Making e friends and influencing people in Second

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Information about Making e friends and influencing people in Second

Published on December 19, 2007

Author: Gabrielle


Making e-friends and influencing people in Second Life:  Making e-friends and influencing people in Second Life Aleks Krotoski University of Surrey SPERI What I’ll talk about:  What I’ll talk about Interpersonal relationships in cyberspace How I measure relationships in Second Life How relationships are defined Before I get ahead of myself:  Before I get ahead of myself The differences between online and offline: Anonymity Physical appearance Physical proximity Greater transience (more weak ties) Absence of social cues So how can we expect community to grow? Slide5:  Online community I In traditional definitions of “community”, there’d be no such thing in cyberspace Tied to place To misquote AOL ads, how can you fall for someone you’ve never met? But we know that’s not true Chatrooms, forums, MySpace, Craig’s List, London Memorial These virtual worlds are the places which the online communities are tied to Slide6:  Online Communities I (cont) Transient and formal communities London Memorial in the virtual world Second Life Between 12-1pm on 7 July 2005, over 150 Second Life residents visited. It was open for 7 days and racked up thousands of visitors Fewer than 10% claimed any British ties Maker’s motivations were altruistic and purely community-driven Slide7:  Online community II Form for the same reasons offline communities do: Make friends, provide motivation, offer support, meet like-minded others Whatever role trust plays in offline communities, it plays in online communities because these interactions are human-bound What we know about online relationships Proximity and frequency of contact Similarity Self-presentation Reciprocity & self-disclosure Consistency Perpetuity: don’t mess with the orc if you’ve already PO’d the governor. Slide8:  Trust in virtual communities I: we’re all in it together Returning to Anonymity Perceived similarity (levelling the playing field) No social cues, so lots of uncertainty Expectations of openness and honesty engenders a culture of mutual sharing Relevant Social Psychological dimension of trust Similarity of goals and values Expectations of future interaction Trust in virtual worlds III: Rep (cont):  Trust in virtual worlds III: Rep (cont) Trust is based upon past experience… …which is either based upon functional goals or pre-existing social relationships… …or some kind of disinterested third party (e.g., Craig’s List or MySpace) And speaking of social networking applications, the same principles work in-world too Finally, you must comply: A non-official policing force in a space where an official police is absent The emphasis is on friendship and dedication to the group Rejection is cruel Slide10:  How measure friendships? Social Network Analysis …studies social relationships as a series of interconnected webs. …focuses on inter-relationships rather than individuals’ attributes Slide11:  Asking personal questions Surveys Who do you know? Who do you communicate with? Who do you trust? Define your relationship: Who’s trustworthy? (Poortinga & Pidgeon, 2003; Cvetkovich (1999); Renn & Levine, 1991) Who’s credible? (Renn & Levine, 1991) Who do you compare yourself with? (Lennox & Wolfe, 1984) Who’s the most prototypical? Results:  Results N (respondents) = 33 N (total network) = 650 Slide14:  Picking apart communication network closeness But what does it mean in Second Life if someone in this community is rated “close” or “distant”? Slide15:  Results: Single explanatory variable (General Communication) The greatest prediction comes from general trust followed by credibility, which is not surprising, as this is proposed in Sherif’s (1981) contact hypothesis. Slide16:  Single explanatory variable: General Trust & SNC categories Effect of interpersonal closeness on mode of communication (e.g., Garton et al, 1997) Offline communication contributes the most to the estimate of General Trust. Online public communication contributes the least. Slide17:  In Sum Closeness has implications for influence and persuasion, even in the virtual environment Virtual communities operate in very similar ways to other communities – both on and offline They bring together distributed individuals based on common experience, motivations and reputation This is particularly true for virtual world participants because of the explicit social design of the software Trust varies according to communication medium Trust is paramount Slide18:  Thank you! Aleks Krotoski (Mynci Gorky)

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