From User Comments to On-Line Conversations

9 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2012

See all articles by Chunyan Wang

Chunyan Wang

Stanford University - Department of Applied Physics

Mao Ye

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

Bernardo A. Huberman


Date Written: February 28, 2012


We present an analysis of user conversations in on-line social media and their evolution over time. We propose a dynamic model that accurately predicts the growth dynamics and structural properties of conversation threads. The model successfully reconciles the differing observations that have been reported in existing studies. By separating artificial factors from user behaviors, we show that there are actually underlying rules in common for on-line conversations in different social media websites. Results of our model are supported by empirical measurements throughout a number of different social media websites.

Keywords: social media, online conversations

JEL Classification: E23,C92, D70, D83, M37

Suggested Citation

Wang, Chunyan and Ye, Mao and Huberman, Bernardo A., From User Comments to On-Line Conversations (February 28, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Chunyan Wang

Stanford University - Department of Applied Physics ( email )

United States

Mao Ye

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories ( email )

1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
United States

Bernardo A. Huberman (Contact Author)

CableLabs ( email )

400 W California Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
United States

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