Questions about Social Media: Papers Gave Answers

Recently published papers have answered some of the questions I had about how certain channels of social media work. I decided to collect these here:

  • Do so-called barnstars in Wikipedia encourage volunteers to work more?

Yes! I myself got some of these while working on medical projects in Wikipedia and I really liked them. A new paper had this conclusion: “Comparison with the control group shows that receiving a barnstar increases productivity by 60% and makes contributors six times more likely to receive additional barnstars from other community members, revealing that informal rewards significantly impact individual effort.”

  • How do internet memes evolve and rise?

Answer: “Surprisingly, we can explain the massive heterogeneity in the popularity and persistence of memes as deriving from a combination of the competition for our limited attention and the structure of the social network, without the need to assume different intrinsic values among ideas.”

  • How does Facebook ‘Contagion’ Spread?

Answer: “If four people who were all connected via Facebook friendships were listed on the invitation, for example, the recipient was as likely to join the site as if one friend was listed. But if the message contained the names of four people who had no direct Facebook friendships between them, the odds of the recipient joining the site more than doubled.”

  • Why aren’t more and more tweets and blogs cited in medical papers?

Answer: “However, the conventional medical publication model is less than eager to regard them as equivalent to traditional modes of information dissemination.”

  • Are Patients Interested in the Use of Social Media for Health Care?

Answer: “This study indicates growing patient acceptance of SoMe in health care. Understanding user profiles, preferences, and barriers can help providers in prioritizing where to direct efforts when using evidence-based SoMe in their practice.”