Virtual play and communities: The evolution of group roles in electronic trace data

Alison N. Novak, Christopher M. Mascaro, Sean P. Goggins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this study we focus on the development of jargon within an online community dedicated to a national adult recreational sports league. The complete dataset incorporates 336,642 discussion forum posts contained within 9,559 discussion threads over the course of four years. We analyze one cross cutting discussion dedicated to the development of the community's lexicon, in order to establish a baseline of community jargon to be applied in later analysis of the other forums. This discussion, titled "the code", contains 249 comments made by 44 individuals. Our methods marry social network analysis with identification of individual, task and maintenance roles, to examine the roles of actors in establishing and contributing to the adoption of the set of jargon. Our findings build an understanding how individuals construct a shared language in a virtual space that is used in both the discussion forum and in physical interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2012 iConference
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Design, Society, iConference 2012
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Feb 7 2012Feb 10 2012

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012
CityToronto, ON

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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