Volume 86, Number 3, May 2009
Article Number 38003
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 15 May 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 38003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/38003

Dynamics and diversity of online community activities

T. Hogg and G. Szabo

HP Labs - Palo Alto, CA, USA

received 9 December 2008; accepted in final form 6 April 2009; published May 2009
published online 15 May 2009

Web sites where users create and rate content as well as form networks with other users display long-tailed distributions of user activity. Using data from one such community site, Essembly, we propose and evaluate mechanisms for these distributions that rely only on information actually available to users. For Essembly, we describe the scale-free degree distribution of the social network as a result of users' shared interests, manifested by their content rating activity. We find the long tails in network properties arise from user activity rates that are broadly distributed, as well as the extensive variability in the time users devote to the site.

89.75.Hc - Networks and genealogical trees.
89.20.Hh - World Wide Web, Internet.
87.23.Ge - Dynamics of social systems.

© EPLA 2009