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Title: The role of message-sequences in the sustainability of an online support community for older people
Authors: Pfeil, Ulrike 
Zaphiris, Panayiotis 
Wilson, Stephanie 
Keywords: Older people;Online support community;Sustainability
Category: Media and Communications
Field: Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2010, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 336-363
Abstract: This article presents an investigation of an online support community for older people, analyzing a data-set of messages posted over the period of six years. We studied messages that are related to each other which we call "message-sequences". We investigated the content of message-sequences and linked our findings to the level of activity of the online support community over time. We show how certain sequences of messages within the online community are related to the level of activity thus providing valuable insight into the role of message-sequences in sustaining online support communities for older people. We conclude that the mutual exchange of personal information and receiving support after talking about personal problems are basic components for the sustainability of the online community, whereas conversations that go off the topic of the online community seem to be related to a decrease in the level of activity.
ISSN: 10836101
DOI: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2010.01523.x
Rights: © 2010 International Communication Association. All rights reserved.
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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