Exploring Users’ Information Behavior in Social Networks

Author(s)

Publication date

2010

Publisher

Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for journalistikk, bibliotek- og informasjonsvitenskap

Document type

Description

Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)

Abstract

Social networks are most commonly seen as a technology used only for entertainment purposes. However, they can also be used for serious purposes in business and education environments because they are powerful tools that can accomplish various roles and purposes. It is important to do research on them from an information system and information science point of view by analyzing user information behavior so we can see trends and issues in behavior in connection with these systems. This research aim was to explore how Web 2.0 and social networks are having an effect on users’ information behavior. The method used for the collection of data was a semi structured interview, containing questions constructed according to the issues of Web 2.0 and social networks identified on the literature, along with typical features or characteristics of social networks. Purposive sampling was used, the interview participants selected were four teachers and four second year students of the DILL Master Course. This sample was selected according to the criteria that they had to have a professional background on information science and knowledge and skills about using social networks. The method for analyzing data was discourse analysis and a framework of categories was created to present the data in a certain order. This study identified various trends and tendencies in users’ information behavior and some future directions for research were proposed. Findings of this type of study provide insights to users’ information behavior in information systems, they could contribute to a better understanding of the users and to the design of such systems; this is relevant when it is necessary to build information systems from the point of view of users needs and behaviors, that is, by taking a bottom-up approach.

Keywords

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/880