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社會網絡平台資訊擴散之研究─以PTT與Facebook為例

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(1)國立高雄大學亞太工商管理學系碩士班 碩士論文. 社會網絡平台資訊擴散之研究 ─以 PTT 與 Facebook 為例 A study on information diffusion of social network sites -A comparison of PTT and Facebook. 研究生:劉嵋璊. 撰. 指導教授:李亭林. 博士. 丁一賢. 博士. 中華民國 101 年 06 月.

(2) Abstract. Social network sites (SNSs) become more and more popular in Taiwan, and people spend 35% of their time to browse and interact with others through the SNSs. Nowadays, Users share their life, experiences and build friendships on the SNSs, so that virtual communities and relationships are gradually agglomerated. In this vain, new products will easily diffuse through electronic word-of-mouth (eWoM) in social networking sites. This study takes one of the HTC smart phones, HTC-XE, as an example to observe differentiations of product information diffusion pattern on the sites between PTT-Mobilecomm and Face Book-HTCTW. Then we conduct a five-month deep sites observations and data collecting. By using social network analysis, the degree, Indegree, Outdegree and Betweenness all indicates how differences between the sites for the characteristics over time. The normalized numeric of degree is becoming less over time on the PTT site, it means that as the users increasing the network centralization decreases, and it is not significantly on the Facebook site. From the rate of users increasing and posting articles, this study finds the PTT site is greater than the Facebook site significantly. With these results, it may have some meaning and contribution for marketing. If corporations would like to develop the marketing strategy, the same may not work on the different social network sites for the difference of popularity of discussion on the sites. And information attainability, media richness and self-presentation form the popularity of discussions to the product on the sites. Keyword: Social network site, information diffusion, social network analysis, virtual community. I.

(3) 中文摘要. 社會網絡平台在台灣變得愈來愈熱門,台灣人每天花 35%的時間進 行平台瀏覽與互動。目前而言,使用者更透過平台與他人分享資訊,甚至 是產品使用經驗的討論,儼然已成為許多人生活的一部分。透過平台討 論,產品與想法甚至因此進行擴散,而形成各種不同類型,如以交易導向、 興趣導向、關係導向等不同的虛擬社群。 本研究以智慧型手機 HTC-XE 用以觀察在不同平台中的討論情形,選 定平台差異度相當高的 PTT-Mobilecomm 與 FB-HTCTW 兩者,進行五個 月的平台觀察及資料蒐集。本研究發現在使用者人數與文章數方面, PTT 平台遠超過於 Facebook 平台;在資訊擴散模式方面,PTT 以年輪式的路徑 向外快速擴散,Facebook 則呈現同軸放射線狀。另外從社會網絡的中心性 (向內中心性、向外中心性) 、中介性與結構洞的分析中發現,PTT 平台有 許多具備高度影響力使用者,至資料蒐集結束的期間 HTC-XE 仍為熱門討 論之一,Facebook 平台則只有 HTCTW 官方為最具影響力的使用者。 。 PTT 平台之標準化中心性數值隨著時間的增加而降低,這表示網絡的 集中度著會隨著使用者人數增加而趨於離散,然而此現象在 Facebook 平台 較不顯著。另外,從使用者人數與文章數增加的速率,本研究更發現 PTT 平台遠高於 Facebook 平台。 透過文獻回顧及研究結果,兩平台之資訊取得性、媒體豐富性及自我 揭露程度之不同,確實對於產品的討論程度會造成差異,在五個月的網絡 圖可清楚看出 PTT 平台之傳遞速度級人數是顯著的高於 Facebook 平台 的。根據這些結果,對於未來的行銷活動應可帶來一些貢獻與建議。當企 業要發展及擬定行銷策略時,由於平台特性不同,在行銷工具上的使用與 方式應可依屬性而有所調整,進而達到企業預期之目標。. II.

(4) 誌 謝 經過了兩年研究所的訓練與研究,終於完成了這本嘔心瀝血的論文。 除了學習到解決問題必備的廣度和深度,更重要的是耐心與抗壓性的磨 練,令我無懼於面對未來可能的挑戰。首先要感謝我的兩位指導教授 李 亭林教授與 丁一賢教授,經由您們的鼓勵與指點,讓我總能在迷途徬徨 時,看見一絲曙光並獲得泉源不絕的靈感,將我引領至正確的道路。很感 謝您們的諄諄教誨與精闢的指導。口試委員 蕭志同教授與 汪維揚教授, 您們對於論文上獨特的見解與建議更是完成論文的一大助益。. 其次要對於我的同門尚霖、梅君與艾薇,一路走來相互扶持與共同邁 進,很榮幸與您們度過了很多共同努力的時光。碩二的諸位同窗及同門的 學弟妹,在這些日子的相處中,相當感謝您們的幫忙與陪伴。最後要將這 份榮耀與喜悅給予我的家人,我的爸爸、姐姐、外公、阿姨與舅舅,還有 在天上的媽媽與外婆,不斷的給我鼓勵往前邁進,您們的支持是我最大的 動力,讓我能在研究之餘無後顧之憂。無論如何,對於所有幫助過我的人, 內心充滿感激之意。. 時光匆匆的流逝,在高大度過了六年的學習生涯,滿載著回憶與感 謝,許多老師的教導與曾經踏過的每一個角落,令人溫暖與充滿活力的地 方,我會永遠記得曾經度過這些瘋狂歲月。不經一番寒徹骨,焉得梅花撲 鼻香,我終於要從這裡畢業了。. 劉嵋璊 謹誌 於國立高雄大學 III. 民國一百零一年七月.

(5) TABLE OF CONTENTS. 1. Introduction ...................................................................................... 1 1.1 Research Background .................................................................... 1 1.2 Research Motivation...................................................................... 2 1.3 Research Objectives and Research Questions ................................... 3 1.4 Research procedure ....................................................................... 4. 2. Literature review ............................................................................. 6 2.1Virtual community ......................................................................... 6 2.2 Social Network sites .................................................................... 16 2.3 Diffusion of innovation ................................................................ 25 2.4 Social Network Analysis .............................................................. 28. 3. Research Methodology..................................................................36 3.1 Conceptual research structure ....................................................... 36 3.2 Data Collecting ........................................................................... 37 3.3 Network Evaluation..................................................................... 39 3.4 Analytical approach..................................................................... 46. 4. Empirical Study and Analysis .....................................................47 4.1 Sample characteristics.................................................................. 47 4.2 Degree analysis of these sites........................................................ 52 4.3 Indegree analysis of these sites ..................................................... 65 4.4 Outdegree analysis of the sites ...................................................... 71 4.5 Betweenness analysis of these sites ............................................... 77 4.6 Structure holes analysis of these sites ............................................ 85 IV.

(6) 5.1 Finding and Discussion ................................................................ 89 5.2 Conclusion and Implication .......................................................... 93 5.3 Research Contribution ................................................................. 94 5.4 Limitation and future research ...................................................... 95. References ...........................................................................................97 Appendix ...........................................................................................102 Questionnaire of experts .................................................................. 102. V.

(7) LIST OF TABLE Table 2-1 The characteristics and roles of the virtual community members.... 14 Table 2-2 Classification of Social Media by social presence/media richness and self-presentation/self-disclosure................................................... 18 Table 2-3 Classification of Social network sites in Taiwan........................... 23 Table 3-1 Function Roles and the scores on the PTT site ............................. 43 Table 3-2 Relationships between the roles on PTT site ................................ 43 Table 3-3 Function roles and the scores on Facebook site ............................ 44 Table 3-4 Relationships between the roles on Facebook site......................... 44 Table 4-1 Characteristics of comparison between the sites ........................... 48 Table 4-2 Article classifications of the PTT site .......................................... 50 Table 4-3 Degree of the PTT site in five months ......................................... 53 Table 4-4 The top three Degree on the PTT site .......................................... 55 Table 4-5 Degree of the Facebook site in five months.................................. 56 Table 4-6 The code of the highest Degree on Facebook site ......................... 58 Table 4-7 Indegree of the PTT site in five months ....................................... 66 Table 4-8 The top three Indegree on the PTT site ........................................ 67 Table 4-9 Indegree of the Facebook site in five months ............................... 68 Table 4-10 The code of highest Indegree on Facebook site .......................... 69 Table 4-11 Outdegree of the PTT site in five months ................................... 72 Table 4-12 The top three Outdegree on PTT site ......................................... 73 Table 4-13 Outdegree of the Facebook site in five months ........................... 75 Table 4-14 The code of highest Outdegree on Facebook site ........................ 76 Table 4-15 Betweenness of the PTT site in five months ............................... 78 Table 4-16 The top three Betweenness on the PTT site ................................ 80 VI.

(8) Table 4-17 Betweenness of the Facebook site in five months ....................... 82 Table 4-18 The code of highest degree on Facebook site ............................. 83 Table 4-19 Structure holes of the PTT site in five months ............................ 86 Table 4-20 Structure holes of the PTT site in five months ............................ 87. VII.

(9) LIST OF FIGURE Figure 1-1 Research procedure .................................................................... 5 Figure 2-1 Functional, symbolic interactionist, organizational, and cognitive role theory perspectives .............................................................. 11 Figure 2-2 Types of Virtual Community of Consumption Member ............... 12 Figure 2-3 Percentage of community type .................................................. 22 Figure 2-4 Categories of Innovativeness..................................................... 26 Figure 3-1 Conceptual structure of this study.............................................. 36 Figure 3-2 Relationship of the users on PTT site ......................................... 40 Figure 3-3 Relationship of the users on Facebook site ................................. 41 Figure 4-1 Cumulative users of the sites ..................................................... 48 Figure 4-2 Accumulative articles of the sites .............................................. 49 Figure 4-3 Article classification on PTT site ............................................... 51 Figure 4-4 Degree of PTT site in five months ............................................. 54 Figure 4-5 The top three degree on PTT site ............................................... 55 Figure 4-6 Degree of Facebook site in five months...................................... 57 Figure 4-7 The code of the highest Degree on Facebook site ........................ 59 Figure 4-8 Network of PTT site in five months ........................................... 61 Figure 4-9 Network of Facebook site in five months ................................... 61 Figure 4-10 Network of PTT site in the first month ..................................... 62 Figure 4-11 Network of PTT site in second month ...................................... 62 Figure 4-12 Network of PTT site in third month ......................................... 63 Figure 4-13 Network of PTT site in forth month ......................................... 64 Figure 4-14 Network of PTT site in the fifth month ..................................... 64 Figure 4-15 The top three Indegree on PTT site .......................................... 67 VIII.

(10) Figure 4-16 The code of the highest Indegree on Facebook site .................... 70 Figure 4-17 The top three Outdegree on PTT site ........................................ 74 Figure 4-18 The code of the highest Outdegree on Facebook site.................. 77 Figure 4-19 Betweenness of PTT site in five months ................................... 79 Figure 4-20 The top three Betweenness on PTT site .................................... 81 Figure 4-21 Betweenness of Facebook site in five months ........................... 83 Figure 4-22 The code of the highest Betweenness on Facebook site .............. 84. IX.

(11) 1. Introduction. 1.1 Research Background. Social network sites (SNSs) such as MySpace, Facebook, Cyworld, and Bebo have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices. People in Taiwan are more and more dependent on the social network sites to sustain their relationships with friend or strangers in the real life. Moreover, they can gain abundant information to meet what they need from different types of social network sites. Some sites can be classified by the degree of Self-disclosure from high to low, so there forms many kinds of virtual communities at the social network sites. The development of Social network services has verified the theory of "Six Degrees," which means that we can connect to everyone of the world within six people in the interpersonal context through the indirect acquaintance in the world. Individual's social border will expand continuously and overlap and form large social networks eventually. MIC (2011) surveyed digital lifestyle of the consumers in Taiwan, with 90.4% users use Facebook, and Wretch and other social network community website, and 62.9% of them regularly use social networking community; 76.2% of the users use Mobile01, and 33% use PTT - board community. The sites members in Taiwan prefer to use social community sites and the members of board community are less than the former. According to MIC (2011) Survey, the most popular social network site in Taiwan is Facebook (79.4%), followed 1.

(12) by Wretch, Yahoo blog, Plurk, map diaries and so on. The global popular sites such as Google Blogger, Twitter (Twitter) are less than 10% of utilization in Taiwan. Now, some bloggers or sites users share their product using experiences in the social network sites, and some ideas and new products will diffuse through the network. Therefore, it will agglomerate a virtual network and form some relationships just like strong or weak links, and this study look through the observations to find out the members what roles they played, and the most important thing is to discover the information diffusion process through the network operation.. 1.2 Research Motivation. Pattison (1993) pointed out social networks are defined as collections of social or interpersonal relationships between individuals in a social grouping. The virtual world is somehow alike as the real world, and the elements composed of the virtual might be more multiple and complex than the real world. The innovation diffusion theory is common explored in three areas, including technological forecasting and social change, study of emerging industry, and combination of theoretical research and reality (Li & Sui, 2011). Most of the researches of diffusion focus on the product's market share and the ideas spread. Nowadays, the social network analysis is mostly applied in investigating into micro and macro scope, and it is useful for observing the subjects' 2.

(13) interaction, degree, and ties to go a step further to describe the network operation. Besides, the consumers are becoming smarter and more careful planning because of the convenience of the internet. They can surf the internet for gaining the information or social network sites for experience sharing from their friends or the community members in order to make the most rational choice. Therefore, the tools of general marketing may be less efficient after the social network sites spring up. To understand the behaviors of site users can help to explore and satisfy the needs of consumer; after all, there are a lot of potential business opportunities for gathering thousands of users. Briefly, this research would like to analyze the way of information diffusion and limit to the virtual community of HTC through the social network sites, and compare the difference between the ways of information diffusion for the two different social network sites. Then obtain what ties exist between the members, and try to find the composition of the virtual interpersonal relations.. 1.3 Research Objectives and Research Questions. Based on the research background and motivation, the research objectives are as follows: 1. To explore the context and velocity of information diffusion through the social network sites. 2. To comprehend how the information of HTC-XE spreads through the social network sites. 3. To compare the difference of characteristics of the members between the two social network sites. 3.

(14) In view of the proceeding research objectives, three primary research questions to be addressed in this research are as follows: 1. How does the HTC-XE product information diffuse through the virtual interpersonal relationships on the social network sites? 2. What do the function roles influence on the social network sites? 3. What are the differentials between these two SNSs when the product information diffuses, and how does the marketing of business activities influence in the future?. 1.4 Research procedure. From Figure 1-1 and according to the research questions, the relevant literature was initially searched and the group observation was conducted in order to understand the information diffusion of HTC XE on the social network sites. In order to achieve a better understanding of the information diffusion context, this study conducted a five-month deep observation to find the role played by the users and how they interact via the social network sites to collect the social network sites data and to find the measurable index by the literature review. Through experts’ survey, this study confirmed the degree of information diffusion on the sites by offering function roles. After that, the social network analysis tool was used for analyzing the network pattern and features of members in specific social network sites and common statistics was adopted for exploring the relation between the network features and the relational variables. Finally, the conclusion is presented in the research. 4.

(15) Figure 1-1 Research procedure. 5.

(16) 2. Literature review. In this section, the author reviews the literature on virtual community, social network sites, diffusion of innovation and social network analysis. The literature review provides the theoretical foundation for this research.. 2.1Virtual community. Interpersonal channels allow a user assessing the potential benefits of using a new interactive technology. In essence, people use these channels to judge whether the technology has reached the point where it is useful because enough other people are using it. This is best perceived through the user’s social network. Each user has an implicit measure of the number of influences they need in order to be convinced that a technology is worth adopting. Thus, social networks become crucial. People who are well-connected naturally have a greater exposure to new technologies, and may therefore be quicker about trying them out. Also, it has formed many kinds of virtual communities through the computer-mediated communication for people to exchange information or share their life. Human scholar Mercer (1956) defined that community was the combination of living at a particular moment in a specific geographical location with related people, and these people would share their common culture. 6.

(17) Later, as information technology and network media advanced, it began to form a virtual community. As a result, many scholars of different research field have also begun to conduct virtual community-related research and define the virtual community. In Early times, Sandel (1982) proposed that virtual community was individuals who belong to a certain extent in the community composition of self-identity, and provide their members thinking, behavior and background from mutual exchange of their life. Cerulo et al. (1992) defined that a virtual community was through some electronic media (e.g. telephone, fax, television, radio or computer) for the ways of communication and contact with the group. Tonteri et al. (2011) thought that sense of virtual community (SOVC) reflects the feeling that individual members have of belonging to an online social group, and increasing number of users and consumers today affiliate with each other through online channels in order to interact around shared interests and form virtual communities. McKenna and Bargh (2000) pointed out the major effects of virtual life for self-identification, social contact and relationship building were: (1) To enhance the degree of personal anonymity. (2) To reduce the importance of roles of interpersonal relationship with the personal appearance. (3) To reduce the space gap for the social interactive effects. (4) To make individuals have stronger dominance for interpersonal interaction when across time and space. 7.

(18) 2.1.1 Definition of virtual community. Sandel (1982) pointed out individual belongs to a certain virtual community, and that composes self-identity of individuals and provides its members thinking, behavior and background of mutual exchange of life. Virtual community was first used by Rheingold (1993), and it is defined as: a combination of society, and derive from enough people, emotion and interpersonal relationships on the virtual space in a long-term development. Ferback and Thompson (1995) indicated virtual community is a kind of social relationship in a particular environment (such as: chat rooms) for contacting with others and discussing topics of common interest. Romm et al. (1997) pointed out this kind of social network is a new social phenomenon, and members in the community have loyalty and commitment and can share with others and exchange ideas.. 2.1.2 Characteristics and types of virtual community About the characteristics of virtual communities, Lee et al. (2002) exhibited four characteristics to define virtual communities, including: (1) To be created in the computer-mediated environment. (2) To be conducted activities by the information technology. (3) To be led by the participant or subject content. (4)To be generated the relationship in the virtual community by communicating There are many kinds of classifications of virtual communities. Alder & Christopher (1998) thought it can be simply divided into three parts, including geographical region, occupational category, 8. personal interests..

(19) Besides, Armstrong and Hagel (1997) focused their attention on the following four types of electronic communities by analyzing the marketing research, including: (1) Communities of transaction To facilitate the buying and selling of goods and services and provide information about these transactions. Participants are encouraged to interact to make informed purchase decisions. Participants are encouraged to interact with one another in order to engage in a specific transaction that can be informed by the input of other members of the community. (2) Communities of interest To bring together participants who interact extensively about specific topics of interest. Participants not only carry out transactions with one another, but their interactions are generally focused on a specific topic area. (3) Communities of fantasy To allow participants create new personalities, environments, or stories of fantasy. Here, individuals can take on the persona of an imaginative or factual being and act out roles like members of a spontaneous improvisational theater. (4) Communities of Relationship To center on intense personal experiences and generally adhere to masking identities and anonymity. Examples include cancer survivors and rape victims. Here, participants discuss the pain associated with these experiences, talk about how to deal with personal issues, and exchange information about medical research and treatments. Further, Chaudhury et al. (2001) were based on the interactive point of view, and divided the virtual community into three types: 9.

(20) (1) You-Based Community: The dialogues of virtual members are one on one, and there are strong dependence on each other, this type of virtual community mainly focuses on the relationship synchronized and messages exchange, such as community of dating site. (2)They-Based Community: This type of community is for third social groups, like clubs or neighbors for sharing each other's interest, and the main emphasizes on exchanging any interesting comments or ideas. The dialogues of virtual members are many on many and the interactive process is classified asynchronous mostly. (3)It based Community: In this type of community, members can register by login machines to receive messages, and the dialogue patterns are one on many. Members obtain the task-orientation of information members of the task-driven access to information primary, so they maintain the feeling among the members is weak relatively. 2.1.3 Roles Many scholars have defined the roles of member in the virtual communities, and the roles are overlapping usually. In other words, a member may play different roles at the same time. Guirguis et al. (2005) proposed different perspectives of role theory, including functionalist, symbolic interactionist, organizational, cognitive, and structural perspectives.. 10.

(21) Figure 2-1 Functional, symbolic interactionist, organizational, and cognitive role theory perspectives Source: Guirguis et.al (2005) Armstrong and Hagel (1997) thought the roles of virtual community members and contribution are progressive development, and there are four main roles, including: (1)Visitor: The members are viewers when they just join the community, most people do not stay, and few people stay and only have low using rate. But the visitors can spread positive word and mouth to other network community and attract more visitors and thus become active members. (2)Builder: The visitors may become builders or users over time, and they will be the most enthusiastic and active to give their creative content with the power of community cohesion for the community, and they take the huge indirect value or the community. (3)Users: Sometimes they are also called lurker. They spend their time in the 11.

(22) community is more than the visitors, but do not give their creative content and participate in activities and services. Because of their effort in the community, the operators of social community can collect abundant information user habits from them. (4)Purchaser: In the commercial virtual community, this type of members is active to purchase products or services, and bring huge commissions and the considerable advertising revenues for the community.. Figure 2-2 Types of Virtual Community of Consumption Member Source: Kozinets(1999). Figure 2-2 shows the types of virtual community of consumption member, and it is proposed by Kozinets (1999). There are two factors — relations with the consumption activity, and relations with the virtual community — are separate enough that they can guide our understanding of four distinct member ‘types,’ as shown in Figure 2. Rather than simply agglomerating all members of virtual communities into a single category, this approach allows much more 12.

(23) subtlety in targeting and approach. 1. Tourists: Those who lack strong social ties to the group maintain only a superficial or passing interest in the consumption activity. 2. Minglers: The people maintain strong social ties, but who are only perfunctorily interested in the central consumption activity. 3. Devotees: The people are opposite to this: they maintain a strong interest in and enthusiasm for the consumption activity, but have few social attachments to the group. 4. Insiders: The people have strong social ties and strong personal ties with the consumption activity. From a marketing strategy perspective, it is the devotees and the insiders who tend to represent the most important targets for marketing. In addition, the virtual community itself may propagate the development of loyalty and heavy usage by culturally and socially reinforcing consumption. In this way, tourists and minglers can be socialized and ‘upgraded’ to insiders and devotees. In general, a virtual community member will progress from being a visitor to an insider as she gains online experience and discovers groups whose consumption activities assuage her needs. Because they are generally uninterested in building online social ties, devotees and tourists tend to use predominantly the factual informational mode of interaction. In this interaction mode, it is clear that they use online 13.

(24) communication as a means for the accomplishment of other ends. Minglers and insiders tend to be far more social and relational in their group communication. To them, the social contact of online communication is in itself a valuable reinforcement. This social orientation focuses on longer-term personal gain either through cooperation with other community of consumption members or through the delineation and enforcement of communal standards. Yang (2000) explored internet virtual community members to find the role of interaction and communication, totally classified seven roles in the virtual community.. Table 2-1 The characteristics and roles of the virtual community members Characteristic. Participation. Members of roles. professional. The degree of. The main content. knowledge. interaction. of the article. with other members Member's leader. High/ Medium. High. High. 1. Advice supported 2. Experiences shared. Opinion responders. High, medium. Medium, low. High. 1.Advice supported 2. Experiences shared. Self-disclosurers. Medium, low. Low. Low. Experiences shared. Experience sharers. High, medium,. High, medium. Medium. 1. Advice supported. low, passers-by Information. 2. Experiences shared. Low,passers-by. Medium, low. Medium, low. Information Inquired. High, medium,. High, medium. High, medium,. 1.Product promotion. low. 2.Relationship building. Inquirers Product promoters. low, passers-by Visitors. __. Low. Low. Interferers. Low, passers-by. Low. Low. Source: Yang (2000) 14. Others.

(25) 2.1.4 Remarks Clearly, the roles of the members in the community are not mutually exclusive. When consumers shop for goods and services, they often seek advices from others before they buy, and essentially blend the needs they met by communities of transaction with those who met by communities of interest. However, currently, most of the communities target only one of the four needs. In real life, each member may mix features of different types of members, so the virtual community members may not only belong to a particular type, but also play two or more roles possibly. The roles of the member converted can ascribe to the changes of the time, environments, or the cumulative experience and expertise, In sum, there are high degree of interest and active opinion leaders involved, and a lower participation or tourist-type member in the virtual community. Opinion leaders are the primary participants, and are also the part of the important value source in the community. Visitors or tourists-type members accounted for the major proportions in the community, so the virtual community operator should understand the characteristics of different types of members, and the value of the contribution allow more members to transform high value-based members and bring more benefits for the community.. 15.

(26) 2.2 Social Network sites. Nowadays, there are hundreds of SNSs, with various technological affordances, supporting a wide range of interests and practices. While their key technological features are fairly consistent, the cultures that emerge around SNSs are varied. Most sites support the maintenance of preexisting social networks, but others help strangers connect based on shared interests, political views, or activities. Some sites cater to diverse audiences, while others attract people based on common language or shared racial, sexual, religious, or nationality based identities. Sites also vary in the extent to which they incorporate new information and communication tools, such as mobile connectivity, blogging, and photo/ video-sharing. Social networking sites (SNS) have infiltrated people’s daily life with amazing. rapidity. to. become. an. important. social. platform. for. computer-mediated communication (Correa et al., 2010). Tapscott (2008) said SNS is a cyber environment that allows the individual to construct his/her profile, sharing text, images, and photos, and to link other members of the site by applications and groups provided on the Internet. Hence, Kane et al. (2009) indicated SNS enables users to present themselves, connect to a social network, and develop and maintain relationships with others Sledgianowski. and. Kulviwat. (2009). argued. that. SNS. is. a. pleasure-oriented information system that the individual becomes more willing to use as more friends or peers join. Lin& Lu (2011) thought that correlations between users and network 16.

(27) externalities, perceived benefit, and continued intention to use. Social networking sites are the latest online communication tool that allows users to create a public or semi-public profile, create and view their own as well as other users' online social networks (Boyd & Ellison, 2007), Subrahmanyam et al. (2008) proposed the communication forums of the internet are many and varied, and include applications such as instant messaging, email, and chat rooms as well as internet sites such as blogs, social networking sites, photo and video sharing sites such as YouTube, and virtual reality environments such as Second Life.. 2.2.1 Definition of social network sites Kane et al.(2009) defined social network sites(SNS) provides a new method of communicating, employing computers as a collaborative tool to accelerate group formation and escalate group scope and influence Boyd and Ellison (2008) pointed out social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to do the things, as follows: (1)To construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system (2)To articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection (3)To view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.. 2.2.2 Social network sites On many of the large SNSs, participants are not necessarily ‘‘networking’’ or looking to meet new people; instead, they are primarily 17.

(28) communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network. To emphasize this articulated social network as a critical organizing feature of these sites, we label them ‘‘social network sites.’’ With the evolution of the times, now we are familiar with social media and it is becoming increasingly diversified, such as Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and so on. Although that belong to a kind of social media, but its function and characteristic is somewhat different. Boyd and Ellison (2007) define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site. Table 2-2 Classification of Social Media by social presence/media richness and self-presentation/self-disclosure Social presence/Media richness Low High. Blogs. Medium. High. Social. Virtual social. networking sites. worlds. (e.g., Facebook). (e.g., second life). Collaborate. Content. Virtual game. projects. communities. worlds. (e.g.,. (e.g., YouTube). (e.g., World of. Self-presentation/ Self-disclosure Low. Wikipedia) Source: Kaplan& Haenlein(2010). 18. Warcraft).

(29) Table 2-2 shows the. classification of Social Media by social. presence/media richness and self-presentation/self-disclosure, and it can be classified by six categories, including Blogs, Social networking sites, Virtual social worlds, Collaborate projects, Content communities, Virtual game worlds (Kaplan& Haenlein, 2010). (1) Collaborative projects Collaborative projects enable the joint and simultaneous creation of content by many end-users and are, within the collaborative projects, Wiki is different from others.–—that is, websites which allow users to add, remove, and. change. text-based. content–—and. social. bookmarking. applications–—which enable the group-based collection and rating of Internet links or media content. The main idea underlying collaborative projects is that the joint effort of many actors lead to a better outcome than any actor could achieve individually; this is similar to the efficient-market hypothesis in behavioral finance (Fama, 1970). (2) Blogs Blogs, which represent the earliest form of Social Media, are special types of websites that usually display date-stamped entries in reverse chronological order (OECD, 2007). They are the Social Media equivalent of personal web pages and can come in a multitude of different variations, from personal diaries describing the author’s life to summaries of all relevant information in one specific content area. Blogs are usually managed by one person only, but provide the possibility of interaction with others through the addition of comments. Due to their historical roots, text-based blogs are still by far the most common. 19.

(30) (3) Content communities The main objective of content communities is the sharing of media content between users. Content communities exist for a wide range of different media types, including text (e.g., BookCrossing, via which 750,000+ people from over 130 countries share books), photos (e.g., Flickr), videos (e.g., YouTube), and PowerPoint presentations (e.g., Slideshare). Users on content communities are not required to create a personal profile page; if they do, these pages usually only contain basic information, such as the date they joined the community and the number of videos shared. (4) Social networking sites Social networking sites are applications that enable users to connect by creating personal information profiles, inviting friends and colleagues to have access to those profiles, and sending e-mails and instant messages between each other. These personal profiles can include any type of information, including photos, video, audio files, and blogs.. (5) Virtual game worlds Virtual worlds are platforms that replicate a three dimensional environment in which users can appear in the form of personalized avatars and interact with each other as they would in real life. Virtual worlds are probably the ultimate manifestation of Social Media, as they provide the highest level of social presence and media richness of all applications discussed thus far. Virtual worlds are probably the ultimate manifestation of Social Media, as they provide the highest level of social presence and media richness of all applications discussed thus far. 20.

(31) (6) Virtual social worlds The second group of virtual worlds, often referred to as virtual social worlds, allows inhabitants to choose their behavior more freely and essentially live a virtual life similar to their real life. As in virtual game worlds, virtual social world users appear in the form of avatars and interact in a three-dimensional virtual environment; however, in this realm, there are no rules restricting the range of possible interactions, except for basic physical laws such as gravity. This allows for an unlimited range of self presentation strategies, and it has been shown that with increasing usage intensity and consumption experience, users of virtual social worlds–—or ‘‘residents,’’ as they prefer to be called–—show behavior that more and more closely mirrors the one observed in real life settings.. 2.2.3 Social network sites in Taiwan. MIC (2011) has sorted the social network sites in Taiwan, including Facebook, Youtube, Mobile01, Blogger, Xuite, Pixnet, Plurk and so on. It can be arranged into six parts, like social network sites, multimedia sharing platforms, micro-blogs, forums, album blogs and dating communities.. 21.

(32) Figure 2-3 Percentage of community type Source: MIC (2011) Album blogs and Forums are the main using sites in Taiwan, but the album blogs is in the decrease than before. And the social network sites including Facebook, Google+ and so on are becoming more and more popular in Taiwan, so this study select the many differences existing in media richness and self-presentation, PTT(forum) and Facebook(social network site) to explore the network operation on the sites.. 22.

(33) Table 2-3 Classification of Social network sites in Taiwan Social presence/Media richness Low High Self-presentation/ Self-disclosure. Medium. High. Blogs. Social networking sites. Virtual social worlds. 1.Wretch 2.Weibo 3.Twitter 4.Pixnet. 1.Facebook 2.Google+. 1.iPart 2.Match. 3.Plurk. 5.Xuite Low. Collaborate projects. Content communities. Virtual game worlds. 1.Wikipedia. 1.YouTube 2.Mobile01 3.PTT. 1.World of Warcraft 2. Diablo. 4.Gamer. 3. LoL. 2.Mbalib. Source: The author Social network sites have been developed and used by users for years. Due to the different types of sites, it can attract particular users to construct their social network. This study classifies the major social network sites which are popular in Taiwan, and was shown in Table2-3. According to Kaplan& Haenlein (2010) classification, this study classified the type of social network sites that are commonly used in Taiwan. (1) Blogs: obtaining micro blogs and photo oriented blogs, like Wretch, Weibo, Twitter and so on. The photo oriented blogs were popular in Taiwan in early days, as more and more social networks sites appearing, the users of photo oriented have become less than before. (2) Social networking sites: including rich media interface, and provide more functions for using, like Facebook, Google + and so on. Those types of sites 23.

(34) connote the rapid growth potential. (3) Virtual social worlds: nestling up against the people relationships in the real world, like iPart and Match. The sites are for the making friends on the way of charging payments. (4) Collaborative projects: providing abundant information and knowledge, like Wikipedia and Mbalib, these sites are similar to the database and dictionary. (5) Content communities: providing abundant script, picture and film content, like Youtube, Moble01 and PTT and so on. These types of sites have its core function, for example Youtube is film based and PTT is script based. (6) Virtual game worlds: supporting a platform for users to play games, like World of Warcraft, Diablo and LoL.. 2.2.4 Remarks There are many kinds of social network sites in the virtual world.,and the sites users not only use. one but numerous social network sites. It means that. the social network sites can attract particular users for its functions provided. By surfing the sites, they can meet what they need, such as information inquiring, game playing, video watching or even friend making. Because there is no social network sites is able to obtain the whole functions for use, it makes each social network sites attract specific members, and form the virtual community in the end. Therefore, this study will take the two social network sites to compare the roles of virtual member and the information diffusion process of these sites.. 24.

(35) 2.3 Diffusion of innovation. 2.3.1 Diffusion of innovation theory Innovation diffusion theory is increasingly becoming a focus of academic research, because the ultimate goal of innovation diffusion is to predict the future of new products for enterprises. Rogers (1983) defines the diffusion process the spread of a new idea from its source of invention or creation to its ultimate users or adopters. He thus differentiates the adoption process from the diffusion process in that the diffusion process occurs within society, as a group process, whereas, the adoption process is pertains to an individual. Rogers defines the adoption process as the mental process through which an individual passes from first hearing about an innovation to final adoption. Typically, adoption begins slowly, with only the most innovative and daring taking the risks of using a new technology. Valente (1995) pointed out the diffusion of innovations is the process by which a few members of a social system initially adopt an innovation, then over time more individuals adopt until all (or most) members adopt the new idea. Lee and Sui(2011) proposed diffusion model can be divided into two categories according to the difference of study objects and methods: One is the macro-level mathematical model based on the overall statistical behavior of potential adopters, the other is the micro-level simulation model based on the individual decision-making behavior of potential adopters. Diffusion of new products is affected by products, the environment, communication channels 25.

(36) and other factors. And different products have different characteristics, suiting different management methods. The study of new product diffusion model is to predict the future of new product by controlling the regular variables in diffusion process. According to Rogers (1983), the process of choosing to adopt an innovation can be decomposed into a series of five steps. In the knowledge phase individuals must first learn that the technology exists and can apply to their problem. In the persuasion phase they prepare to adopt the technology. In the decision phase they decide to apply the innovation to their own situation. In the implementation phase they begin to apply the innovation. In the confirmation phase they review whether the innovation has been successful. 2.3.2 Adopter categories A major contribution to diffusion research has been the categorization of adopters based on innovativeness as measured by time-of-adoption (Rogers, 1958). Rogers stated that adopters of any new innovation or idea could be categorized as innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%), based on a bell curve. Some of the characteristics of each category of adopter include:. Figure 2-4 Categories of Innovativeness Source: Rogers (1983) 26.

(37) (1)Innovators: Individuals are the pioneer of innovation users, but to accept the innovation things and to quickly reveal their risk preference usually. (1)Early adopters: Individuals whose time-of-adoption are greater than one standard deviation earlier than the average time-of-adoption. (2) Early and late majorities: Individuals whose time-of-adoption are bounded by one standard deviation earlier and later than the average.. (3) Laggards: Individuals who adopt later than one standard deviation from the average, and are late for adopting the innovation idea or product with comparing to others. Adopter categories provide a mechanism for audience segmentation, the comparison of research results, and the summation of research findings (Rogers, 1983). Specifically, adopter categories were created to compare early adopters with later adopters to determine differences in their social and personal characteristics, communication behavior, and opinion leadership. One of the primary research findings of diffusion research was that early adopters had more sources of external influence. Each adopter’s willingness and ability to adopt an innovation would depend on their awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption.. 27.

(38) 2.3.3 Remarks All in all, the innovation that the scholars said can be summed up as the people’s. willingness to take risks in adopting a new idea or product A few. individuals accept the risk of adopting a new idea, product or behavior before anyone else. The diffusion of this study emphasized on the information diffusion of the social network sites. The process of information diffusion is spread out layer by layer from an issue or shared experience, and if the members are interested in it, they may comment or express their ideas by the power of words. Some issues are attracting, while some are boring, so that will form an unequal process of information diffusion.. 2.4 Social Network Analysis. A social network is a set of people (or organizations or other social entities) connected by a set of socially-meaningful relationships, such as friend, co-working or information exchange (Wellman, 2002). Social network analysts are interested in finding all relationships from the network, finding the specific patterns, and observing how information transfers between dyads. They examine the information of social networks to explain the behavior and attitudes of members in the social network. By social network approaches, analysts can study how information spreads through network ties, how people acquire information and resources, and how cleavages and coalitions operate (Garton et al., 1997). Therefore, in addition to studying on whole networks, analysts are also interest in discovering densely-knit clusters or cliques and looking for similar 28.

(39) relations. In the past three decades, social network analysis has developed a range of concepts and methods for detecting structural patterns, identifying patterns of different types of relationship interrelate, analyzing the implications that structural patterns for the behavior of network members, and studying the impact on social structures of the characteristics of network members and their social relationships (Wasserman and Faust, 1994). The characteristic of network structure is composed of relationships and network positions (Huat Low, 1997). If the network structure is tight, individuals interdependencies between actors are strong. On the other hand, if the network structure is loose, then intends to build a position will be relatively easier because network positions are changeable and the interdependencies and relationships between individuals are relatively weak.. 2.4.1 Units of Analysis Social network analysts look beyond the specific attributes of individuals to consider relations among social actors. Garton et al. (1997) synthesize literatures in past years and list the units of analysis: 1. Relations: Relations are characterized by content, direction and strength (Garton et al., 1997). The content refers to the resource that is exchanged. In social networks, pairs may exchange different kinds of information, such as social matters or work-related. The relations between peoples may have direction; in other words, a relation is directed or undirected. When one of dyad gives information and the other only receives it, the relation is directed. Besides content and direction, relations also differ in strength. We can decide the 29.

(40) degree of strength with frequency of communication, the amount of information exchanged and the importance of information. The strength of relations that dyad communicates once a day is greater than communicate weekly or yearly. 2. Ties: A tie connects a pair of actors by one or more relations. Pairs may maintain a tie based on one relation only or a multiplex tie based on many relations. Thus, ties also have characteristics like content, direction and strength, but they are often referred to as weak or strong. Actors that are connected at short lengths or distances may have stronger connections; actors that are connected many times may have stronger ties. Ties that are weak are generally non- intimate connections by infrequently maintained. Strong ties include combinations of intimacy, self-disclosure, provision of reciprocal services, frequent contact, and kinship (Garton et al., 1997). 2.4.2 Properties of Networks and Actors This section examines some of the most obvious ideas of formal network. analysis methods. There are two main properties of networks and actors. One is connection, and the other is distance. 1. Connection: Difference among individuals in how much they are connected can be extremely consequential for understanding their attributes and behavior. More connections often mean that individuals are exposed to more diverse information. Individuals highly connected may be more influential, and may be more influenced by others. Disease, rumors and useful information spread more quickly where there are high rates of connection. More connected populations 30.

(41) may be able to better mobilize their resources, and may be able to better bring multiple and diverse perspectives to bear to solve problems. (1) Size, density and degree. Size is critical for the structure of social relations because of the limited resources and capacities that each actor has for building and maintaining ties. Usually the size of a network is indexed simply by counting the number of nodes. Larger social networks have more heterogeneity in the social characteristics of network members and more complexity in the structure of these networks (Wellman et al., 1997). The density of network is defined as the proportion of all ties that could be presented that actually are. The degree of an actor is defined as the sum of the connections between the actor and others. In a directed graph, the sum of connections from the actor to the others is called the out-degree of the point. The degree on the contrary is called in-degree. Hanneman (2001) found that actors with ties to almost everyone else, or with ties to almost no-one else are more “predictable” in their behavior toward any given other actor than those with intermediate numbers of ties. Therefore, actors with many tie s (at the center of a network) and actors at the periphery of a network (few ties) have patterns of behavior that are more constrained and predictable. Actors with only some tie can vary more in their behavior depending on to whom they are connected. (2) Reach ability. An actor is reachable by another if there exists any set of connections by which we can trace from the source to the target actor, regardless of how many others fall between them (Hanneman, 2001). If some actors in a network cannot reach others, there is the potential division of the network. 31.

(42) (3) Centrality. Social network analysis has developed measure of centrality which can be used to identify network members who have the most connections to others (high degree) or those whose departure would cause the network to fall apart (cut point) (Bonacich, 1987). 2. Distance. Because most individuals are not usually connected directly to most other individuals in a population, it can be quite important to go beyond simply examining the immediate connections of actors, and the overall density of direct connections in populations. The idea of the distance between actors represents how close they are to one another. It can help us to understand diffusion, homogeneity, solidarity, and other differences in macro properties of social groups. Where distances are great, it may take a long time for information to diffuse across a population. It may also be that some actors are quite unaware of, and influenced by others, even if they are technically reachable, the costs may be too high to conduct exchanges. Walk, trail and path are basic concepts to develop more powerful ways of describing various aspects of the distances among actors in a network. (1) Walk. A walk is a sequence of actors and relations that begins and ends with actors. It can involve the same actor or the same relation multiple times. A closed walk is one where the beginning and end points of the walk is the same actor. A cycle is a closed walk of three or more actors, all of who are distinct, except for the origin/destination actor. (2) Trail. A trail is a walk in which all of the lines are distinct, though some nodes may be included more than once. If the trail begins and ends with the same actor, it is called a closed trail. All trails are walks, but not all walks are trails. 32.

(43) (3) Path. A path is a walk in all nodes and all lines are distinct. A closed path begins and ends with the same actor. All paths are trails and walks, but not all walks and all trails are path. (4) Geodesic distance. The idea of geodesic distance is widely used in network analysis. The geodesic distance is the number of relations in the shortest possible walk from one actor to another. If there are more than one walk between two actors, we can use “geodesic path” to find the best connection. The geodesic path is often the optimal or most efficient connection between two actors. (5) Diameter. The diameter of a network is the largest geodesic distance in the network. The value of diameter can tell us how big the network is; that is, calculate how many steps are necessary to get from one side to the other. 2.4.3 Social network and diffusion The diffusion of innovations is the process by which a few members of a social system initially adopt an innovation, then over time more individuals adopt until all (or most) members adopt the new idea. The present investigation uses the threshold concept to provide a social network formulation of the diffusion of several different innovations. The initial network approach to diffusion research was to count the number of times an individual was nominated as a network partner (in order to measure opinion leadership) and to correlate this variable with innovativeness as measured by an individual’s time-of-adoption of the innovation under study (Rogers and Kincaid, 1981). Opinion leaders were defined as those individuals with the highest number of nominations, and were theorized to be a significant influence on the rate of adoption. 33.

(44) This approach to studying diffusion networks was replaced by a more structural' approach suggested by Granovetter(1982). Granovetter(1973) argued that weak ties (people loosely connected to others in the network) were necessary for diffusion to occur across subgroups within a system. Burt (1987) presented a third network approach to diffusion by arguing that structural equivalence (the degree of equality in network position) influenced the adoption of innovations. Other personal and social network characteristics which might influence the diffusion of innovations include centrality, density and reciprocity (Rice, 1994; Valente, 1995). Valente(1996) determined the personal network conceptualization of thresholds provides a model of diffusion that creates adopter categories based on innovativeness relative to persona1 networks. The advantages of this approach are that it can be used (1) to determine the critical mass, (2) to predict the pattern of diffusion of innovation, and (3) to identify opinion leaders and followers Exposure is the proportion of adopters in an individual’s personal network at a given time. Since adoption thresholds are the proportion of adopters in an individual’s personal network, the threshold is the exposure at the time-of-adoption. Exposure generally increases over time as more individuals in the social system adopt, and varies across individuals according to the adoption behavior of their network partners.. 34.

(45) 2.4.4 Remarks Social network analysis has been used for analyzing and solving the micro and macro network structure, and it has gradually become a mature discipline as time passed by. Many scholars also generally combine with other research methods to try to explore more complex and dynamic problem to reinforce the exertion of method. This study combines diffusion of innovation and social network analysis to describe the diffusion of the social network sites and find out the operation and characteristics of virtual community, and then to compare the selected social network sites. The contribution of this study is for the marketing of social network sites in the future.. 35.

(46) 3. Research Methodology. 3.1 Conceptual research structure. The concept structure (Figure 3-1) illustrated the relationships among the five indexes, including degree, Indegree, Outdegree, Betweenness and structure holes, social network sites (Facebook and PTT sites) and information diffusion for the function roles. This study aimed to find out the pattern of diffusion on the sites.. Figure 3-1 Conceptual structure of this study. This study investigated the network structure of social network sites with perspectives of information diffusion. The concept structure provided a study with exploratory direction, but a null hypothesis, then to test and verify the research questions.. 36.

(47) 3.2 Data Collecting. 3.2.1Sample This study took HTC-XE as an example to observe these two social network sites of different self-presentation, and used social network analysis to analyze and compare the information diffusion process between these two sites, including PTT -MobileComn and Facebook HTC TW. The period of data collection was from September, 2011 to February, 2012,. a totally five-month period. sites observations. By analyzing the. function roles’ interactions of posting articles, we understand each comment and roles performed. Moreover, the study filtered out the useless or unhelpful data to present the complete network context of social network sites.. 3.2.2 Two social network sites- PTT and Facebook (1) Introduction of PTT PTT. Bulletin. Board. System is. a. terminal-based bulletin. board. system located in Taiwan. This site was founded on September 9, 1995 by Yi-Chin Tu. PTT is arguably the largest BBS in the world with more than 1.5 million registered users. During its peak hours, there are over 150,000 users online at the same time. It has over 200,000 boards with a multitude of topics, and more than 40,000 articles and 1 million comments are posted every day. Using the TELNET protocol, PTT provides a quick, instantaneous, free of charge, and open online forum community. The PTT site is the largest one in terms of scale and capacity, currently handling up to 150,215 visitors online at 37.

(48) a time (WIKI, 2008), making it the largest Chinese language-based BBS in the world.. (2) Introduction of Facebook Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. (Wiki, 2011). Facebook has a huge social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the information sharing through establishing the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Up to July 2011, Facebook has more than 800 million active users, and Facebook in Taiwan has 11 million users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including the automatic notifications when they update their profiles. Additionally, the users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People from Work" or "Close Friends.". 38.

(49) 3.3 Network Evaluation. From the data collected on PTT and Facebook site, this study completely collected the data of HTC discussing day by day during five months, including time, article topic, content, user’s name and so on to present the context objectively rather than have the subjective judgment. This study only focused on the period of on sale of the product HTC- for the data collection. Then do data filtering for comprehending the information diffusion more clearly. To target the core of information diffusion, this study averages every function role’s score. Thus, the users’ relationships can be linked together one by one. The questionnaire is satisfied with expert validity and the data collected is tremendous recorded, so this study is considerable objective for the social network analysis. The network of PTT and Facebook site Four ICT experts were invited to score the function role for PTT and Facebook site users and the evaluation can be conducted by 5 steps, and it is as follows:. Step 1: Identify role function of users’ on the two sites. (1)Relationships of the users on PTT site The functions of the PTT sites offered are different, Figure 3-2 showed the context of an article’s discussion, four function roles may exist including comment, arrow, criticize and repost, when posting and article, and in pace with reposting the article, comment, arrow and criticize appear possibly. 39.

(50) Figure 3-2 Relationship of the users on PTT site. (2)Function roles on PTT site: Post: the initial point of the article, they post the articles to share the information,. talk. about. the. product. functions. and. the. telecommunication programs, and compare the products. Comment: the respondents of the posting articles, their responses approve the article considerably and they may bring about more new information on the topics. Arrow: the respondents of the posting articles, their responses may not agree with the article, and they talk with others sometimes. Criticize: the respondents of the posting articles, their responses disagree with the article, and it may be caused by the nonsense or unmeaningful content. Repost: the respondents of the posting articles, they create the new article by extending the posting article, so the comments, arrows and criticizes are the respondents of the reposts.. 40.

(51) (3)Relationships of the users on Facebook site The functions of the Facebook sites offered are different, Figure 3-3 showed the context of an article’s discussion. Two roles may exist including comment and share when posting or sharing the article, and in pace with commenting the article, some users may like the discussions possibly.. Figure 3-3 Relationship of the users on Facebook site. (4)Function roles on Facebook site: Post: the initial point of the article, they post the articles to share the information, talk about the product functions and the telecommunication programs, and compare the products. Comment: the respondents of the posting articles, their responses may approve the article, bring about new information of the topics and disagree with the article. Moreover, they often talk with others for interacting and communicating. Like: the respondents of the posting articles, their responses represent that they attain the information of the posting article and agree the content of the article. Share: the respondents of the posting articles, their responses are forwarding the initial posting articles to others.. 41.

(52) Step 2: Participative observation and Data Collecting and filtering. At this step, this study collected the detailed data of the sites, including the user name, content of discussions, time and topic. Then, according to wide range of data, this study filtered the useless data, and only focus on the articles related to HTC-XE. This study puts one month as a time unit, and separates 5 units to draw the relationships of networks.. Step 3 : Developing evaluative score of each function role on the sites. Because this study would like to know the virtual relationships on the PTT and Facebook site, the function roles represents the direction and intensity of connection by scoring. This study invited four ICT experts with using experiences for PTT and Facebook site to fill in the questionnaires (refer to appendix) about the degree of information diffusion, taking range one to nine as scoring. Then we used the questionnaire of experts survey to obtain the degree of information diffusion for each function role objectively. Table 3-1 showed the role functions and scores of PTT site. The average score indicated “post” is the greatest degree of information diffusion, and “repost” is the second. The least one is “arrow” by the measurement of the experts.. 42.

(53) Table 3-1 Function Roles and the scores on the PTT site Function. Post. Comment. Arrow. Criticize. Repost. A. 4. 8. 4. 7. 5. B. 8. 7. 7. 5. 4. C. 7. 4. 4. 3. 8. D. 9. 5. 5. 7. 9. Average score. 7. 6. 5. 5.5. 6.5. Expert. Table 3-2 showed the relationships between the roles, and the relationships are two-way and it means the different degree of information diffusion. For example, the relationship between the post and comment, “post” to “comment” scored 7.0 , “comment” to “post” scored 6.0 and so on.. Table 3-2 Relationships between the roles on PTT site Function roles Post. Direction. Comment. Score 7.0 6.0. Arrow. 7.0 5.0. Criticize. 7.0 5.5. Repost. 7.0 6.5. Repost. Comment. 6.5 6.0. Arrow. 6.5 5.0. Criticize. 6.5 5.5. 43.

(54) Table 3-3 showed the functions and scores of the Facebook site, and the average score indicated that share is the greatest degree of information diffusion, and post is the second. The least one is like by the measurement of experts. Table 3-3 Function roles and the scores on Facebook site Function. Post. Share. Like. Comment. A. 8. 6. 9. 4. B. 9. 9. 7. 7. C. 7. 9. 3. 8. D. 7. 9. 3. 5. Average score. 7.75. 8.25. 5.5. 6. Expert. Table 3-4 showed the relationships between the roles, and the relationships are two-way and it means the different degree of information diffusion. For example, the relationship between post and comment, post to comment scored 7.75, comment to post scored 6.00 and so on.. Table 3-4 Relationships between the roles on Facebook site Function roles Post. Direction. Comment. Score 7.75 6.00. Share. 7.75 8.25. Comment. Like. 6.00 5.50. 44.

(55) Step4: Data coding At this step, the study put the user name into numeric and English of two sites in order to do the network analysis more easily.. Step 5: Drawing the network diagram and analyzing network According to scoring the information diffusion measurement, this study drew the relationships and plus scores if users connect to each other, then developed symmetrical matrix for the network analysis.. Using different. symbols and colors represents the function roles. On PTT site, symbols of post is circle, comment is up triangle, arrow is diamond, criticize is square and repost is box. On Facebook site, symbols of post is circle, comment is up trangle, like is diamond and share is square. Different colors indicated the numeric of degree and Betweenness.. Step6: Evaluating and comparing the information diffusion of the two sites Because the characteristics of PTT and Facebook site differ from each other, this study would like to find the rate of users increasing and amounts of posting article on these sites. Then, using the indexes of social network analysis, including degree, indegree, outdegree, and betweenness to explore the meaning of the indexes on the sites. Finally, by analyzing the characteristics of PTT and Facebook site, we aim to explore the velocity differences of the users and articles for the influence of each function role on the sites. Then find the context of network diagram of the PTT and Facebook site during five months to understand the way of 45.

(56) information diffusion on the sites for finding the meanings of corporate marketing strategy.. 3.4 Analytical approach. The network software UCINET 6.205 was used to analyze PTT and Facebook sites' network indicators, including degree, Indegree, Outdegree, Betweenness centrality and stuctural holes. Due to different stress on network, these indicators separately provide insight on how and for what they communicate with members on the sites from the function roles offered. The software will report centralization scores, and conduct the core-periphery analysis (Borgatti and Everett, 1999; Borgatti, Everett and Freeman, 2002) for understanding the network position.. The scores of every node are used to. form a symmetric matrix, then construct network structure graph and data with NetDraw (Borgatti, 2002). The author is also eager to explore the important function roles on the sites, and to figure out and compare the network characteristics over time. Finally the networks of these sites are going to be generated by the information transmitting, and turn it into virtual relationships over time. Moreover, every node on the networks is all related to the information received or transmitted to bring about the information diffusion.. 46.

(57) 4. Empirical Study and Analysis. This chapter is divided into six sections, including the sample characteristics, degree, outdegree, indegree, betweenness, structure holes analysis of the PTT and Facebook sites. All the calculated users and articles are indicated by the cumulative amounts for the characteristics of users repeated. This study focused on the product type of HTC-XE discussions, aiming to know the way of discussions of product information diffusion through the different content sites. HTC-XE was on sale in the middle of October, and this study would like to observe how the sites users conduct the information exchange and discussion. Therefore, I chose the sites with characteristics considerable different. One is the official of HTC, and the other is the non-official for making an observation of the pattern of information diffusion and users on the sites. The period of data collection is from September, 2011 to February, 2012, consisting five months totally. This study took a month as a split unit for exploring the networks’ transmutation, and then found the information diffusion contexts.. 4.1 Sample characteristics. Table 4-1 showed the differentiation between the PTT and the Facebook sites. Although they are all communities for the interest of Smartphone, their characteristics are on the discrimination, including the basic interface for using, functions, and so on. It took different shapes of the volumes of accumulative 47.

(58) users and articles. Table 4-1 Characteristics of comparison between the sites Characteristic of comparison 1.Social presence 2.Self-presentation 3.Type of virtual. PTT-Mobilecomn. Facebook-HTCTW. Low. Medium. Medium. High. Communities of interest. Communities of interest. Site users. HTCTW only. community 4.Limitations of posting article 5.Functions of the site. 6.Period of data collection 7.Accumulative users. Post, Comment, Arrow,. Post, Comment, Like,. Criticize, Repost. Share. 5 months. 5months. 579. 82. 92. 10. through five months 8.Accumulate articles through five months. 4.1.1 The cumulative users of the sites. Figure 4-1 Cumulative users of the sites The Figure 4-1 showed the cumulate users of the PTT site during five months. The left hand side item is the amounts of accumulate users and the 48.

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