This summer, I’ve been doing qualitative research on ways that Reddit moderators develop common interests as they face the company, as they face their subscribers, and as they relate to other moderators. Just in the top 20,000 subreddits by subscribers, Reddit has 50,790 moderators. This July, moderators of 2,278 subreddits joined a “blackout,” demanding better communication and improved moderator tools. The blackout is one moment in the wider research I’m doing, a moment where tensions and common cause rose to the surface. Blacked-out subreddits constituted 60% of the top 10 subreddits, 29% of the top 100, and 5% of the top 20,000 subreddits, representing a total of 134.8 million combined subscriptions.
Since I can only get so far by reading Reddit threads, I’m now interviewing Reddit moderators to learn more about your experience as a moderator and your experience of the blackout. If you are interested to talk, please message me on Reddit at /u/natematias.
Work In Progress: Charting the Reddit Blackout of July 2015
Since I’m also a software engineer and quantitative researcher, I’ve been complementing my qualitative work with data analysis on what I was able to collect from the public API, combined with /u/GoldTesting’s dataset of blackout participation. Mostly, I’ve used that data to decide where to look and who to reach out to. The conversations I found led me to think about several hypotheses I could also test statistically:
When moderators discussed the blackout with their subscribers, many debated the idea of “solidarity,” wondering if they were too small to have common cause with larger subs or if they were too small to make a difference. Others expressed strong opinions that joining the blackout meant standing with other moderators or standing for Reddit users as a whole.
The conversations I found led me to think about several hypotheses I could test statistically:
H1: Larger subreddits were more likely to join the blackout, maybe because their moderators were part of ModTalk, where much of the blackout was discussed, or because they felt a blackout would make a difference, or because they felt common cause with other mods of large subs.
H2: Subreddits with more moderators were more likely to join the blackout, perhaps mods in these subs would have greater solidarity with others.
H3: Subreddits with mods who also moderate other subreddits that participated in the blackout were more likely to join the blackout
To illustrate the data used for my statistical tests, here are two network graphs of shared moderators between subreddits. The first graph includes the top 20,000 subreddits in terms of subscribers (as of mid-June 2015). The graph one filters only subreddits with more than 10,128 subscribers. In the network graphs, subreddits that did not black out are tinted blue, while yellow-tinted subreddits joined the blackout.
The charts are laid out using the ForceAtlas2 layout on Gephi, which has separated out some of the more prominent subreddit networks, including the ImaginaryNetwork, the “SFW Porn” Network, and toward the center, the ShitRedditSays “fempire”. These networks are notable because some of them made network-wide decisions about their participation in the blackout.
Using this dataset, I conducted a logistic regression testing the above hypotheses.
H1: Larger subreddits were more likely to join the blackout. This hypothesis is supported. On average in the population of top 20k subreddits, there is a large positive relationship between the log-transformed subscriber count and a subreddit’s probability of joining the blackout, holding all else constant.
H2: Subreddits with more moderators were more likely to join the blackout. This hypothesis is supported, very very weakly. I wouldn’t make much of this.
H3: Subreddits with mods who also moderate other subreddits that participated in the blackout were more likely to join the blackout. This is supported. On average in the top 20,000 subreddits, there is a positive relationship between the log of moderator roles in other blackout subs and a subreddit’s probability of joining the blackout, a relationship that is mediated by the overall number of moderators shared with other subs, holding all else constant.
So, is there evidence of moderator “solidarity” ? Yes, if we consider H1 to be a test of solidarity associated with similar subscriber numbers, and if we consider H2 to be a test of solidarity related to the number of moderators one works together with, then yes, we see support for the solidarity hypothesis. However, my qualitative research shows that many subreddits voted on this issue, indicating that subscribers also matter to this picture. Furthermore, many mods of smaller subs also expressed solidarity, even if smaller subs were less likely to participate. So more work needs to be done.
CAVEATS: This is just a preliminary statistical test. I have much more work to do before publication:
I need to define better hypotheses that can answer theoretically-meaningful questions
I need to do much more work to confirm the validity of my data collection, data processing, and models
I need better definitions of “solidarity”
This needs to be peer reviewed
In particular, I plan to spend more time with network scientists to understand the best way to set up my dataset for statistical analysis. There are many ways to project a complex network onto a single table for statistical tests, and I may need to try a different approach. Note also that this model does not include time as a factor, and that I use the term “predict” to refer to statistical inference rather than some ability to predict participation in the blackout before it occurred.
I’m sharing these preliminary results because I hope they’ll attract interest from Reddit moderators, and hopefully lead me to more interviews and data while I still have time to talk to people and enrich my understanding of what happened. If you are a Reddit moderator and want to talk with me, please message me at /u/natematias.
Attewell, Paul. 2001. “The First and Second Digital Divides.”Sociology of Education.74:252-259.
Attewell, Paul, and Juan Battle. 1999. “Home Computers and School Performance.” Information Society 15:1-10.
Autor, David H. 2001. “Wiring the Labor Market.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 15:25-40.
Autor, David H., Lawrence F. Katz, and Alan B. Krueger. 1998. “Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 113:1169-1213.
Avgerou, C. (2002) Information Systems and Global Diversity, Oxford, Oxford University Press
Barlow, John Perry. 1996. “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” Humanist 56(3):18-19.
Barron, B. 2006. “Interest and Self-Sustained Learning as Catalysts of Development: A Learning Ecology Perspective.” Human Development 49:193-224.
Barzilai-Nahon, Karine. 2006. “Gaps and Bits: Conceptualizing Measurements for Digital Divide/s.” Information Society 22:269-278.
Bennett, Sue, Karl Maton, and Lisa Kervin. 2008. “The ‘Digital Natives’ Debate: A Critical Review of the Evidence.” British Journal of Educational Technology 39:775-786.
Billon, Margarita, Rocio Marco, and Fernando Lera-Lopez. 2009. “Disparities in ICT adoption: A multidimensional approach to study the cross-country digital divide.” Telecommunications Policy 33:596-610.
Bimber, Bruce. 2000. “Measuring the gender gap on the Internet.” Social Science Quarterly 81:868-876.
Boase, Jeffrey, John Horrigan, Barry Wellman, and Lee Rainie. 2006. “The Strength of Internet Ties.” Washington, DC.: Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Boneva, Bonka S., Robert Kraut, and David Frohlich. 2001. “Using E-Mail for Personal Relationships: The Difference Gender Makes.” American Behavioral Scientist 45:530-49.
Bonfadelli, Heinz. 2002. “The Internet and Knowldege Gaps: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation.” European Journal of Communication 17:65-84.
boyd, d. 2011. “White Flight in Networked Publics: How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with MySpace and Facebook.” in Race After the Internet, edited by L. Nakamura and P. Chow-White. New York: Routledge.
Brandtzæg, Petter Bae, Jan Heim, and Amela Karahasanović. 2011. “Understanding the new digital divide—A typology of Internet users in Europe.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 69:123-138.
Brynin, M., B. Anderson, and Y. Raban. 2007. “Introduction.” in Information and Communication Technologies in Society: E-living in a Digital Europe, edited by B. Anderson, M. Brynin, J. Gershung, and Y. Raban. London: Routledge.
Buckingham, David. 2007. “Digital Media Literacies: rethinking media education in the age of the Internet.” Research in Comparative and International Education 2:43-55.
Buente, Wayne, and Alice Robbin. 2008. “Trends in Internet information behavior, 2000–2004.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59:1743-1760.
Burrell, Jenna. 2009. “What Constitutes Good ICTD Research?” Information Technologies & International Development 5 (3): 82–94.
Buskens, I. & Webb, A. (Eds.) (2009) African women and ICTs – Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment, Pretoria, Unisa, IDRC, Zed Books
Callon, M. (1991). Techno-economic networks and irreversibility. In J. Law, A sociology of monsters: Essays on power, technology and domination. London: Routledge.
Castells, M. (2000) The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture: The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford, Blackwell.
Charness, Neil, and Patricia Holley. 2004. “The New Media and Older Adults: Usable and Useful?” American Behavioral Scientist 48:416-433.
Chen, Wenhong, and Barry Wellman. 2005. Minding the Cyber-gap: the Internet and Social Inequality. Boston, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Chou, Wen-ying Sylvia, Yvonne M. Hunt, Ellen Burke Beckjord, Richard P. Moser, and Bradford W. Hesse. 2009. “Social Media Use in the United States: Implications for Health Communication.” Journal of Medical Internet Research 11:e48.
Compaine, B.M. 2001a. “Information Gaps.” Pp. 105-118 in The Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth?, edited by B Compaine. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Compaine, Benjamin M. (Ed.). 2001b. The Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth? Campbridge, MA.: MIT Press.
Cook, Thomas D., Hilary Appleton, Ross F. Conner, Ann Shaffer, Gary Tamkin, and Stephen J. Weber. 1975. “Sesame Street” Revisited. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.
Correa, Teresa. 2010. “The Participation Divide Among “Online Experts”: Experience, Skills and Psychological Factors as Predictors of College Students’ Web Content Creation.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 16(1):71-92.
Crenshaw, Edward M., and Kristopher K. Robison. 2006. “Globalization and the Digital Divide: The Roles of Structural Conduciveness and Global Connection in Internet Diffusion.” Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited) 87:190-207.
Czaja, Sara J., Neil Charness, Arthur D. Fisk, Christopher Hertzog, Sankaran N. Nair, Wendy A. Rogers, and Joseph Sharit. 2006. “Factors predicting the use of technology: Findings from the center for research and education on aging and technology enhancement (create).” Psychology and Aging 21:333-352.
DFID (1999) Sustainable Livelihoods Guidance Sheets. London, Department for International Development, available at:
Dholakia, Ruby Roy. 2006. “Gender and IT in the Household: Evolving Patterns of Internet Use in the United States.” Information Society 22:231-240.
DiMaggio, Paul , and Eszter Hargittai. 2001. “From the ‘Digital Divide’ to `Digital Inequality’: Studying Internet Use As Penetration Increases.” Princeton, NJ: Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University.
DiMaggio, Paul, and Bart Bonikowski. 2008. “Make Money Surfing the Web? The Impact of Internet Use on the Earnings of US Workers.” American Sociological Review 73:227-250.
DiMaggio, Paul, Eszter Hargittai, Coral Celeste, and Steve Shafer. 2004. “Digital Inequality: From Unequal Access to Differentiated Use.” Pp. 355-400 in Social Inequality, edited by Kathryn Neckerman. New York: Russell Sage.
DiMaggio, Paul, Eszter Hargittai, W. Russell. Neuman, and John P. Robinson. 2001. “Social implications of the Internet.” Annual Review of Sociology 27:307-336.
DiNardo, John E., and Jorn-Steffen Pischke. 1997. “The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112:291-303.
Donner, Jonathan. 2008. “Research Approaches to Mobile Use in the Developing World: A Review of the Literature.” The Information Society 24 (3): 140–159.
Donner, Jonathan. 2008. The rules of beeping: Exchanging messages via intentional “missed calls” on mobile phones. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13, (1): 1-22.
Drori, Gili S., and Yong Suk Jang. 2003. “The Global Digital Divide: A Sociological Assessment of Trends and Causes.” Social Science Computer Review 21:144-161.
Drori, Gili. S. 2010. “Globalization and Technology Divides: Bifurcation of Policy between the “Digital Divide” and the “Innovation Divide”*.” Sociological Inquiry 80:63-91.
Duncombe R.(2006). Using the livelihoods framework to analyze ICT applications for poverty reduction through microenterprise. Information Technologies and International Development 3(3), 81–100
Dutton, William H., Everett M. Rogers, and Suk-Ho Jun. 1987. “Diffusion and Social Impacts of Personal Computers.” Communication Research 14:219-250.
Dutton, William H., Patrick L. Sweet, and Everett M. Rogers. 1989. “Socioeconomic Status and the Early Diffusion of Personal Computing in the United States.” Social Science Computer Review 7:259-271.
Ellison, Nicole B., Charles Steinfeld, and Cliff Lampe. 2007. “The Benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 12: article 1.
Entorf, Horst, Michel Gollac, and Francis Kramarz. 1999. “New Technologies, Wages, and Worker Selection.” Journal of Labor Economics 17:464-491.
Eshet-Alkalai, Yoram. 2004. “Digital Literacy: a Conceptual Framework for Survival Skills in the Digital Era.” Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia 13:93-106.
Ettema, James S., and F. Gerald Kline. 1977. “Deficits, Differences, and Ceilings: Contingent Conditions for Understanding the Knowledge Gap.” Communication Research 4:179-202.
Eurostat. 2008. “Nearly 30% of individuals use internet banking.” Eurostat.
Eurostat. 2009. “One person in two in the EU27 uses the internet daily.” Eurostat.
Eynon, Rebecca. 2009. “Mapping the digital divide in Britain: implications for learning and education.” Learning, Media and Technology 34(4):277-290.
Eynon, Rebecca, and Ellen Helsper. 2011. “Adults Learning Online: Digital Choice and/or Digital Exclusion?” New Media & Society. 13(4):534-51.
Fairlie, Robert W., Daniel O. Beltran, and Kuntal K. Das. 2010. “Home Computers and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the NLSY97 and CPS.” Economic Inquiry 48:771-792.
Floridi, L. (2009) The Information Society and Its Philosophy: Introduction to the Special Issue on “The Philosophy of Information, Its Nature, and Future Developments”, The Information Society, 25, 153-158.
Forestier, Emmanuel, Jeremy Grace, and Charles Kenny. 2002. “Can Information and Communication Technologies Be Pro-poor?” Telecommunications Policy 26 (11) (December): 623–646.
Forman, Chris. 2005. “The Corporate Digital Divide: Determinants of Internet Adoption.” Management Science 51:641-654.
Forman, Chris, Avi Goldfarb, and Shane Greenstein. 2005. “The Geographic Dispersion of Commercial Internet Use.” Pp. 113-145 in Rethinking Rights and Regulations Institutional Responses to New Communications Technologies, edited by Lorrie Faith Cranor and Steven S. Wildman. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Forman, Chris, Avi Goldfarb, and Shane M. Greenstein. 2009. “The Internet and Local Wages: Convergence or Divergence?” in NBER Working Paper Series. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Fountain, Christine. 2005. “Finding a Job in the Internet Age.” Social Forces 83:1235-1262.
Freedom House (2009) Freedom on the Net: a Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media. Washington, D.C.: Freedom House
Freese, Jeremy, Salvador Rivas, and Eszter Hargittai. 2006. “Cognitive Ability and Internet Use among Older Adults.” Poetics 34:236-249.
Fuchs, Thomas, and Ludger Woessmann. 2004. “Computers and Student Learning: Bivariate and Multivariate Evidence on the Availability and Use of Computers at Home and at School.” in CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1321. Munich: CESifo Group.
Gaziano, Cecilie. 1983. “The Knowledge Gap: An Analytical Review of Media Effects.” Communication Research 10:447-486.
Goodman, Sy. E., Larry I. Press, S. R. Ruth, and A. M. Rutkowski. 1994. “The Global Diffusion of the Internet: Patterns and Problems.” Communications of the ACM 37:27-31.
Greenberg, B., and B. Dervin. 1970. “Mass Communication among the Urban Poor.” Public Opinion Quarterly 34(2):224-235.
Grimshaw, D and Shalini, K. (eds)(2011) Strengthening Rural Livelihoods: The impact of information and communication technologies in Asia, Practical Action Publishing: Rugby
Grusky, David (Ed.). 2008. Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Grusky, David B., and Manwai Ku. 2008. “Gloom, Doom, and Inequality.” in Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective, edited by David B. Grusky. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Gui, Marco, and Gianluca Argentin. 2011. “Digital skills of internet natives: Different forms of digital literacy in a random sample of northern Italian high school students.” New Media & Society.
Guillén, Mauro F., and Sandra L. Suárez. 2005. “Explaining the Global Digital Divide: Economic, Political and Sociological Drivers of Cross-National Internet Use.” Social Forces 84:681-708.
Hafkin, N. & Huyer, S. (2007) Women and Gender in Ict Statistics and Indicators for Development. Information Technologies and International Development, 4, 25-41.
Hale, T.M., S.R. Cotten, P. Dremtea, and M. Goldner. 2010. “Rural-Urban Differences in General and Health-Related Internet Use.” American Behavioral Scientist 53:1304-1325.
Halford, Susan, and Mike Savage. 2010. “Reconceptualizing Digital Social Inequality.” Information, Communication & Society 13:937 – 955.
Hampton, Keith N., Lauren F. Sessions, Eun Ja Her, and Lee Rainie. 2009. “Social Isolation and New Technology: How the Internet and Mobile Phones Impact Americans’ Social Networks.” Washington D.C.: Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Hampton, Keith N., and Barry Wellman. 2003. “Neighboring in Netville: How the Internet Supports Community and Social Capital in a Wired Suburb.” City and Community 2:277-311.
Hargittai, Eszter. 2002. “Second-Level Digital Divide: Differences in People’s Online Skills.” in First Monday.7(4)
Hargittai, Eszter. 2011. “Open Doors, Closed Spaces? Differentiated Adoption of Social Network Sites by User Background.” in Race after the Internet, edited by P. Chow-White and L. Nakamura: Routledge.
Hargittai, Eszter. 1999. “Weaving the Western Web: explaining differences in Internet connectivity among OECD countries.” Telecommunications Policy 23:701-718.
Hargittai, Eszter. 2003. “How Wide a Web? Inequalities in Accessing Information Online.” in Sociology Department. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University.
Hargittai, Eszter. 2008. “The Digital Reproduction of Inequality.” Pp. 936-944 in Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective, edited by David B. Grusky, Manwai Ku, C., and Szonja Szelényi. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Hargittai, Eszter. 2010. “Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the “Net Generation”.” Sociological Inquiry 80:92-113.
Hargittai, Eszter, Lindsay Fullerton, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, and Kristin Yates Thomas. 2010. “Trust Online: Young Adults’ Evaluation of Web Content.” International Journal of Communication 4:468-494.
Hargittai, Eszter, and Amanda Hinnant. 2008. “Digital Inequality: Differences in Young Adults’ Use of the Internet.” Communication Research 35:602-621.
Hargittai, Eszter, and Yu-li Patrick Hsieh. 2010. “Predictors and Consequences of Differentiated Practices on Social Network Sites.” Information, Communication & Society 13(4):515-536.
Hargittai, E. & Hsieh, Y.P. (In Press). Digital Inequality. In Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies. Edited by William H. Dutton. Oxford University Press.
Hargittai, Eszter, and Steven Shafer. 2006. “Differences in Actual and Perceived Online Skills: The Role of Gender.” Social Science Quarterly 87:432-448.
Hargittai, Eszter, and Gina Walejko. 2008. “The Participation Divide: Content Creation and Sharing in the Digital Age.” Information, Communication & Society 11:239-256.
Hassani, Sara Nephew. 2006. “Locating Digital Divides at Home, Work, and Everywhere Else.” Poetics 34:250-272.
Haythornthwaite, Caroline, and Ronald E. Rice. 2006. “Perspectives on Internet Use: Access, Involvement and Interaction.” Pp. 92-113 in The Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Social Consequences of ICTs, edited by Leah A. Lievrouw and Sonia Livingstone. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publication.
Heeks, Richard. 2008. “ICT4D 2.0: The Next Phase of Applying ICT for International Development.” Computer 41 (6): 26–33.
Heeks, Richard. 2002. “Information Systems and Developing Countries: Failure, Success, and Local Improvisations.” The Information Society 18 (2): 101–112.
Helsper, Ellen Johanna. 2010. “Gendered Internet Use across Generations and Life Stages.” Communication Research 37:352-374.
Herring, S. 1996. “Bringing familiar baggage to the new frontier: Gender differences in computer-mediated communication.” Pp. 144-154 in CyberReader, edited by V. Vitanza Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Hoffman, Donna L., and Thomas P. Novak. 1998. “Bridging the Racial Divide on the Internet.” Science 280:390-391.
Horrigan, John B. 2009. “Home Broadband Adoption 2009.” Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Horst, Heather A. 2006. The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication. Oxford: Berg.
Howard, Philip E. N., L. E. E. Rainie, and Steve Jones. 2001. “Days and Nights on the Internet: The Impact of a Diffusing Technology.” American Behavioral Scientist 45:383-404.
Hsieh, Yuli Patrick, and Eszter Hargittai. 2010. “Social Capital and Communication Multiplexity in Social Relationship Maintenance: An Alternative Theoretical Approach.” in The 105th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Atlanta GA.
ITU. 2010. “Measuring the Information Society 2010.” Geneva: International Telecommunication Union.
Jenkins, Henry, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robinson, and Margaret Weigel. 2006. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Jensen, Robert. 2009. “The Digital Provide.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 124 (4) (November): 879–924.
Junco, R., and S.R. Cotten. 2011. “Perceived academic effects of instant messaging use.” Computers and Education 56:370-378.
Kadushin, Charles. 2004. “Too Much Investment in Social Capital?” Social Networks 26:75-90.
Katz, James E., and Ronald E. Rice. 2002. “Syntopia: Access, Civic Involvement and Social Interaction on the Internet.” Pp. 114-38 in The Internet in Everyday Life, edited by B. Wellman and C. Haythornthwaite. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Kirschenbaum, Josh, and Radhika Kunamneni. 2001. “Bridging the Organizational Divide: Toward a Comprehensive Approach to the Digital Divide. A PolicyLink Report.” Pp. 34. Oakland, CA: PolicyLink.
Kleine, D. (2010) “‘The men never say that they do not know’ – Telecentres as Gendered Spaces”. In: Steyn, J., van Belle, J.P, and Villanueva, E. (ed.): ICTs for Global Development and Sustainability: Practice and Applications, IGI Global, 189-210
Kleine, D. (2010): ICT4What? Using the Choice Framework to Operationalise the Capability Approach to Development, Journal of International Development, 22(5), 674-692
Kleine, D. and T. Unwin (2009): Technological Revolutions, Evolutions, and New Dependencies: What’s new about ICT4D?, Third World Quarterly, 30(5), 1045-1067
Kraut, Robert, Sara Kiesler, Bonka Boneva, Jonathon Cummings, Vicki Helgeson, and Anne Crawford. 2002. “Internet Paradox Revisited.” Journal of Social Issues 58:49-74.
Kraut, Robert, Michael Patterson, Vicki Lundmark, Sara Kiesler, Mukopadhyay Tridas, and William Scherlis. 1998. “Internet paradox: A Social Technology that Reduces Social Involvement and Psychological Well-being?” American Psychologist 53:1017-1031.
Krueger, Alan B. 1993. “How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984-1989.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 108:33-60.
Kubey, R.W, M.J. Lavin, and J.R. Barrows. 2001. “Internet use and collegiate academic performance decrements: early findings.” Journal of Communication 51(2):366-382
LaRose, Robert, Jennifer L. Gregg, Sharon Strover, Joseph Straubhaar, and Serena Carpenter. 2007. “Closing the Rural Broadband Gap: Promoting Adoption of the Internet in Rural America.” Telecommunications Policy 31:359-373.
Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Law, J. (1991) A sociology of monsters: essays on power, technology and domination. London: Routledge
Livingstone, Sonia, and Ellen Helsper. 2007. “Gradations in Digital Inclusion: Children, Young People and the Digital Divide.” New Media & Society 9:671-696.
Livingstone, Sonia, and Ellen Helsper. 2010. “Balancing opportunities and risks in teenagers’ use of the internet: the role of online skills and internet self-efficacy.” New Media & Society 12:309-329.
Loges, William E., and Joo-Young Jung. 2001. “Exploring the Digital Divide: Internet Connectedness and age.” Communication Research 28:536-562.
Min, S.-J. (2010). From the Digital Divide to the Democratic Divide: Internet Skills, Political Interest, and the Second-Level Digital Divide in Political Internet Use. Journal of Information Technology & Politics. doi:10.1080/19331680903109402
Mansell, R. & Wehn, U. (1998) Knowledge Societies: Information Technology for Sustainable Development. Oxford, United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development
McPherson, Miller, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew E. Brashears. 2006. “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades.” American Sociological Review 71:353-375.
Menchen-Trevino, Ericka, and Eszter Hargittai. 2011. “Young Adults’ Credibility Assessment of Wikipedia.” Information, Communication & Society.14(1):24-51
Metzger, M. J. 2007. “Making sense of credibility on the Web: Models for evaluating online information and recommendations for future research.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58:2078-2091.
Mossberger, Karen, Caroline J. Tolbert, and Mary Stansbury. 2003. Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration. 1995. “Falling through the Net: A Survey of the “Have Nots” in rural and urban America.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
NTIA. 1998. “Falling Through the Net II: New Data on the Digital Divide.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
NTIA. 1999. “Falling Through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
NTIA. 2000. “Falling Through the Net: Toward Digital Inclusion.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
NTIA. 2002. “A Nation Online: Internet Use in America.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
NTIA. 2004. “A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
NTIA. 2010. “Digital Nation: 21st Century America’s Progress Towards Universal Broadband Internet Access.” Washington DC: US Department of Commerce.
Nie, Norman, Sunshine Hillygus, and Lutz Erbring. 2002. “Internet Use, Interpersonal Relations and Sociability: A Time Diary Study.” Pp. 244-262 in The Internet in Everyday Life, edited by Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite. Oxford: Blackwell.
Norris, Pippa. 2001. Digital Divide? Civic Engagement, Information Poverty & the Internet Worldwide. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Norris, Pippa. 2004. “The Bridging and Bonding Role of Online Communities.” Pp. 31-42 in Society Online: The Interaction in Context, edited by Philip N. Howard and Steve G. Jones. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publication.
Nussbaum, M. (2000) Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Oakley, P. (Ed.) (2001) Evaluating Empowerment. Reviewing the Concept and the Practice, Oxford, INTRAC
Ono, Hiroshi, and Madeline Zavodny. 2003. “Gender and the Internet.” Social Science Quarterly 84:111-121.
Ono, Hiroshi, and Madeline Zavodny. 2007. “Digital inequality: A five country comparison using microdata.” Social Science Research 36:1135-1155.
Page, Kelly, and Mark Uncles. 2004. “Consumer Knowledge of the World Wide Web: Conceptualization and Measurement.” Psychology & Marketing 21:573-591.
Pasek, Josh, eiam more, and Eszter Hargittai. 2009. “Facebook and Academic Performance: Reconciling a Media Sensation with Data.” First Monday 14.
Pasek, Josh, eian more, and Daniel Romer. 2009. “Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Civic Engagement.” Journal of Information Technology & Politics 6(3-4):197-215.
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2006). Adolescents’ internet use: Testing the “disappearing digital divide” versus the “emerging digital differentiation” approach. Poetics, 34(4-5), 293–305. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2006.05.005
Prensky, Mark. 2001. “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” On the Horizon 9:1-6.
Press, Larry. 1996. “The role of computer networks in development.” Communications of the ACM 39:23-30.
Putnam, Robert D. 2001. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Qiu, Jack Linchuan. 2009. Working-class Network Society: Communication Technology and the Information Have-less in Urban China. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Quan-Haase, Anabel , Barry Wellman, James C. Witte, and Keith N. Hampton. 2002. “Capitalizing on the Internet: Network Capital, Participatory Capital, and Sense of Community.” Pp. 291-324 in The Internet in Everyday Life, edited by Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite. Oxford: Blackwell.
Raban, Y. 2007. “Trends in ICTs.” Pp. 18-30 in Information and Communication Technologies in Society: E-living in a Digital Europe, edited by B. Anderson, M. Brynin, J. Gershung, and Y. Raban. London: Routledge.
Rheingold, Howard. 1993. The Virtual Community: Homestanding on the Electronic Frontier. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Rhodes, J. (2009) Using Actor-Network Theory to Trace an Ict (Telecenter) Implementation Trajectory in an African Women’s Micro-Enterprise Development Organisation. Information Technologies and International Development, 5, 1-20
Rogers, Everett M. 1962. Diffusion of Innovations. New York: The Free Press
Rothbaum, Fred, Nancy Martland, and Joanne Beswick Jannsen. 2008. “Parents’ reliance on the Web to find information about children and families: Socio-economic differences in use, skills and satisfaction.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 29:118-128.
Schradie, J. 2011. “The Digital Production Gap: The Digital Divide and Web 2.0 Collide.” Poetics 39:145-168.
Selwyn, Neil. 2004. “Reconsidering Political and Popular Understandings of the Digital Divide.” New Media & Society 6 (3) (June): 341–362.
Selwyn, Neil, Stephen Gorard, John Furlong, and Louise Madden. 2003. “Older adults’ use of information and communications technology in everyday life.” Ageing & Society 23:561-582.
Selwyn, N., & Facer, K. (2007). Beyond the Digital Divide: Rethinking digital inclusion for the 21st century (Vol. 46). doi:10.1002/ncr
Sen, A. (1999) Development as Freedom, Oxford, Oxford University Press
Shah, Dhavan V., Jaeho Cho, William P. J. R. Eveland, and Nojin Kwak. 2005. “Information and Expression in a Digital Age: Modeling Internet Effects on Civic Participation.” Communication Research 32(5):531-65.
Smith, Aaron. 2010. “Home Broadband 2010.” Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Smith, Aaron. 2011. “Smartphone Adoption and Usage “. Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Steinfield, Charles, Nicole B. Ellison, and Cliff Lampe. 2008. “Social Capital, Self-Esteem, and Use of Online Social Network Sites: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 29:434-445.
Stern, Michael J., Alison E. Adams, and Shaun Elsasser. 2009. “Digital Inequality and Place: The Effects of Technological Diffusion on Internet Proficiency and Usage across Rural, Suburban, and Urban Counties*.” Sociological Inquiry 79:391-417.
Stevenson, Betsey. 2009. “The Internet and Job Search.” Pp. 67-86 in Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, edited by David H. Autor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rogers, Everett M. 1962. Diffusion of Innovations. New York: The Free Press
Tichenor, P.J., G.A. Donohue, and C.N. Olien. 1970. “Mass Media Flow and Differential Growth in Knowledge.” Public Opinion Quarterly 34:159-.
UNDP (2001) Human Development Report 2001. Making New Technologies Work for Human Development. Oxford
Unwin, T. (2010) Ict4d, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Unwin, T. (2010) ICTs, citizens and the state: moral philosophy and development practices, EJISDC, 44(1). 1-16
Van Deursen, A. J. A. M. 2010. “Internet Skills: Vital Assets in an Information Society.” in Department of Communication. Enscheded, Netherlands: University of Twente.
Van Deursen, A. J. A. M., Courtois, C., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2014). Internet Skills, Sources of Support, and Benefiting From Internet Use. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 30(4), 278–290. doi:10.1080/10447318.2013.858458
Van Deursen, A. J., & van Dijk, J. A. (2013). The digital divide shifts to differences in usage. New Media & Society, 16, 507–526. doi:10.1177/1461444813487959
Van Deursen, A., & van Dijk, J. (2011). Internet skills and the digital divide. New Media & Society, 13(6), 893–911. doi:10.1177/1461444810386774
Van Dijk, Jan A.G.M. 2005. The Deepening Divide: Inequality in the Information Society. London: Sage Publications.
Van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2006). Digital divide research, achievements and shortcomings. Poetics, 34, 221–235. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2006.05.004
Van Dijk, J., & Hacker, K. (2000). THE DIGITAL DIVIDE Jan van Dijk , Utrecht University.
Vigdor, Jacob L., and Helen F. Ladd. 2010. “Scaling the Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology and Student Achievement.” in NBER Working Paper Series.
Wajcman, J. (2004) Technofeminism, Oxford, Polity Press
Walsham, G. (1997) Actor-Network Theory and IS research: current status and future prospects, In: Lee, A. Liebenau J, and DeGross, J, (eds.)(1997): Information Systems and Qualitative Methods,, Chapman and Hall: London, pp.466- 480
Warschauer, Mark. 2003. Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wasserman, Ira M., and Marie Richmond-Abbott. 2005. “Gender and the Internet: Causes of Variation in Access, Level, and Scope of Use*.” Social Science Quarterly 86:252-270.
Weigel, G. & Waldburger, D. (Eds.) (2004) Ict4d – Connecting People for a Better World, Geneva, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP)
Weiser, Eric B. 2000. “Gender Differences in Internet Use Patterns and Internet Application Preferences: A Two-Sample Comparison.” CyberPsychology & Behavior 3:167-178.
Wellman, Barry, Janet Salaff, Dimitrina Dimitrova, Laura Garton, Milena Gulia, and Caroline Haythornthwaite. 1996. “Computer Networks as Social Networks: Collaborative Work, Telework and Virtual Community.” Annual Review of Sociology 22:211-238.
Wilson, Ernest J., III. 2004. The Information Revolution and Developing Countries. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wilson, Kenneth R., Jennifer S. Wallin, and Christa Reiser. 2003. “Social Stratification and the Digital Divide.” Social Science Computer Review 21:133-143.
World Internet Project. 2010. “World Internet Project: International Report 2010.” Los Angeles, CA: USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future.
Wu, X. (2008). When Pirated Films Met the Internet: The Chinese Cultural Public Sphere of Movies in an Unorthodox Globalization. Paper presented at the 2008 Annual Conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research. Stockholm, Sweden. July.
Wyche, Susan P., Thomas N Smyth, Marshini Chetty, Paul M Aoki, and Rebecca E. Grinter. 2010. “Deliberate Interactions: Characterizing Technology Use in Nairobi, Kenya.” In Proc CHI 2010. Atlanta, GA: ACM.
Zhang, Chan, Mario Callegaro, and Melanie Thomas. 2008. “More than the digital divide? Investigating the differences between internet and non-internet users.” in Annual Conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research. Chicago, IL.
Zheng, Y, (2009) “Different spaces for e-development? What we can learn from the Capability Approach”, Journal of Information Technology for Development, 15(2), p. 66-82
Zillien, Nicole, and Eszter Hargittai. 2009. “Digital Distinction: Status-Specific Types of Internet Uses.” Social Science Quarterly 90:274-291.
I’m delighted to be teaching an intro seminar for all the new Ph.D. students in my department’s graduate program. One of my goals is to give these students a place to talk about the environment of graduate school itself. How does getting a Ph.D. work? What do you need to know?
This task has made me reflective. At first I thought I should pass along readings that had been inspirational for me during grad school. That sure didn’t work. Here is the advice I apparently once loved:
I wrote the paper with which this book begins on a microcomputer. Though this first experience with one frightened me a little at first, writing soon seemed so much less work that I wondered how I had managed before. —Writing for Social Scientists, p. 151
Fortunately, these days every legitimate library has a copy machine, and each copy costs about a dime. —How to Write a Thesis, p. 86
The process of getting a Ph.D. is very old. Wikipedia claims the first Ph.D. was awarded in Paris in 1150. I thought Ph.D. advice would be more likely to stand the test of time.
These days you’ll find better dissertation advice on Tumblr. Or at least you’ll find some comic relief from Tumblrs like When in Academia…
(That’s some great tagging.)
The upshot is that it looks like a fair amount of the advice about how to get a Ph.D. has to do with the available communication technology of the time. Both the stuff that’s in everyday use, and also the scholarly communication infrastructure (which I’ve also blogged about recently).
Has anyone reading this ever attended a conference paper sale? (No, that’s not about buying pre-written term papers.) Or have you ever received an academic journal article “preprint request postcard?” Here’s an image of one:
So far I’ve come up with a list of things that seem to still be helpful. Caveats: I’m aiming to help the social science and humanities students interested in communication and information. Our first year students won’t be teaching yet, so I am not focusing on teaching with this list.
Hopefully there are some readers who will find this list useful too.
Becker, H. S. (2007). Writing for Social Scientists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. — Don’t let the title of this book fool you, it is equally applicable to graduate students in the humanities and professional programs. I’m excerpting the following sections:
Shore, B. M. (2014). The Graduate Advisor Handbook. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. I’ll excerpt:
Mutual Expectations for Research Advising (pp. 143-146)
Strunk, W., Jr. & White, E. B. (2000). The Elements of Style. (4th ed.) New York: Longman. (Important: You must avoid any “Original Edition” or public domain reprint that does not include E. B. White as a co-author. The version without E. B. White is a different book.)
I see that it’s a list woefully lacking in anything like “social media savvy for Ph.D. students” or “How new forms of scholarly communication are changing the dissertation.” I’m sure there are other newish domains I’ve left out, too. What am I missing? Can anyone help me out? Please add a comment or e-mail me.