An empirical exploration of mass interaction system dynamics: Individual information overload and Usenet discourse

Q. Jones, G. Ravid, S. Rafaeli

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

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The large-scale adoption of computer mediated communication technologies has resulted in what has been described as "mass interaction": shared discourse between hundreds, thousands or more individuals. A number of theoretical papers have made the argument that because of the existence of various technological and psychological constraints, the forms that mass interaction takes, can be understood partly in terms of system dynamics. In particular, it has been suggested that user information overload results in nonlinear feedback loops which impacts on discourse structure. This paper describes an empirical examination of three hypothesized effects of such loops by the analysis of 2.65 million USENET messages posted to 600 newsgroups over a 6-month period. Statistical analysis of the data demonstrated the existence of the hypothesized effects and support the assertion that individual 'information overload' coping strategies have an observable impact on mass interaction discourse dynamics. This in turn suggests that the usability of computer mediated communication technologies can be examined in terms of group-level usability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2002
EditorsRalph H. Sprague
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages1050-1059
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)0769514359
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Event35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2002 - Big Island, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2002Jan 10 2002

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2002-January

Other

Other35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2002
CountryUnited States
CityBig Island
Period1/7/021/10/02

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Keywords

  • Communications technology
  • Computer mediated communication
  • Constraint theory
  • Feedback loop
  • Large-scale systems
  • Nonlinear dynamical systems
  • Paper technology
  • Psychology
  • Statistical analysis
  • Usability

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An empirical exploration of mass interaction system dynamics: Individual information overload and Usenet discourse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Jones, Q., Ravid, G., & Rafaeli, S. (2002). An empirical exploration of mass interaction system dynamics: Individual information overload and Usenet discourse. In R. H. Sprague (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2002 (pp. 1050-1059). [994061] (Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences; Vol. 2002-January). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2002.994061