Knowledge and social networks in Yahoo! Answers

Amit Rechavi, Sheizaf Rafaeli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This study defines and explores relations between knowledge-seeking and social relationship networks, using data from a popular Q&A social network site. Our theoretical framework draws on Motivation, Common-goods, and Social capital theories to generate an understanding of the interrelationship of the two types of networks. A dataset consisting of 19 months of activity on Q&A Yahoo! Answers provides the basis for answering the following questions: Does a reciprocal relationship exist between the two networks? Is there a positive correlation in either size or growth between the two? Who are their members and actual participants? How does the social capital created by the social activities influence the asker's satisfaction? Finally, can the growth of one network come at the expense of the other? Findings suggest a positive correlation between the knowledge-seeking network and the social network; Social capital does contribute to askers' satisfaction and furthermore, under certain conditions, one network might grow at the expense of the other. Theoretical and practical implications for the mutual dependency of social ties and informational provision are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-45
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780769545257
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2012 - Maui, HI, United States
Duration: 4 Jan 20127 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Print)1530-1605


Conference2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMaui, HI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)

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