HCIL-2013-30

Who wants to know? Question-asking and answering practices among Facebook users
Gray, R., Ellison, N., Vitak, J., Lampe, C.
2013
Proceedings of the 16th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 1213-1224). New York: ACM. Doi: 10.1145/2441776.2441913
HCIL-2013-30
Research has identified a link between Facebook use and bridging social capital, which speaks to the informational resources provided by a diverse network of connections. In order to explicate the mechanism through which Facebook may help individuals mobilize these embedded informational and support resources, this study explores the role of bridging social capital, question type, and relational closeness on the perceived utility and satisfaction of information obtained through questions posed to one's network of Facebook Friends through the status update feature. Employing a mixed-method approach, we utilize survey data collected from a sample of non-academic university staff (N=666), as well as actual Facebook question examples and responses collected during a followup lab session from a subset of this sample (N=71). Results indicate that question-askers' bridging social capital positively predicts the utility of responses received on SNS, while useful responses are more likely to be received from weaker ties.
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