“Family trees” of online communities

Genealogical relationships among a sample of subreddits.
  1. Characterizing genealogical graphs. What is a genealogical relationship in an online community? We have a preliminary quantitative method for identifying parent-child relationships based on the temporal sequences in their users’ public activity logs and propose further extensions to the method and applications to platforms like Reddit and Wikipedia.
  2. Validating genealogical graphs. Does our genealogical construct capture substantive relationships between online communities? We will employ a battery of mixed methods approaches such as trace ethnography, trace interviews, and focus groups to validate the genealogical relationship constructs. This triangulation step will elicit alternative definitions of genealogies, produce labeled data, and identify outliers that will require induction and iteration to generate more robust constructs.
  3. Evaluating community processes. How do genealogical relationships explain community processes? We analyze how processes like growth and norms are influenced by genealogical relationships. We propose to examine how genealogical graphs relate to community success through a prediction framework and study the effectiveness of features based on genealogical graphs.

Previous findings

Ethical and privacy considerations

Engaging community members

Recruiting a post-doctoral research associate




{Social, Data, Network, Information} Scientist. @CUInfoScience assistant professor.

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Brian Keegan

Brian Keegan

{Social, Data, Network, Information} Scientist. @CUInfoScience assistant professor.

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