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Interaction in web-based communities: a case study of Last.fm

Peter Mechant (UGent) and Tom Evens (UGent)
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Abstract
Interaction is omnipresent in the discourse on new communication technologies and social network sites. Although quantitative numeric data on the use of social networking sites is plentiful, present research lacks qualitative data describing how these websites are used and experienced. This article describes research on the online experiences and interactions by Last.fm users. Last.fm is a website combining a music recommendation service, an online community and an online radio. We conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with Last.fm users and observed their Last.fm profiles. Based on the aggregated data we suggest that most people use Last.fm as a tool, interacting heavily with the website itself, but much less with music. Interaction amongst Last.fm users seems to be sparse and superficial. Nevertheless, some respondents reported a 'sense of community' and referred to Last.fm as a tavern where one can converse about music, suggesting similarities with Ray Oldenburg's 'third places' or 'great good places'.
Keywords
music recommendation services, social network sites, Web 2.0, internet, Last.fm, affordances, user interaction, social networking, web based communities, virtual communities, sense of community., online communities

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Chicago
Mechant, Peter, and Tom Evens. 2011. “Interaction in Web-based Communities: a Case Study of Last.fm.” International Journal of Web Based Communities 7 (2): 234–249.
APA
Mechant, P., & Evens, T. (2011). Interaction in web-based communities: a case study of Last.fm. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WEB BASED COMMUNITIES, 7(2), 234–249.
Vancouver
1.
Mechant P, Evens T. Interaction in web-based communities: a case study of Last.fm. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WEB BASED COMMUNITIES. 2011;7(2):234–49.
MLA
Mechant, Peter, and Tom Evens. “Interaction in Web-based Communities: a Case Study of Last.fm.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WEB BASED COMMUNITIES 7.2 (2011): 234–249. Print.
@article{1207078,
  abstract     = {Interaction is omnipresent in the discourse on new communication technologies and social network sites. Although quantitative numeric data on the use of social networking sites is plentiful, present research lacks qualitative data describing how these websites are used and experienced. This article describes research on the online experiences and interactions by Last.fm users. Last.fm is a website combining a music recommendation service, an online community and an online radio. We conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with Last.fm users and observed their Last.fm profiles. Based on the aggregated data we suggest that most people use Last.fm as a tool, interacting heavily with the website itself, but much less with music. Interaction amongst Last.fm users seems to be sparse and superficial. Nevertheless, some respondents reported a 'sense of community' and referred to Last.fm as a tavern where one can converse about music, suggesting similarities with Ray Oldenburg's 'third places' or 'great good places'.},
  author       = {Mechant, Peter and Evens, Tom},
  issn         = {1477-8394},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WEB BASED COMMUNITIES},
  keyword      = {music recommendation services,social network sites,Web 2.0,internet,Last.fm,affordances,user interaction,social networking,web based communities,virtual communities,sense of community.,online communities},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {234--249},
  title        = {Interaction in web-based communities: a case study of Last.fm},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2011.039513},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2011},
}

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