Decomposing Discussion Forums using User Roles
Publication Type:Conference Paper
Source:Web Science Conference (WebSci 2010) at WWW 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina (2010)
Keywords:discussion forums; roles; behaviour; social network analysis
Discussion forums are a central part of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 infrastructures. The health and sustainability of forums is dependent on the information exchange behaviour of its members. Such behaviour needs to be better understood and characterised so that forums can be better managed, new services delivered and opportunities and risks detected. In this paper, we present a method for analysing user communication roles in discussion forums. We analyse the composition of several forums from a medium-sized national bulletin board in terms of these roles, demonstrating similarities between forums based on underlying user behaviour rather than topic. We suggest that analysing the evolution of role composition is an important step in developing a predictive model of forum health.