Howard T. Welser

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Howard T. Welser is an author.


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Title Keyword(s) Published in Language DateThis property is a special property in this wiki. Abstract R C
Finding social roles in Wikipedia English 2011 This paper investigates some of the social roles people play in the online community of Wikipedia. We start from qualitative comments posted on community oriented pages, wiki project memberships, and user talk pages in order to identify a sample of editors who represent four key roles: substantive experts, technical editors, vandal fighters, and social networkers. Patterns in edit histories and egocentric network visualizations suggest potential "structural signatures" that could be used as quantitative indicators of role adoption. Using simple metrics based on edit histories we compare two samples of Wikipedians: a collection of long term dedicated editors, and a cohort of editors from a one month window of new arrivals. According to these metrics, we find that the proportions of editor types in the new cohort are similar those observed in the sample of dedicated contributors. The number of new editors playing helpful roles in a single month's cohort nearly equal the number found in the dedicated sample. This suggests that informal socialization has the potential provide sufficient role related labor despite growth and change in Wikipedia. These results are preliminary, and we describe several ways that the method can be improved, including the expansion and refinement of role signatures and identification of other important social roles. 0 5
Self-Governance Through Group Discussion in Wikipedia: Measuring Deliberation in Online Groups Small Group Research English 2011 Virtual teams and other online groups can find it challenging to establish norms that allow them to effectively balance task and relational aspects of their discussions. Yet, in our reliance on organizational and team theories, small group scholars have overlooked the potential for learning from examples offered by online communities.Theories of deliberation in small groups offer scholars a way to assess such discussion-centered self-governance in online groups.The study operationalizes the conceptual definition of deliberative discussion offered by Gastil and Black (2008) to examine the small group discussions that undergird policy-making processes in a well-established online community, Wikipedia. Content analysis shows that these discussions demonstrated a relatively high level of problem analysis and providing of information, but results were mixed in the group’s demonstration of respect, consideration, and mutual comprehension. Network visualizations reveal structural patterns that can be useful in examining equality, influence, and group member roles. The combination of measures has implications for future research in deliberative discussion and virtual teamwork. 0 1