Online Communities Speaker Series: Nicole Ellison, Michigan State University


Monday, March 3, 2008 - 12:00pm

Join students and faculty for a presentation by Nicole Ellison, assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University.

From Ellison: “This presentation will describe findings from a three-year, multi-method research project examining Facebook, a social network site wildly popular with undergraduate students. Utilizing a combination of survey, interview, and web crawling methodologies, our project focuses on the social capital implications of Facebook use and the ways in which the site is used to maintain and initiate relationships. Findings suggest that certain kinds of Facebook use are associated with increases in bridging social capital, perhaps due to the specific social and technical affordances of Facebook which enable users to maintain larger and more heterogeneous social networks. Is Facebook being used to forge new relationships (similar to earlier forms of virtual community) or to articulate pre-existing off line connections? After probing the directionality of these online/off line connections, preliminary findings suggest three distinct typologies of Facebook use, only one of which is significantly associated with increases in social capital."

This talk is part of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities speaker series, a special presentation of the Annenberg Research Seminar series.