A Vast Weave of Threads: How Instant Messaging Facilitates Inter-dormitory Network Communities Among Undergraduates at Stanford University

By Allen Cheung, chuenga @ stanford.edu

Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) is changing the nature of communities, both local and distant. While the increased ease of communication and availability of users has created and made closer distance communities, online communication has also affected local groups. Instant Messaging (IM) in particular has affected the school, the workplace, and the home.

>> In this study, I analyze the effects of IM on network communities that exist within the framework of a larger, bounded entity, that of Stanford University. I define a network community to be one whose membership reaches out beyond geographical boundaries to include segments of several different geographical locations. For information on dormitory communities, see Juan’s study. For information on cross-campus relationships, see Eric’s study. My initial hypothesis was that IM communication would tie together and create social networks by allowing fast, easy, readily available, and relatively casual communication between individuals separated by geographic barriers.

>> Physical Distance at the Stanford Campus
>> Analyzing IM: Openness, etc.
>> Analyzing IM: Graph, Frequent Users
>> Analyzing IM: Graph, Infrequent Users
>> Analyzing IM: Conclusion
The Tradeoff
>> IM Works With Face-to-face Interaction
>> Conclusion
>> Appendix A: Frequent Users
>> Appendix B: Infrequent Users
>> References


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