Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Social Network Analysis--Firehouse.com

On the Left we can see hwoods, and on the Right ScareCrow57

For the individual project, I decided to build upon the data collected from the group project. In the first analysis there was some interesting things found. I wanted to see if there would be any correlations between two different threads (1st thread and 2nd thread). I was hoping to find information that shows something about leadership roles and user relationship in the social network analysis. The website used was Firehouse.com. Data was collected the same way for the second thread. The second thread that I picked was “Is online fire school that bad?” I picked this thread because it had same amount of posts as the 1st posts. Information that was collected was:
• There were 58 posts totals
• Average posts collected from the website for each member
• Length of membership in months
• Each post was looked at and classified as negative, supportive or indifferent

After all the data was collected about the members, it was entered in NodeXL and a graph was obtained of the interaction of members. The following things were found about the threads:

1st thread:
• Longest membership: SPFDRum—125 months
• Highest average posts per day: ScareCrow57—8.34
• 16 negative (28% of total posts), 12 supportive(21% of total posts)
• ScareCrow57– 7 posts, 5 messages directed at him, 5 negative (31% of negative messages), said something to all

2nd thread:
• Longest membership: CaptainGonzo—106 months, 2 negative
• Highest average posts per day: ScareCrow—8.37
• 13 negative (22% of total posts, 12 supportive (21% of total posts)
• hwoods– 10 posts, 7 messages directed at him, 2 negative (16% of negative messages), said something to all

Since ScareCrow57 and hwoods seemed to get the most attention I tried to figure out why. I went back to the threads and tried to look at the content that was posted by these two members. The content posted by them showed an opinion. Members either posted negative comments or indifferent comments back to the two members.

I tried to find more information about the two members, so I sent them a message asking them about their rank and how long they been on a fire department. Their response is as follows:
• ScareCrow57: About 15 years and I'm just a fire fighter. Never had the desire to be a LT., Capt., or Chief. Biggest reason is with my professional life I don't have the time to dedicate to the function. I could very easily be an officer, I chose not to be. I do write our grants and have been very successful with them.
• hwoods: As of October 4th, starting my 52nd year. 30 years Career, all 52 Volunteer. Still Riding and having a ball........... Rank - I've pretty much been everything along the way, and an officer of some kind for 48 years, with about 30 of those years as a Chief Officer, Currently a Commissioner.

I found this interesting about both members. I believe that because of their long experience as firefighter, and the knowledge they have gathered over the years, they definitely show some leadership roles, or at least try to exhibit leadership roles. To further look at this and understand if members are showing leadership, there has to be a survey that measures their leadership skills. I will try to determine the type of measure in my thesis proposal.

1 comment:

  1. Dumitru, this was really interesting! I think it's intriguing to think that people that have more authority in their work would also strive to embody these traits in a message board. I mean, they could easily play down their roles "irl" or be more of lurkers on the board, but they took on an active role.

    I wonder if this supports the "some people are born leaders" saying, haha. =)

    It was also interesting to think about because my dad has been involved in a woodworking message boards for yeeeeears (seriously, probably since we got internet in like...94), and he tends to be a leader, although he's very shy "irl." Although he does tend to think that the way he does things in woodworking are correct, so in that area, he's a leader. This is also backed up by the fact that he's one of the only plane makers still in the U.S. (not airplanes, but these kinds: http://www.planemaker.com/ ), so people tend to respect him more for that. So maybe it really is just accomplishments that make people recognize you as a leader--not that you were a leader already, but that you probably have more knowledge.

    Eh, hopefully that was coherent.

    Thanks for sharing! =)