioSite)
    Resources on computer mediated sex, romance and eroticism.



  • Dando, Yasuharu
    Japan Research and Analysis through Internet Information
    Columns which discuss social phenomena in Japan. The original columns are written in Japanese, and include many links to news sources.
  • Debatin, Bernhard / Lovejoy, Jennette P. / Horn, Ann-Kathrin / Hughes, Brittany N.[2009]
    Facebook and Online Privacy: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Unintended Consequences
    In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 15(1): 83-108.
    An investigation on Facebook users’ awareness of privacy issues and perceived benefits and risks of utilizing Facebook. Facebook is deeply integrated in users’ daily lives through specific routines and rituals. Users claimed to understand privacy issues, yet reported uploading large amounts of personal information. Risks to privacy invasion were ascribed more to others than to the self. However, users reporting privacy invasion were more likely to change privacy settings than those merely hearing about others' privacy invasions. Results suggest that this lax attitude may be based on a combination of high gratification, usage patterns, and a psychological mechanism similar to third-person effect. Safer use of social network services would thus require changes in user attitude.
  • De Rosa, C. / Cantrell, J. / Havens, A. / Hawk, J. / Jenkins, L. [2007]
    Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World
    This report explores the web of social participation and cooperation on the internet and how it may impact the library’s role, including: (i) The use of social networking, social media, commercial and library services on the Web; (ii) How and what users and librarians share on the Web and their attitudes toward related privacy issues; (iii) Opinions on privacy online, and (iv) Libraries’ current and future roles in social networking
  • Dhamee, Yousuf
    Conceptualizing the Internet —The Commons and the Net as Public Resource
    A very short statement in which he rejects the solution of turning all of cyberspace to a private enterprise which would prevent overuse in order to maximize efficiency and thus profit. The main reason being that in cyberspace information is not scarce there's no danger of all of the cyberspace being used up.
  • DiMicco, J. M. / Millen, D. R. [2007]
    Identity management: multiple presentations of self in facebook
    In: GROUP ’07: Proceedings of the 2007 international ACM conference on Supporting group work. (pp. 383 - 386).New York, NY, USA
    As the use of social networking websites becomes increasingly common, the types of social relationships managed on these sites are becoming more numerous and diverse. This research seeks to gain an understanding of the issues related to managing different social networks through one system, in particular looking at how users of these systems present themselves when they are using one site to keep in contact with both their past social groups from school and their current social connections in the workplace. The outcome of this case study is a framework for understanding how users manage self-presentation while maintaining social relationships in heterogeneous networks.
  • Dodds, Peter S. / Watts, Duncan J. / Sabel, Charles F. [2003]
    Information exchange and robustness in organizational networks
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(21): 12516-12521
    The dynamics of information exchange is an important but understudied aspect of collective communication, coordination, and problem solving in a wide range of distributed systems, both physical (e.g., the Internet) and social (e.g., business firms). In this paper, they authors introduce a model of organizational networks according to which links are added incrementally to a hierarchical backbone and test the resulting networks under variable conditions of information exchange. The main result is the identification of a class of multiscale networks that reduce, over a wide range of environments, the likelihood that individual nodes will suffer congestion-related failure and that the network as a whole will disintegrate when failures do occur. This dual robustness property of multiscale networks is called “ultrarobustness.” Multiscale networks attain most of their robustness with surprisingly few link additions. This suggests that ultrarobust organizational networks can be generated in an efficient and scalable manner.
  • Donath, Judith Stefania (MIT Media Lab)
    Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community
  • Dringenberg, Rainer [2002]
    Internet - vorgeführt und diskutiert
  • Dyson, Esther / Gilder, George / Keyworth, George / Toffler, Alvin
    Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age
    A statement that represents the cumulative wisdom and innovation of many dozens of people. It is based primarily on the thoughts of Dyson, Gilder, Keyworth, and Toffler. Presented by The Progress & Freedom Foundation.


  • Eiden, Gabriela [2004]
    Soziologische Relevanz der virtuellen Kommunikation
    A comparison betweeen face-to-face interaction a la Goffman with virtual communication. Has internet transformed the construction and presentation of identity?
  • Ellison, Nicole B. / Steinfield, Charles / Lampe, Cliff [2011]
    Connection Strategies: Social Capital Implications of Facebook-enabled Communication Practices
    In: New Media & Society
    This study assesses whether Facebook users have different connection strategies(a suite of Facebook-related relational communication activities), and explores the relationship between these connection strategies and social capital. Survey data (N = 450) from a random sample of undergraduate students reveal that only social information-seeking behaviors contribute to perceptions of social capital; connection strategies that focus on strangers or close friends do not. Reporting more ‘actual’ friends on the site is predictive of social capital, but only to a point. The explanation for these findings may be that the identity information in Facebook serves as a social lubricant, encouraging individuals to convert latent to weak ties and enabling them to broadcast requests for support or information.
  • Europe’s Information Society Portal
    Information Society


  • Fernback, Jan & Thompson, Brad 
    Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure? 
    A critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of virtual communities. One of the conclusions is that the likely result of the development of virtual communities through computer-mediated communication (CMC) will be that a hegemonic culture will maintain its dominance. The virtual public sphere brought about by CMC will serve a cathartic role, allowing the public to feel involved rather than to advance actual participation. Citizenship via cyberspace has not proven to be the panacea for the problems of democratic representation.
  • Fu, Bo [2007]
    Trust Management in Online Social Networks
    Ancient social traditions were designed to elicit trust during uncertain encounters, handshaking demonstrated the absence of weapons; clinking of glasses evolved from pouring wine back and forth to prove it was not poisoned. But what can users of online social networks depend upon? This thesis reviews the state of the art in trust and trust mechanisms employed in online social networks. It applies a multi-faceted model of trust that is personalisable and specialisable which aims to capture subjective views on trust of a broad population in a real world application.



  • Hafner, Katie [1997] 
    The Epic Saga of the Well
    In: Wired (May 1997): 97-142. 
    The rough and romantic history of "the world's most influential online community." The essay begins where Rheingold's The Virtual Community leaves off and provides a deep account of the Bay Area-based online community. She combines a concise institutional history, technical considerations with personal online histories to create a narrative of a virtual community.
  • Hamman, Robin
  • Hanaki, Noboyuki / Peterhansl, Alexander / Dodds, Peter S. / Watts, Duncan J.[2007]
    Cooperation in evolving social networks
    In: Management Science, 53( 7): 1036-1050
  • Hardy, Henry Edward (Univ. Michigan, USA) 
    The Usenet System
  • Hargittai, Eszter [2010](Sociology Department, Princeton University, USA)
    Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the “Net Generation”
    In: Sociological Inquiry. 80(1):92-113.
  • Hargittai, Eszter / Hsieh, Yu-Li Patrick [2010]
    From Dabblers to Omnivores: A Typology of Social Network Site Usage
    In: A Networked Self. Edited by Z. Papacharissi. London: Routledge.
  • Hargittai, Eszter / Hsieh, Yu-Li Patrick [2010]
    Predictors and Consequences of Social Network Site Usage
    In: Information, Communication & Society. 13(4):515-536.
  • Hargittai, Eszter / Fullerton, Lindsay / Menchen-Trevino, Ericka / Thomas, Kristin Yates [2010]
    Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content
    In: International Journal of Communication. 4:468-494.
  • Helmers, Sabine / Hoffmann, Ute / Hofmann, Jeanette [1998] (Social Science Research Center Berlin/Technical University Berlin)
    Internet... The Final Frontier [pdf]
    The final report of German resarch project Interaktionsraum Internet. It's a study of the constitutive features of network culture and network organization. Special emphasis is givin to the dynamic interplay of technical and social conventions regarding both the net's organization as well as its change. The Internet is analysed from a ethnographic perspective. The research concentrated upon three fields of study: the hegemonial operating technology of the nodes (UNIX), the network’s basic transmission technology (the Internet Protocol IP), and a popular communicaiton service (Usenet). It is shown that changes that come about on the Internet are neither anarchic nor arbitrary. Instead, the decentrally organized Internet is based upop technically and organizationally distributed forms of coordination within which individual preferences collectivily attain the power of developing into definitive standards.
  • Himelboim, Itai / McCreery, Stephen / Smith, Marc [2013]
    Birds of a Feather Tweet Together: Integrating Network and Content Analyses to Examine Cross-Ideology Exposure on Twitter
    In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 18(2): 40-60. In:
  • Hogg, Tad / Adamic, Lada A. [2004]
    Enhancing Reputation Mechanism via Online Social Networks
    Paper presented at the 5th ACM conference on Electronic Commerce.
  • Huffaker, David A. / Teng, Chun-Yuen / Simmons, Matthew P. / Gong, Liuling /Adamic, Lada A. [2011]
    Group Membership and Diffusion in Virtual Worlds


  • Internet 2 Homepage
    Information about the cooperative effort of 170 member universities working together with private member companies and non-profit organizations. Through high bandwidth and bandwidth reservation it wants to provide tools for scientific research and higher education in the 21st century.
  • Internet Society (ISOC)
    A non-profit, non-governmental, international membership organization that brings diverse interests and factions together to hammer out reasonable solutions that generate progress and growth for the Internet.
    Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists 
    (Bristol, March 25-27th, 1998)
    Includes abstracts of the 55 papers presented at the conference.


  • Jacobson, David [2002] - Brandies University, USA
    • [1999] Impression Formation in Cyberspace: Online Expectations and Offline Experiences in Text-based Virtual Communities
      How do people in cyberspace picture one another? More specifically, how do individuals engaged in text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC), with its paucity of visual and auditory cues, form impressions of those with whom they interact? And how do expectations formed online compare with offline experiences? Researchers have begun to answer these questions, drawing primarily on theories of stereotyping. This paper uses prototype theory and related models to extend previous research and to account for discrepancies between online image and offline reality. It draws on interviews with individuals who first met others online and subsequently moved to face-to-face interaction; it also utilizes comparisons between text-based impressions formed online and photographs displayed on web pages.
    • [2002] On Theorizing Presence
      In: Journal of Virtual Environments 6(1), 2002.
      Presence is the experience of being engaged by the representations of a virtual world. Most studies on presence has focused on technologies that use a variety of sensory inputs to create a simulacrum of a real environment. A virtual reality that mimics perceptions in the physical world. The author analyses presence in the context of text-based virtual worlds. He reviews the theories that identify factors that promote or undermine a sense of presence in text-based virtual worlds.
  • Jung, Joonhyuk [2011]
    Understanding the Role of Sense of Presence and Perceived Autonomy in Users’ Continued Use of Social Virtual World
    In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 16(4): 465-527.
    An exploration of the factors that influence users’ continued use of social virtual worlds. The study specifically employs the sense of presence and perceived autonomy. 194 users of Second Life participaterd in the survey.


  • Keegan, Brian C. / Ceni, Arber / Smith, Marc A. [2013]
    Analyzing Multi-Dimensional Networks within MediaWikis
    Paper presented at the 2013 Joint International Symposium on Open Collaboration, a conference for and by researchers and practitioners of open collaboration, Hong Kong on Aug 5-7, 2013.
  • Kelly, Kevin - Wired
    • [2005] We are the web
      In: Wired 13.08
    • [2009] The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online
      In: Wired 17.06
    • [2011] Kevin Kelly’s 6 Words for the Modern Internet [video]
      Kelly needs only six words to define the future of the internet: screening (“We’re no longer people of the book”), interacting (“If it’s not interacting, it doesn’t work”), sharing (“Anything that can be shared will be shared»), flowing (“All these streams are together actually forming the new media, the new platform”), accessing (“The burdens of ownership will be seen against the benefits of access”), and generating (“The internet is the world’s largest copy machine”).
  • Kim, Kyung-Hee / Yun, Haejin [2011]
    Cying for Me, Cying for Us: Relational Dialectics in a Korean Social Network Site
    In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 15.
    This study employs a relational dialectics approach to gain insights into the nature of relational communication via Cyworld, a Korean social network site that was launched in 1999. Qualitative analysis of in-depth interview data from 49 users suggests that Cyworldusers routinely negotiate multiple tensions that are created within the online world, transferred from face-to-face contexts, or imposed by interpersonal principles that relate to Korea’s collectivistic culture. The interviewees experienced a new relational dialectic of interpersonal relations versus self-relation, analogous to Baxter and Montgomery’s [1996] connection-autonomy contradiction. Their responses suggest that Cyworld’s design features and functions encourage users to transcend the high-context communication of Korean culture by offering an alternative channel for elaborate and emotional communication, which fosters the reframing of relational issues offline. Cy-Ilchons (online buddies) virtually extend the Korean cultural concept of blood ties, called yons, in ways that intensify the openness-closedness contradiction at early stages of relationship formation.
  • Kling, Rob (Indiana University School of Library and Information Science)
    The Internet for Sociologists
    An article with the unmodest ambition of explaining to sociologists why they should take the internet seriously as a medium of professional communication, and why some sociologists should be specially interested in the internet (or other computer networks) as social spaces in which to study shifting social relationships in our society. The first part of the article may be specially useful to sociologists who have relatively limited experience with internet services. The second part discusses sociological uses of the internet to support research, teaching, and professional communication that could interest readers with significant internet experiences.
  • Kollock, Peter [1959 – 2009] (Univ. of California, Los Angeles, USA)
    • [1996] Design Principles for Online Communities
      Harvard Conference on the Internet and Society, 1996. Also published in PC Update15(5): 58-60. June 1998.
      Kollock argues that the key challenges the Internet community will face in the future are not technological, but rather sociological: the challenges of social interaction and social organization. In: The Internet and Society: Harvard Conference Proceedings. Cambridge, MA: O'Reilly & Associates.
    • [1997] The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace
      Published in: Marc Smith and Peter Kollock (eds.) [1997] Communities in Cyberspace, Los Angeles: University of California Press.
    • [1999a] The Production of Trust in Online Markets
    • [1999b] The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace
      “The Internet is filled with junk and jerks.”. Many inhabitants of the internet complain about the lack of cooperation, decorum, civilization and useful information. Cyberspace is full of hostility, selfishness, and simple —not seldom dangerous— nonsense. Kollock emphasises that “the wonder of the Internet is not that there is so much noise, but that there is any significant cooperation at all. Given that online interaction is relatively anonymous, that there is no central authority, and that it is difficult or impossible to impose monetary or physical sanctions on someone, it is striking that the Internet is not literally a war of all against all. For a student of social order, what needs to be explained is not the amount of conflict but the great amount of sharing and cooperation that does occur in online communities.”
    • [2005] Social Dilimma’s: Anatomy of Cooperation [video - 01:20:45] or YouTube
      Kollock lectures on strategies to avoid the social dilemma, covering the Tragedy of the Commons and Prisoner’s Dilemma situations.
  • Kollock, Peter / Braziel, E. Russel [2006]
    How Not to Build an Online Market: The Sociology of Market Microstructure
    In: Advances in Group Processes: Social Psychology of the Workplace, edited by S. R. Thye and E. J. Lawler. New York: Elsevier Science.
  • Kollock, Peter / Smith, Marc [1994]
    Managing the Virtual Commons: Cooperation and Conflict in Computer Communities
    Reprinted in: Susan Herring(ed.) [1996] Computer-Mediated Communication: Linguistic, Social, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 109-128.
  • Korolova, Aleksandra / Motwani, Rajeev / Nabar, Shubha U. / Xu, Ying [2008]
    Link privacy in social networks
    Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM\’08). (pp. 289-298).
    For social networks it is a privacy threat when people can obtain knowledge of a significant fraction of the links in the network. There is a particular threat when somebody subverts user accounts to get information about local neighborhoods in the network and pieces them together in order to get a global picture. The authors analyze the number of user accounts an attacker would need to subvert for a successful attack. They conclude that such an attack is feasible in practice, and thus any social network that wishes to protect the link privacy of its users should take great care in choosing the lookahead of its interface, limiting it to 1 or 2, whenever possible.



  • Martens, Rolf [1999]
    Die spontane Matrix - Thesen zu einer Ordnungstheorie von Cyberspace und Internet
    In this thesis Cyberspace and Internet are seen as a spontaneous (emergent) socio-technical order and as the result of a socio-technical evolution of rules (in German with an English abstract).
  • McFadden, Tim
    Cyberspace - the New Jerusalem
    Definitions and Origin of Cyberspace.
  • Miller, Daniel [2011]
    Daniel Miller introduces Tales from Facebook
    Renowned anthropologist Daniel Miller introduces his new book, Tales from Facebook, the result of an in-depth study of the way that Facebook impacts on its users’ lives. In this interview, he explains why Facebook interests him as an anthropologist and describes some of his findings. The tales in his book reveal how Facebook can become the means by which people find and cultivate relationships, but can also be instrumental in breaking up marriage. They reveal how Facebook can bring back the lives of people isolated in their homes by illness or age, by shyness or failure, but equally Facebook can devastate privacy and create scandal. Millar discovers why some people believe that the truth of another person lies more in what you see online than face-to-face. We also see how Facebook has become a vehicle for business, the church, sex and memorialisation.
  • Mizrach, Steve
    • CyberAnthropology
    • Lost in Cyberspace: A Cultural Geography of Cyberspace
      People working in the anthropology of space and cultural geography have “fertile territory” to survey in cyberspace. Unlike so many other landscapes, this is one which is being built right before their eyes. Observing how people perceive, locate themselves, find meaning, and identify themselves in cyberspace, may help us understand the analogous processes of how this occurs in 'realspace.' However, cyberspace provides more than a testing ground for existing hypotheses about how social-cultural relations emerge in space. It is a new kind of space that is emerging, and will force the rethinking of old assumptions about place and space.
  • Morris, Merrill (Christine Ogan Indiana University)
    The Internet as Mass Medium 
    Why have communications researchers, historically concerned with exploring the effects of mass media, nearly ignored the Internet? With 25 million people estimated to be communicating on the Internet, should communication researchers now consider this network of networks a mass medium? Until recently, mass communications researchers have overlooked not only the Internet but the entire field of computer-mediated communication, staying instead with the traditional forms of broadcast and print media that fit much more conveniently into models for appropriate research topics and theories of mass communication.


  • Newman, Mark / Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo / Watts, Duncan J. [2011]
    The Structure and Dynamics of Networks 
    Princeton University Press.
    From the Internet to networks of friendship, disease transmission, and even terrorism, the concept--and the reality--of Networks have pervaded modern society: from the internet as 'network of the networks' to networks of friends, disease transmission and terrorism. But what exactly is a network? What different types of networks are there? In recent years, scientists from a range of fields —including mathematics, physics, computer science, sociology, and biology— have been pursuing these questions and building a new «science of networks». This book brings together a set of seminal articles representing research from across these disciplines. It is an ideal sourcebook for the key research in this fast-growing field.
  • Next Generation Internet Initiative Concept Paper 
    Produced by the National Coordinating Office for Computing, Information, and Communications. It outlines the NGI high performance network initiative, and discusses the goals, deliverables, benefits, management, and action plan for NGI. Readers can comment on any section of the draft, and comments will be used in the preparation of a final version of the report.
  • North, Tim [1994]
    The Internet and Usenet Global Computer Networks
    A Masters thesis.
    A cultural-anthropological investigation of their culture and its effects on new users. In the eyes of a cultural-anthropologist, the Internet looks like a kind of tribal society without a state.



  • Scientific American
    Internet: Bringing order from Chaos
    Special report, march 1997.
    Noted technologists tackle questions about how to organize knowledge on the internet with the aim of making it more genuinely useful. They consider how to simplify finding the information we desire and discuss the best ways to format and display data, so that everyone (including the blind) has maximum access to them. The authors sketch a technological pathway that might take the internet a step toward realizing the utopian vision of an all-encompassing repository of human knowledge.
  • Scime, Roger
    Cyberville and the Sprit of Community
    A paper on the nature of virtual communities.
  • Small World | Six Degrees of Separation
    The idea of the Small World Phenomenon is that everyone in the world can be reached through a short chain of social acquaintances. Thirty years ago the Harvard Social Psychologist Stanley Milgram launched the famous phrase Six Degrees of Separation. The sociologists try to find out if this is true.
  • Smith, Marc A. - Connected Action Consulting Group, USA
    • [1992] Voices from the Well: The Logic of the Virtual Commons
      Recent development of virtual communities, sites of social interaction predominantly mediated by computers and telecommunications networks, provides a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms by which collectivities generate and maintain the commitment of their participants in a new social terrain. Using the analytical framework developed in studies of intentional communities and collective action dilemmas, this paper examines the unique obstacles to collective action and the commitment mechanisms used to overcome them in a particular virtual community, the WELL.
    • [2001] Some Social Implications of Ubiquitous Wireless Networks
      In: Mobile Computing and Communications Review, 4(2)25-36.
      Wireless devices are penetrating every nook and cranny of the social world, bringing the efficiency of information technology to the production of panoptic power. In this article two sociological concepts —power~knowledge and social dilemmas— are used as a guide to the kinds of social institutions and relationships that are likely to emerge from the use of these tools.
  • Smith, Marc / Kollock, Peter (eds.) [1999]
    Communities in Cyberspace - New Forms of Social Interaction and Organization 
    Explores new forms of social organization and the changing concepts of community as social groups develop within computer networks, and examines changes in the nature of personal identity, social organization and the connections between real-world communities and their extensions in cyberspace. See also the Communities in Cyberspace Home.
  • Steere, Elizabeth Reid - University of Melbourne, Australia
    • [1991] Electropolis: Communication and Community on Internet Relay Chat
      A paper on interaction in ‘Internet Relay Chat’ (IRC). The structure of IRC forces users to deconstruct many of the cultural tools that form the basis of more conventional systems of interaction. Within this environment new methods of creating shared systems of significance, and methods of enforcing that new hegemony, have developed. IRC's internal system of cultural deconstruction and regeneration is mirrored in its implications for the external system of academic discourse. It is proposed that the forms of interaction seen on IRC problematize and necessitate the reconstruction of some of the methods of analysis that have been applied to computer-mediated communication. IRC —and computer-mediated communication in general— offer challenges to disciplines such as linguistics, sociology and history that demand a reconstruction of those discourses.
    • [1994] Cultural Transformations in Text-Based Virtual Realities
      Virtual reality is an imaginative experience and thus a cultural construct. This thesis discusses the cultural and social issues raised by interaction on MUDs (text-based virtual reality systems). MUD usage forces users to deconstruct many of the cultural tools and understandigs that form the basis of more conventional systems of interaction. Unable to rely on physical cues as a channel of meaning, users of MUDs have developed ways of substituting for or by-passing them, resulting in novel methods of textualising the non-verbal. The nature of the body and sexuality are problematised in these virtual environments, since the physical is never fixed and gender is a self-selected attribute. In coming to terms with these aspects of virtual interaction, new systems of significance have been developed by users, along with methods of enforcing that cultural hegemony through power structures dependent upon manipulation of the virtual environment.
  • Steinfeld, Charles / Ellison, Nicole / Lampe, Cliff [2007]
    Net Worth: Facebook Use and Changes in Social Capital Over Time
    Earlier research established a link between intensive Facebook use and bridging social capital, although the directionality of the relationship was unclear. Using longitudinal data, this paper provides preliminary evidence of a causal link between Facebook use and bridging social capital. The authors argue that bridging social capital —which is linked with the concept of weak ties— is especially important for individuals in the 18-25 year age range, and that the design of Facebook exposes individuals to those outside their close circle of friends. The high number of “friends” reported by many Facebook users would seem to suggest ephemeral and shallow relationships. But the authors argue that this is in fact characteristic of a large, heterogeneous network – precisely the kind of network that supports the formation of bridging social capital.
  • Stivale, Charles J. (Dept. of Romance Languages & Literatures, Wayne State University, USA) 
    ‘help manners’: Cyber-Democracy and its Vicissitudes
    In: Enculturation, 1(1), Spring 1997 
    An examination of “frontier” legislation and self-governance in chat sites. These are the pertinent questions: What are the laws of comportment and respect in cyberspace? Assuming such “laws” (or at least, guidelines) were developed, how might they be enforced in online environments, especially those in which user anonymity is frequently the rule?
  • Stough, Roger R. (Center for Regional Analysis Institute of Public Policy George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
    Effect of Information Technology Innovations on Outer Metropolitan Regions
    Some people think that information technology will increasingly become a substitute for trip taking, while others see it as a compliment to transportation. This paper examines these arguments through a literature review with model development and numerical experimentation. The conclusion is that substitution effects will be sufficient to induce concentration of new growth in U.S. metropolitan regions far beyond the current “edge city” periphery.


Taprogge, Ralf [1996] (University of Münster, Germany) 
Internet-Nutzung durch Studierende geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlicher Studiengänge in Deutschland
A German study on the ways social scientists use the internet for their work. From a communication perspective it analyses how students of the social sciences use the internet for their study.


  • Unsworth, John 
    Constructing the Virtual Campus
    Paper presented at the 1994 Modern Language Association meeting in Toronto.
  • United States Internet Council (USIC)
    State of the Internet
    USIC’s Report on Use & Threats in 2000. The USIC is a non-partisan group of state policymakers and industry leaders committed to advancing public policies essential for the digital era, especially the continued growth of the Internet. The report contains brief conclusions and statistics on a large selection of topics related to the Internet: use and users, data traffic, electronic commerce, access, broadband technology, and government regulation. “A strong case can be made that no medium prior to the Internet has grown so quickly to touch the daily lives of so many people.”
  • Utz, Sonja / Beukeboom, Camiel J. [2011]
    The Role of Social Network Sites in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Jealousy and Relationship Happiness
    In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 16(4):511-527. 
    On social network sites (SNS), information about one’s romantic partner is readily available and public for friends. Thia paper focuses on the negative and positive consequences of SNS use for romantic relationships. It is examined whether relationship satisfaction, trait jealousy, SNS use and need for popularity predicted these emotional consequences of SNS use and tested the moderating role of self-esteem. For low self-esteem individuals, need for popularity predicted jealousy and relationship happiness. For high-self-esteem individuals, SNS use for grooming was the main predictor. Low-self-esteem individuals try to compensate their low self-esteem by creating an idealized picture. Undesirable information threatens this picture, and especially individuals with a high need for popularity react with SNS jealousy.


Valenzuela Sebastián / Park, Namsu / Kee, Kerk F. [2009]
Is There Social Capital in a Social Network Site?: Facebook Use and College Students’ Life Satisfaction, Trust, and Participation
In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 14: 875–901.
An web survey on the use of Facebook among college students in Texas (U.S.), concentrated on attitudes and behaviors that enhance individuals’ social capital. The authors find positive relationships between intensity of Facebook use and students’ life satisfaction, social trust, civic engagement, and political participation. These ?ndings should ease the concerns of those who fear that Facebook has mostly negative effects on young adults, but the positive and signi?cant associations between Facebook variables and social capital were small. This suggests that online social networks are not the most effective solution for youth disengagement from civic duty and democracy.


  • Watts, Duncan J. - Yahoo! Research, New York, USA
    • [1999] Networks, dynamics and the small world phenomenon
      We are use to think of distance as determined by separation in space. But there might be other sensible definitions of distance that may turn out to be just as important in the modern world. For instance, when sociologists talk about social distance. The internet has made physical distance increasingly irrelevant to all manner of information-based interactions and transactions: retrieval of information, access to services, performance of work, formation of organizations, and purchase of material products. Watts is an optimist and suggests that not only physical distance but social distance as well is becomming irrelevant. There are stronger arguments for his suggestion to define distance in terms of a network: the distance between two people in a society can be measured by the number degrees of separation, where the links or degrees join the two through a series of intermediaries. It appears that the typical distance between any pair of people is remakably small. This small world phenomenonwas confirmed by a study, conducted in the 1960’s by Stanley Milgram. It indicated that most people are separated by only about six degrees.
      In: American Journal of Sociology, 105(2):493-527
    • [2002] A simple model of global cascades on random networks
      In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99: 5766-5771
    • [2003/4] Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age
      New York/London: Norton.
    • [2004] The “new” science of networks
      In: Annual Review of Sociology, 30: 243-270
      The analysis and modeling of networks, and also networked dynamical systems, have been the subject of considerable interdisciplinary interest. Watts reviews the major findings of this emerging field and discuss briefly their relationship with previous work in the social and mathematical sciences.
    • [2007] A 21st Century Science
      In: Nature, Volume 445, p.489
      Watts suggests that data about Internet-based communication and interactivity could revolutionize our understanding of collective human behaviour. “We must start asking how the technological revolution of the Internet can lead to a revolution in social science as well.”
  • Watts, Duncan J. / Peretti, Jonah [2007]
    Viral marketing in the real world
    In: Harvard Business Review, Issue May, 2007
    The authors propose an approach called big-seed marketing, which combines viral-marketing tools with old-fashioned mass media in a way that yields far more predictable results than “purely” viral approaches like word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Watts, Duncan J. / Strogatz, Steven H. [1999]
    Collective dynamics of ‘small-world’ networks
  • Weinzinger, Caroline [2004]
    Vertrauensbildung im Internet
  • Wellman, Barry / Hiltz, Staar Roxanne [2004]
    Sociological Rob: How Rob Kling Brought Computing and Sociology Together
    A portrait “Sociological Rob” in his early 1970s–1980s days, when a bright young computer scientist brought his knowledge of sociology to bear on understanding the organization of computing, work, and science. Rob Kling was a key founder of social analyses of computing. He was a leader among that most rare of species: the sociologically acute computer scientist.
  • Wikipedia: Internet_Studies | Sociology_of_the_Internet
  • Wilkinson, David
    Sociology of the Internet
    Wilkinson, who's working on his Master's Thesis in Sociology at Wichita State University (USA), publishes his writings on the Net and solicits commentary. Visitors can inspect his progress.
  • Wilson, D.R. / Carlson, David L.
    Researching Sociology on the Internet
    The Wadsworth Sociology Research Center presents a guide for students who are generally familiar with the internet, but do not have much experience using the web to study sociology. The guide not only provides you with the answers to some simple questions, but also stipulates how you can use the internet to place the study of sociology into a broader context. It focusses on different fields of sociological study: research methods, socialization, culturel, social groups, social control, social inequality, institutions, social dynamics and social change. Students are introduced to specific web sites as starting points for internet research.
  • Winkler, Roy (Indiana, USA) 
    The Web Gate - Dynamics of the Internet
    Concentrates on group dynamics as they manifest themselves in the online medium of the internet. What is the impact of tools such as hypertext, instant E-mail, search engines, multi-media, and other mechanisms we use daily on the Internet? What are the implications of communicating primarily through ASCII text in Email and newsgroup forums? What are the consequences on society of widespread use of the Internet? How does it feel to be an ongoing member of an E-mail discussion list?
  • Witmer, Bob G. / Singer, Michael J. [1998] (U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Orlando, USA)
    Measuring Presence in Virtual Environments: A Presence Questionnaire
    In: Presence, 7(3): 225-240
    Presence is defined as the subjective experience of being in one place or environment, even when one is physically situated in another. The effectiveness of virtual environments is linked to the sense of presence reported by users of those virtual environments. The authors believe that presence is a normal awareness phenomenon that requires directed attention and is based in the interaction between sensory stimulation, environmental factors that encourage involvement and enable immersion, and internal tendencies to become involved. Factors believed to underlie presence are used as the basis for a presence questionnaire (PQ) to measure presence in virtual environments.
  • Witmer, Bob G. /Jerome, Christian J. / Singer, Michael J. [2005]
    The Factor Structure of the Presence Questionnaire
    In: Presence, 14(3): 298-312
  • Yom-Tov, Elad / Lalmas, Mounia / Baeza-Yates, Ricardo / Dupret, Georges / Lehmann, Janette /Donmez, Pinar [2013]
    Measuring Inter-Site Engagement
    In: IEEE International Conference on Big Data (BigData 2013), Santa Clara, CA, USA.
    Many large online providers offer a variety of content sites (e.g. news, sport, e-commerce). These providers endeavor to keep users accessing and interacting with their sites, that is to engage users by spending time using their sites and to return regularly to them. They do so by serving users the most relevant content in an attractive and enticing manner. Due to their highly varied content, each site is usually studied and optimized separately. However, these online providers aim not only to engage users with individual sites, but across all sites in their network. In these cases, site engagement should be examined not only within individual sites, but also across the entire content provider network. This paper investigates inter-site engagement, that is, site engagement within a network of sites, by defining a global measure of engagement that captures the effect sites have on the engagement on other sites. It analyses the effect of web page layout and structure (web page stylistics), on inter-site engagement on Yahoo! properties. Through the analysis of 50 popular Yahoo! sites, a sample of 265,000 users, and 19.4M online sessions, we demonstrate that the stylistic components of a web page on a site can be used to predict inter-site engagement across the Yahoo! network of sites. Intersite engagement is a new big data problem as overall it implies analyzing dozen of sites visited by hundreds of millions of people generating billions of sessions.

Research Centers

  • Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)
    An academic association dedicated to the advancement of the cross-disciplinary field of internet studies.
  • Cyberculture Working Group (CGW)
    A not-for-profit organization directed by David Silver of the American Studies Program at the University of Maryland. RCCS hopes to foster a web community where students, researchers, and web builders alike can collaborate and share experiences and projects in the area of cyberculture. It includes syllabi for education courses in the US and Canada devoted to cyberculture dating from 1993 to the present. It also includes an annotated bibliography of print articles and monographs on "Cyberculture in Context", "Virtual Communities", "Virtual Cities", and Virtual Identities", as well as a list of recent and upcoming events and conferences addressing cyberculture. Recently they added "Conversations/Collaborations" where visitors are invited to browse through the research interests and undergoing projects of a number of scholars, researchers, and instructors affiliated directly and indirectly with the field of cyberculture. The second new feature is called "Internet Interviews", which includes a list of links to online interviews with a number of digerati. The list includes Nicholas Negroponte, Allucquere Rosanne (aka Sandy) Stone, Sherry Turkle, and Gregory Ulmer.
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) - UK
    Virtual Society? - The Social Science of Electronic Technology
    An exciting ESRC research programme, comprising 22 projects, on the social context of the development and use of new technologies. Its website offers a wide range of news, research findings, articles, reports, bibliographic and other resources, as well as event announcements. Director: Steve Woolgar.
  • Microsoft Research
    Collaborative & Muldimedia Systems
    A group that explores new technologies and novel applications in the areas of online communication, collaboration, and communities.
  • Pew Research Center
    A nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. One of the projects is Pew Internet & American Life Project. This project conducts original research that explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. It seeks to be an authoritative source for timely information on the internet’s growth and societal impact.
  • Singapore Internet Research Centre (SIRC)
    The centre initiates and conducts research related to the internet across Asia, including East, Southeast, and South Asia. Although the research efforts are primarily supported by faculty from the School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it engages in a wide variety of collaborative efforts with researchers and institutions worldwide. The centre wants to bring Asian experiences and perspectives to the global discussion about the development, impact, and potential of the internet, and to conduct and promote broad-based high-quality multidisciplinary research in internet development, e-services, new media use and social impact, and policy for the benefit and advancement of individuals, organizations, nation and society.
  • Tel Aviv University
    Cyber Studies | Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC)


  • Cybersoc
    Sociological and ethnographic study of cyberspace. An online resource for members of the online community as well as to academics in the social sciences. Includes papers by Robin Hamman and other cyberspace researchers, resources for social scientists researching (bibliographies and categorised links). Editor: Robin Hamman.
  • Cybersociology Magazine
    Magazine for social-scientific researchers of cyberspace. Editor: Robin Hamman.
  • Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (JCMC) 
    A joint project of the Annenberg School for Communication (University of Southern California) and the Information Systems Division of the School of Business Administration (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Editors: Margaret McLaughlin and Sheizaf Rafaeli.
  • Journal of Virtual Environments (JOVE) [full text]
    A refereed electronic journal which publishes research that relates to or makes use of virtual environments. Editor: David Jacobson.
  • The Information Society (TIS)
    A critical forum for leading edge analysis of the impacts, policies, system concepts, methodologies related to information technologies and changes in society and culture. Includes computers and telecommunications; the sites of social change include homelife, workplaces, schools, communities and diverse organizations, as well as new social forms in cyberspace. It publishes scholarly articles, position papers, debates, short communications and book reviews. Editor-in-Chief: Rob Kling.


  • Communications of the ACM (Association for Cumputing Machinery)
    A monthly magazine and claims a readership of 83,000 computing professionals. Includes general interest articles, case studies, and special sections. There are also several channels for expressions of opinion and technical commentary.
  • CMC Magazine
    Reports about people, events, technology, public policy, culture, practices, study, and applications of the phenomenon of human communication and interaction via computer networks and in online environments. Editor: John December


    Computer-mediated communication

    Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is the traditionally text-based and increasingly multimedial communication that takes place through the Internet, the Web, mobile devices, converged media, and private intranets. CMC dates back to the first email sent in 1972 and became popular in th ’90s with text-based virtual reality systems (IRCMUD and MOO). Although the term has traditionally referred to text-based communications (such as e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, online forums, and text messaging), any human communication that occurs through the use of two or more electronic devices can be called CMC. It includes digital communication in educational, business, governmental, and other institutional and organizational contexts, as well as social and recreational communication. Social media communication is an important type of CMC, due to the enormous current popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Bulletins and Newsletters

  • Computers & Society
    A quarterly bulletin of the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIGCAS) - Articles on social implications of computerization -- including computer ethics, privacy, organizational issues, intellectual and other property, equity, gender, health and safety, environment, professional certification, education, research, and similar topics. Editor: Tom Jewett (Department of Computer Science in the California State University at Long Beach).
  • TechnoScience
    Newsletter of the Society for Social Studies of Science. Find out the latest news and debates in the science studies world.
  • The Network Observer (TNO)
    A free on-line newsletter about networks and democracy. Editor: Phil Agre (Department of Communication, Univ. of California, San Diego, USA). It appeared monthly from January 1994 to July 1996.

Directories and Indexes

Web Economy - CyberCapitalism

  • CIO WebBusiness
    Mastering the Web in Business.
  • Economics of Financial Networks and Electronic Trading
    A collection of papers on financial exchange networks, electronic trading, call marktes, and market liquidity. The main issue of these papers is the micro-structure of financial exchange. Collected by Nicholas Economides.
  • Economics of Networks Internet Site 
    A collection of information on economic issues of networks, such as the internet, telephone and fax communications networks, the railroad network, the airline network, as well as financial exchange and credit card networks. Collected by Nicholas Economides.
  • Economics of Networks
    Special Issue of the International Journal of Industrial Organization. Vol 14(6), dec. 1996. Edited by: Nicholas Economides & David Encaoua. You can read the articles online or download them in postscript or pdf format.
  • Economides, Nicolas
    Bibliography on Network Economics
    An interactive bibliography on the economics of networks and related subjects. Very extensive and probably the best you can get.
  • Haley, Barbara J. / Carte, Traci A. / Watson, Richard T. - University of Georgia, Management Department
    Commerce on the Web: How is it Growing? 
    Commercial activity on the Web is a hot topic. While many researchers have investigated Web end-users, few systematically have studied the companies conducting Web commerce. These authors have examined 98 businesses listed on the Commercial Sites Index (CSI) by content analysing sites. They ask: How quickly is commercial Web activity growing? What types of businesses are using the Web? How are businesses using the Web? How is commercial Web activity changing? They conclude: "The overall picture indicates continued rapid Web development by organizations both in terms of new adopters and expansion by early adopters. Both are signs that the Web contributes to organizational performance."
  • Hoger, Elizabeth A. / Cappel, James J. / Myerscough, Mark A. [2005]
    Navigating the Web with a typology of corporate uses. 
    An article from: Business Communication Quarterly
    A categorization of company uses of the WWW for electronic commerce, along with examples of sites that represent each of these types. The classification scheme is designed to cover the major uses of the Web by for-profit companies. Some writers have defined electronic commerce strictly as the buying and selling of information, products, and services via computer networks. The proposed classification scheme assumes a broader definition that recognizes WWW uses that involve “support for any kind of business transactions over a digital infrastructure” [Bloch et al. 1996]. Companies are utilizing the WWW today for purposes of: (1) promoting greater awareness of their companies and products; (2) providing customer support for their products; (3) offering sales of products or services directly or indirectly either exclusively through the Web or to supplement existing marketing channels; (4) selling advertising space on Web sites to other companies; and (5) offering electronic information services.
  • Information Economy, The
    The economics of the Internet, information goods, intellectual property and related issues. This site is part of the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California Berkeley (USA). Editor: Hal R. Varian.
  • Intellectual Property Resources (Subject Areas)
  • Kelly, Kevin (Wired)
    New Rules for the New Economy (article) + book
  • Kollock, Peter (Univ. of California, Los Angeles, USA)
  • Lemley, Mark A. [1999] (University of California-Berkeley, USA)
    The Law and Economics of Internet Norms [pdf]
    Should the law defer to social norms on the Internet, either by abdicating its role entirely to cyberspace self-governance, or by carving out particular roles for nonlegal rulemaking? No, says Lemley. He argues that Internet norms are elusive and rapidly changing, and that in most cases there is noting like the consensus required for norm creation. Internet norms are likely to be inefficient, particularly when they are enforced by the underlying threat of exclusion from the network itself. Lemley suggests that neither Net "vigilantes," judges, nor code itself can be relied upo to identify and enforce Internet norms with an appropriate sensitivity to efficiency and policy concerns.
  • Mackie-Mason, Jeffrey K. / Varian, Hal R. 
    Pricing the Internet
    The authors describe the technology and costs of the Internet, and then discuss how to design efficient pricing in order to allocate scarce Internet resources. They offer a "smart market" as a device to efficiently price congestion.
  • Ngai, E.W.T. / Wat, F.K.T. [2002]
    A literature review and classi?cation of electronic commerce research
    In: Information & Management 39: 415–429.
  • Robins, Kevin / Webster, Frank
    Cybernetic Capitalism: Information, Technology, Everyday Life
  • WikipediaDigital Economy | Electronic Business ] Electronic Commerce | Information economy | Knowledge economy | Network economy | Virtual economy

Web History

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