WebSci '16: Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Web Science
Welcome to the ACM Web Science 2016 Conference. This is the 8th conference of the series and the 6th to be sponsored by ACM through the Special Interest Group on Hypertext, Hypermedia and the Web (SIGWEB). The Conference continues to acknowledge the centrality of the Web as a socially constructed artifact, focusing on the study of information networks, social communities, organizations, applications, and policies that shape and are shaped by theWeb. The conference provides a unique forum for researchers from different backgrounds, with most papers adopting perspectives that bridge between two (or more) disciplines like computer science, economics, education, information science, law, library science, political science and other social sciences, thus fostering and supporting a thriving interdisciplinary community of Web Science.
This paper provides mapping of ethnic themes and topics associated with the Caucasus on social networking site VKontakte popular in Eurasia. We collected data on virtual communities associated with major ethnic (Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani) and supra-ethnic ("Pan-Caucasian") groups. We combine network analysis (based on group co-membership) with LDA topic modeling (based on posts) to identify the ideologies and cultural features which unite and divide virtual Caucasus. The gap between warring nations is bridged by Pan-Caucasian virtual groups with no political ideology.
This paper presents the results of our study of educational migration flows between Russian Federation and China. Using data from the most popular among Russian-speakers Social Networking Site VK, we explore "digital footprints" of migration, analyzing the factors influencing the size of migration flows from different Russian cities to China. We take into account different groups of parameters, in particular, geographic proximity of a city to China and to Russian educational centers, institutional presence of China, and Chinese web presence in the particular city. Resulting conditional inference tree with the relative number of educational migrants from each city as the outcome has R2 = .86
This paper is concerned with online communication of apartment buildings' residents on general purpose social networking site (SNS) VKontakte (VK), focusing on how groups' participants use instruments of SNS to separate place-based discussions and participation in wider community initiatives. With the help of topic modeling algorithm LDA, we analyzed posts collected from online groups related to apartment complexes in Saint-Petersburg to reveal differences of communication in open groups and restricted access groups. We also looked at overlaps between local groups of apartment buildings and city-wide movements. Our study shows that inside SNS there is a functional differentiation between restricted access groups and open groups, which have different audiences and communicative strategies. Restricted access (private) groups play an important role in the formation of neighbors' communities of trust and, supposedly, can be useful substitutes of face-to-face interaction for people moving into new buildings. Open (public) groups function as public forums for fostering neighbors' cooperation and attracting attention of broader public to local issues and conflicts.