HCIL-2009-24

Golbeck, J.
October 2009
HCIL-2009-24
There has been extensive research into friend-oriented and professional social networking websites, but rela- tively little work on passion-oriented sites designed to connect strangers around a shared passion. In this study, we extend the work on passion-oriented social networking through an examination of pet-oriented so- cial networks. We address two questions. First, do peo- ple interacting in semi-anonymous passion-oriented so- cial networks behave in observably di erent ways from users in friend-oriented networks? Second, do groups that, on the surface, appear quite similar (i.e. dog and cat owners) use the passion-oriented networks in signif- icantly di erent ways? Our results show that passion- oriented networking behavior is signi cantly di erent from that on friend-oriented networks and that despite the apparent similarities, dog and cat owners use these sites quite differently. We discuss the implications these results have theoretically for understanding passion- oriented social networking and practically for support- ing the human-animal bond in virtual environments.
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