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Creators/Authors contains: "Kiene, Charles"

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  1. Large-scale quantitative analyses have shown that individuals frequently talk to each other about similar things in different online spaces. Why do these overlapping communities exist? We provide an answer grounded in the analysis of 20 interviews with active participants in clusters of highly related subreddits. Within a broad topical area, there are a diversity of benefits an online community can confer. These include (a) specific information and discussion, (b) socialization with similar others, and (c) attention from the largest possible audience. A single community cannot meet all three needs. Our findings suggest that topical areas within an online community platform tend to become populated by groups of specialized communities with diverse sizes, topical boundaries, and rules. Compared with any single community, such systems of overlapping communities are able to provide a greater range of benefits.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 30, 2023
  2. Adopting new technology is challenging for volunteer moderation teams of online communities. Challenges are aggravated when communities increase in size. In a prior qualitative study, Kiene et al. found evidence that moderator teams adapted to challenges by relying on their experience in other technological platforms to guide the creation and adoption of innovative custom moderation "bots." In this study, we test three hypotheses on the social correlates of user innovated bot usage drawn from a previous qualitative study. We find strong evidence of the proposed relationship between community size and the use of user innovated bots. Although previous work suggests that smaller teams of moderators will be more likely to use these bots and that users with experience moderating in the previous platform will be more likely to do so, we find little evidence in support of either proposition.