Monday, May 21, 2007

Interpersonal networks in finding information

A hugely interesting study on patterns on information seeking about culture. I wonder how much this would match with what teachers do? Are they also inclined first to turn to their interpersonal ties, e.g. human network of colleagues, friends and families, to find information, before turning to the Internet, text book publishers, educational portals and such?

When searching for information about culture, the participants in this study look first to their families and social networks, specialized governmental and non-governmental organizations (such as Heritage Canada or the Danny Grossman Dance Company), and published and broadcast sources (Toronto Globe and Mail; People magazine; CBC radio and TV). It is only after they have a recommendation or suggestion—from their interpersonal ties or from elsewhere—that they turn to the Web for information. Then, they usually seek specific information, such as upcoming performances by a favorite band, book reviews, or hotel prices for a summer vacation. This suggests that for many people, the Web tends to satisfy curiosity rather than inspire it.

Yep, seems like supporting social information retrieval thorough Web is like a killer-ap!

Kayahara, J., and Wellman, B. (2007). Searching for culture—high and low. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(3), article 4.

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