Measuring Information Diffusion in an Online Community

Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2011  

Rajiv Garg

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

Michael D. Smith

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Rahul Telang

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

Measuring peer influence in social networks is an important business and policy question that has become increasingly salient with the development of globally interconnected ICT networks. However, in spite of the new data sources available today, researchers still face many of the same measurement challenges that have been present in the literature for over four decades: homophily, reflection and selection problems, identifying the source of influence, and determining pre-existing knowledge. The goal of this paper is to develop an empirical approach for measuring information diffusion and discovery in online social networks that have these measurement challenges. We develop such an approach and apply it to data collected from 4,000 users of an online music community. We show that peers on such network significantly increase music discovery. Moreover, we demonstrate how future research can use this method to measure information discovery and diffusion using data from other online social networks.

Keywords: information diffusion, peer influence, new content discovery, online music community, social influence, empirical research, data mining

JEL Classification: D83, L86, M20

Suggested Citation

Garg, Rajiv and Smith, Michael D. and Telang, Rahul, Measuring Information Diffusion in an Online Community (May 1, 2009). Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1864899 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1864899

Rajiv Garg (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business ( email )

CBA 5.202
Austin, TX 78712
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.RajivGarg.org

Michael D. Smith

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~mds

Rahul Telang

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

4800 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-1155 (Phone)

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