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New Study Claims Small Percentage of Newsgroup Users Dominate Discussions - Is this ATS?

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posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 11:49 PM
Original Article
I found this article today while browsing the interwebs and it got me to thinking. Take a look and let me know what you think.

When the internet first got kicking, some scholars of democracy and civil society thought that online discussions could create what they called a "conversational democracy”: an ongoing town hall without bricks and mortar. But the internet may not be as democratic as they'd imagined, according to a study in the journal Communication Research. ["Civil Society and Online Political Discourse: The Network Structure of Unrestricted Discussions"]

Researcher Itai Himelboim gathered eight million messages posted to 35 political and philosophical newsgroups—like alt.politics.usa—over a six-year period. And he analyzed the connections among the messages. Turns out that 50 percent of all replies were directed at just 2 percent of people who started threads, and who thus came to control the discussion. And the larger the newsgroup, the more polarized this effect became.

I thought this was insanely interesting to read especially considering the rapid growth in ATS members and postings. I don't know what our statistics would say about us but I can certainly see the effect coming into play here.

What do you guys think? Discussion?
edit on 15-6-2011 by redNyx because: more info

posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:01 AM
I guess you're not part of the two percent cause you're not getting any replies. Oh, wait....

posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:09 AM
reply to post by redNyx

Thanks for that. It's a very interesting article and true from my own personal experience over the years on-line with the sites I'm a part of. Even the huge ones (like ATS here) seem to have a rather small core of very active people with a second tier of reply/follower users and then an enormous audience of people who rarely, if ever, participate but are sure there reading it all on a regular basis. It is interesting to see the results when people have put the effort into quantifying the effect with actual numbers.

posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:22 AM
Yea I have noticed this. There are a handful of posters that always get a great deal of attention [i.e stars/flags/replies] on any and every one of their threads. This happens on nearly every online community however, ranging from conspiracy forums to art sites.

posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:27 AM
lol, 3 replies so far and 1 star. Yup. Got it.

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