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Being Online, Living Offline: The Influence of Social Ties over the Appropriation of Social Network Sites

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Information about Being Online, Living Offline: The Influence of Social Ties over the...
Technology

Published on November 25, 2008

Author: berndp

Source: slideshare.net

Description

full paper at CSCW 2008 conference

Paper abstract:
Research on social network sites has examined how people integrate offline and online life, but with a particular emphasis on their use by friendship groups. We extend earlier work by examining a case in which offline ties are non-existent, but online ties strong. Our case is a study of bodybuilders, who explore their passion with like-minded offline 'strangers' in tightly integrated online communities. We show that the integration of offline and online life supports passion-centric activities, such as bodybuilding.
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Being Online, Living Offline: The Influence of Social Ties over the Appropriation of Social Network Sites Bernd Ploderer, Steve Howard, Peter Thomas Department of Information Systems The University of Melbourne

Overview Background: Bodybuilding and social network sites Research question and study approach Findings and discussion

Background: Bodybuilding and social network sites

Research question and study approach

Findings and discussion

Passion of Bodybuilding Enthusiasm or intense desire for transforming their bodies "Train Big, Eat Big, Sleep Big!” “ The hell of preparation” But also socially isolating “ Shut up and lift!”

Enthusiasm or intense desire for transforming their bodies

"Train Big, Eat Big, Sleep Big!”

“ The hell of preparation”

But also socially isolating

“ Shut up and lift!”

BodySpace Connects “strangers” around the passion of bodybuilding Personal public profile, contacts & comments Stats, progress pics, training plans Blog, forum, photo gallery, articles & shop

Connects “strangers” around the passion of bodybuilding

Personal public profile, contacts & comments

Stats, progress pics, training plans

Blog, forum, photo gallery, articles & shop

Social Network Sites (SNSs) “ Friend-based” SNSs: Organized around people Keep in touch with offline ties (Ellison et al., 2007; Kim & Yun, 2007; Lampe et al., 2006; Joinson 2008) Online and offline “deeply entwined” (boyd & Ellison 2007, p. 223) “ Passion-centric” SNSs Organized around a shared passion No offline ties - connect with “strangers” Relationship between online and offline?

“ Friend-based” SNSs:

Organized around people

Keep in touch with offline ties (Ellison et al., 2007; Kim & Yun, 2007; Lampe et al., 2006; Joinson 2008)

Online and offline “deeply entwined” (boyd & Ellison 2007, p. 223)

“ Passion-centric” SNSs

Organized around a shared passion

No offline ties - connect with “strangers”

Relationship between online and offline?

Research Question How do people appropriate online and offline resources to support passion-centric activities where offline ties are absent?

How do people appropriate online and offline resources to support passion-centric activities where offline ties are absent?

Field Study Ethnographic approach Observations online and offline Interviews with 10 BodySpace users, and 3 non-users to verify data Duration: 4 months Analysis: Grounded approach (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) using NVivo 7

Ethnographic approach

Observations online and offline

Interviews with 10 BodySpace users, and 3 non-users to verify data

Duration: 4 months

Analysis: Grounded approach (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) using NVivo 7

Findings Bodybuilders appropriate the social network site as a… Tool Theatre Community

Bodybuilders appropriate the social network site as a…

Tool

Theatre

Community

1. Tool Extends their capabilities Exchange knowledge Monitor progress Comparisons “ I used to look at competitors to see some photographs from previous competitions to see any photos from guys in my categories. And then I would say,’ yeah, I think I'll be ok’ or ‘it's going to be hard’. I mainly do that.” (James, 56, interviewed face-to-face) “ Some think bodybuilders overall are dumb or they just talk, are egotistical and vain, narcissistic. But the truth is, you have to be fairly clever about nutrition, you have to be amazingly dedicated as far as training is concerned.” (George, 43, interviewed face-to-face).

Extends their capabilities

Exchange knowledge

Monitor progress

Comparisons

2. Theatre Presenting yourself on a stage Self-promotion Appraisal Beyond bodybuilding “ Another thing I’ve got to say about BodySpace which I think is the most important thing to most of us - It gives us a place to post our picture for the whole world to see. Bodybuilders need to be noticed. It feeds our muscle ego; it motivates us.” (John, 28, via Email)

Presenting yourself on a stage

Self-promotion

Appraisal

Beyond bodybuilding

3. Community Public discussions … to form webs of personal relationships Friendships and belonging Social support Values “ well we are never happy with our bodies...we always want more and more...but you got more potential then you think...” (online comment left on the profile of John, 28) “ On BodySpace everyone is there together for the same purpose. (…) And I find that a great way to find people with the same goals and aspirations.” (Mario, 20, interviewed via telephone)

Public discussions … to form webs of personal relationships

Friendships and belonging

Social support

Values

Contributions Close offline-online integration despite the absence of offline ties that link those dimensions Various forms of online support despite competitiveness offline Supporting passion can also feed obsession

Close offline-online integration despite the absence of offline ties that link those dimensions

Various forms of online support despite competitiveness offline

Supporting passion can also feed obsession

Discussion Bernd Ploderer, Steve Howard, Peter Thomas Department of Information Systems The University of Melbourne

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