Making a Global Community on the Net – Global Village or Global Metropolis?: A Network Analysis of Usenet Newsgroups

Authors

  • Junho H. Choi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Doctoral candidate in the department of communication at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He will receive his Ph.D. in May 2002. After graduation he will assume a position in the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is interested in the structural patterns of intergroup communication in cyberspace. His recent work on international news flow in cyberspace has been published in Communication Research.
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  • James A. Danowski Ph. D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his Ph. D. (1975) in communication at the Michigan State University. He is interested in communication technology & social systems and Internet theories at international, national, organizational, social network, and individual levels.
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Address: Department of Communication, SUNY at Buffalo, 359 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260-1020.

Address: University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Communication, 1140 Behavioral Sciences Building, 1007 W. Harrison, M/C 132, Chicago, IL 60607.

Abstract

This study examined the global structure of intercultural communication on a computer-mediated communication network. Extracted from a total of 232,479 discussion messages, a matrix of crossposted messages among 133 online newsgroups over a year on the Usenet was analyzed to investigate structural patterns of communication flow. This research found, unlike earlier research, that a simple structure of core-periphery relations does not fit the pattern of cross-cultural postings in Usenet discussion groups. Bonacich's centrality, cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling analysis were conducted using UCINET V software. Results identified a multi-cored structure with decentralized and diversified patterns of information distribution in cyberspace.

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