Author Archives: yardi

Documentation of Roles and Responsibilities for Conference Social Media Chairs

Many conferences now have a Social Media Chair, a person who agrees to the service role of managing social media activities related to the conference.  Below is brief documentation of roles and responsibilities for a conference Social Media Chair. This documentation is based on my experience being Social Media Chair for 4 different conferences 6 times in the past 5 years. Comments are welcome. This is biased towards computing and information conferences.

Before the conference

  • Account information: Request usernames and passwords from the previous year’s Chair
  • Hashtags: Determine/confirm the conference hashtag for the coming year and post online to the community. Most conferences append the year (e.g., “chi2015, cscw2015”); some use the same hashtag every year (e.g., “icwsm”). Be consistent with prior years (e.g., “chi2016″), or be ready to defend and advocate a change (e.g., “chi16″ is shorter than “chi2016″).
  • Submission deadlines: Post major submissions deadlines leading up to the conference (3-4x for paper submissions, ~3 months, ~1 month, ~1 week, ~1 day ahead; 2x for panel/workshop/alternate submissions, ~2 months, ~1 week ahead)
  • Reviewing and Notifications: Recruit reviewers to sign up in conference system
  • Notifications: Post notifications of paper acceptances, rebuttal periods, etc.
  • Registration and Housing: Post conference pre-registration opening and housing information opening (2x, once available, reminder ~1 week before close)
  • Location: Promote the conference location (e.g., sightseeing, fun facts, good weather, flight deals, etc.)
  • Monitoring: Monitor accounts actively to address questions or concerns (e.g., confusion about deadlines, issues with registration). These should be brought to the attention of the relevant conference committee member as soon as possible and then responded to online.
  • Presence: Ensure that the Chair will be at the conference. Otherwise, recruit a Co-Chair or assistant who will be present to post updates throughout the conference. Pairing a more senior (post-PhD) Chair with a more junior (PhD student) Co-Chair is an effective combination. Senior people have enough experience to balance professionalism and playfulness (and to take responsibility for issues that may arise) while junior people have focus and enthusiasm to maintain persistent engagement in the role.
  • Tools: Using applications to set pre-scheduled posts, monitor multiple accounts, etc. can be useful for some Chairs. Others will prefer to monitor activity manually.
  • Roles: If there are multiple Chairs, choose leaders for particular tasks (e.g., monitoring the Twitter hashtag for questions) otherwise issues get overlooked.
  • Identities: If there are multiple Chairs, some choose to initial posts to identify themselves with initials (e.g., “Great coffee place on 5th street one block from hotel! -SS”), others choose to present a unified account. Pick a strategy and be consistent.
  • Publicity: Some conferences have separate media or publicity roles. If not, the Chair may decide to notify national/global media outlets (e.g., TechCrunch) as well as local regional outlets about interesting topics being presented at the conference.

 


During the conference

  • Engagement: Post regularly, but don’t spam (~20-30 posts/day during the conference on Twitter, ~3-5 posts/day on Facebook).
  • Content: Balance content that is of interest to attendees and to people watching remotely. Quotes from keynotes and key findings from papers are generally of broad interest.
  • Sharing useful information: Post and re-post informational updates (e.g., location and hours for nearby morning coffee, running routes, transportation information). You can ask Local Chairs or monitor the conference hashtag to glean this information.
  • Sharing social information: Post and re-post social updates, such as happy hour gatherings organized by others. This helps other people find social activities and promotes the liveliness of the conference to the community.
  • Monitoring: Monitor accounts actively to address questions or concerns (e.g., venue is cold, wireless doesn’t work). These complaints tend to snowball rapidly online and can be mitigated with prompt and respectful replies via social media.
  • Social activities: Consider facilitating social activities (e.g., lunch meetups) via social media. This involves recruiting 1-2 lunch leaders, determining a meetup location such as the conference registration desk, and picking 1 or more lunch locations to walk to. Some conferences (e.g., CHI 2016) now have dedicated Lunch Chairs, most do not. Social activities are especially valuable for newcomers, graduate students, and generally those who may know few people at the conference.
  • Attendee engagement: Lightweight contests and games via social media can engage participants, but if poorly executed will flop. Location-based games, treasure hunts, networking, etc. often appear overly engineered, but can work if there are meaningful incentives and sufficient integration with the rest of the conference.
  • Displays: If available, large screen displays can effective for communication real-time information and providing a watering hole for attendees to gather around. One possibility is a screen that displays social media feeds by hashtag.
  • Photographs: If the Chair is not an active photographer, consider recruiting an enthusiastic photographer among the conference attendees to take photos and post them to social media. Be thoughtful about privacy considerations of taking photos of other people and posting them publicly.
  • Professionalism: Balance professionalism and playfulness. Humor and wit can promote engagement and liveliness. Be careful posting about sensitive topics that may be misinterpreted by a broad and public audience. Jokes about gender, race, status, power, etc. are not appropriate for a conference account.

 


After the conference

  • Evaluation: NodeXL is a simple tool for assessing community engagement (e.g., number of hashtag users, popular users,  number of tweets).
  • Media: Post subsequent media coverage of papers
  • Looking forward: Post location and dates of next year’s conference
  • Account management: Transfer usernames and passwords to next year’s Chair

Networked Empowerment on Facebook Groups among Parents of Children with Special Needs

In prior work, we examined how parents of children with special needs access support and experience judgment on social media sites. In this work, we describe how parents access health and education resources on Facebook to support their children’s needs. We conducted 43 interviews with parents of children with special needs to investigate whether using social media sites helps them to perform this caregiving work.

What is empowerment?
Empowerment describes a process in which people gain understanding and control over personal, social, economic, or political forces in order to take action to better their lives. When people face difficult situations, marginalized identities, or new environments where personal roles change, they can feel disempowered, no longer able to control their own outcomes. Living in a cycle of disempowerment can lead to learned helplessness, where future outcomes continue to suffer because individuals no longer believe they can control and change their future and thus, stop trying.

We find that parents experience three major stages:

    • going online after receiving a diagnosis

There’s a lot of medical terms that are thrown at us all the time… we just have to Google. Google these terms and what they mean and what things that it comes up with just to get an idea, because we don’t always know and the doctor sometimes just throw it all on us. -P15

You can search a website, you can Google things, you can glean or gather information on the web in millions of sites but to talk to someone that does it day-in-day-out, I think that probably the most informative and helpful way. And that’s what I found on Facebook… If I needed a question answered, I have a couple of friends that I know I’d be able to just type in their name, ask a question and be able to get a response in a pretty timely manner. -P16

    • learning about services from other parents

The whole art of handling kids is learning how to navigate hundreds of people in your life. So you have a social worker from the school who ends up being useless. You have a social worker from the ventilation clinic. You have a social worker from the ICU. You have a social worker from the Cardiac unit. You have the local county’s social worker. And then you have a social worker from hospice. They were all from different organizations, but they’re all trying to help give you resources. -P10

    • becoming advocates for the child’s needs

It’s mostly newly diagnosed people saying, “Hey, I just got this diagnosis and here’s a picture of my kid and I’m glad that I know that we’re not alone.” Fifty people say, “Welcome to the group. Welcome to the journey. Here’s some resources for you.” It’s a lot of that stuff. But also fundraising updates, research updates, conference updates, stuff like that. -P21

We explored a concept of networked empowerment that describes how parents whose children have received a special needs diagnosis find other parents, mobilize resources, and become advocates. Unlike with offline groups, parents are now able to do this through almost real-time access to other parents on Facebook. Through their process of adjusting to their child’s diagnosis, parents work to overcome the anxiety and uncertainty that follows a diagnosis, navigate the complex process of accessing services, and become advocates for their child’s needs as well as for the special needs cause more generally.

Future Work
While we find that parents turn to social media sites for mobilization and advocacy, there is little evidence that such efforts have resulted in change on a local or global scale. Future work should investigate the outcomes of long-term participation and advocacy on culture, policies, and rights in the U.S. today.

Limitations
Participants all were currently or had previously been married to a person of the opposite gender. We did not ask participants their household incomes and do not know how representative the results are to all income ranges.

This research is published in CHI 2015. For more details, please read the full paper.

In our first round of interviewing, we oversampled mothers. The second round of interviewing targeted fathers. The interview protocols for this study are available: Parents Interview Protocol and Fathers Interview Protocol.

Ammari, T. and Schoenebeck, S.Y. (2015). “Networked Empowerment on Facebook Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). Seoul, Korea. April 18-23, 2015.

This research was approved by University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board HUM00074842.

How Parents Manage Disclosing Personal Information about their Children Online

Many researchers, educators, and policy makers have investigated the risks of children sharing their personal information online. However, little work has investigated the implications of parents sharing personal information about their children online. This study addresses that gap.

This study draws from 102 interviews with parents (64 fathers and 38 mothers) about their social network site (SNS) use as it relates to parenting. The questions we investigated were:

  1. Who posts content about children to social network sites and what do they post?
  2. How do parents negotiate what is appropriate to post?
  3. In what ways do the affordances of social network sites affect how and what parents decide to post?

Findings

  • In general, mothers take on the responsibility of sharing content about their children more than fathers do
  • Fathers are more restrictive about sharing to broad and professional audiences
  • Fathers are concerned about sharing content that could be perceived as sexually suggestive, especially related to daughters
  • Both mothers and fathers use features of SNSs to limit oversharing
  • Parents have to negotiate with each other what is okay or not okay to post online about their child, sometimes leading to tensions
  • Parents have to manage extended family and friends posting online about their child, which can be especially challenging if the parents themselves don’t agree on what is okay to post

Parental Disclosure Management
Building on prior work, we introduce the concept of parental disclosure management, which describes how parents decide what to share about their children online. Parents work especially hard to manage suggestive or appropriate content and evaluate potential audiences (e.g., what other might think of what they post online).

A Third Shift
In general, both mothers and fathers in our sample said that mothers did the majority of disclosure management work, which included deciding what to share, negotiating sharing policies with partners, and posting content online. We describe an emerging third shift of work (following on Hoschchild’s “Second Shift”) that highlights the additional work parents take on to manage children’s identities online. Our results suggest that many parents manage the work of sharing information about their children online by assigning de facto roles to one parent. Participants were always able to articulate who did the sharing and what kinds of sharing they did, though the roles tended to emerge organically. In the same way that one parent often does the cooking or the dishes, one parent seems to take on the primary responsibility of sharing about children online. Women often held this responsibility, perhaps because they are more active SNS users, or perhaps because their roles as primary caregiver are extended into these online spaces.

Future Directions
As online and offline family life becomes increasingly intertwined, understanding how parents negotiate roles is critical for the wellbeing of families and for designing the next generation of social platforms to support family life. We conclude with theoretical and practical implications for designing SNSs to better support family life online, including:

  • Joint accounts SNSs could create joint sharing features that allow one or more users to create an account and share responsibility of it. Such an account would allow parents to jointly control privacy settings and manage content.
  • Silent tagging Parents could engage in “silent tagging” practices so that profiles and content are stored for later use, if a child decides she wants her identity to be attached to this content.
  • Retroactive identity management Children could be given the opportunity to more easily and powerfully alter their online presence, after it has been established by their parents.

Data Sources

  • Interviews with 102 parents drawn from a convenience sample recruited across multiple studies
  • Interviewers conducted from early 2013 through early 2014

Limitations
This study’s sample contained only parents who were currently or had previously been married to a person of the opposite gender. We did not ask participants their household incomes and do not know how representative the results are to all income ranges.

This research is published in CHI 2015. For more details, please read the full paper.

The interview protocols for this study are available: Interview Protocol 1, Interview Protocol 2, and Interview Protocol 3.

Ammari, T., Kumar, P., Lampe, C., and Schoenebeck, S.Y. (2015). “Managing Children’s Online Identities: How Parents Decide what to Disclose about their Children Online.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). Seoul, Korea. April 18-32, 2015.

This research was approved by University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board HUM00080547 and HUM00074842.

Supporting Fathers and Fatherhood on Social Media Sites

A lot of academic research, especially in computing fields, has focused on mothers and motherhood recently. However, little research has explored how fathers use social media related to fatherhood. This study addresses that gap. We interviewed 37 fathers about their use of social media as it relates to their roles as fathers.

Drawing on prior work on the social construction of fatherhood and determinants of involved fathers, we find that fathers use social media to:

  • document and archive fatherhood
  • learn how to be a father
  • access social support

They also go online to support diverse and sometimes stigmatized needs, including

  • single fathers’ use of Reddit where they can be anonymous instead of Facebook where going through a divorce might be stigmatized
  • fathers raised by single mothers’ search for role models online because they did not feel like they had such role models growing up
  • stay-at-home fathers’ use of father blogs to find other like-minded fathers because they felt isolated, and sometimes even unwelcome, if surrounded by mostly stay-at-home-mothers

Advocating for Fathers
We argue that we are at a critical juncture for studying and promoting fatherhood. Fathers’ roles have steadily evolved over time from moral mentor and breadwinner to caregiver and emotional supporter. Though still imbalanced with mothers, fathers take on more childcare and household responsibilities than they used to. Problematically, the focus on mothers and motherhood in academic research could inadvertently perpetuate the unequal focus on mothers as primary caregivers—undercutting some of the very premises motherhood research is looking to address.

Judgment and Stigma
Fathers were sensitive about sharing too much information online that might violate their children’s privacy. They were also hesitant to post information that might subject them to stigma and judgment from other parents, including topics like sleep training and vaccines. Fathers were especially sensitive about sharing information about their young children online. They engaged in protective behaviors like searching for their child’s name on Google to see if pictures of their child might come up.

Future Steps
We consider some ideas about how online platforms might be designed to better support fathers:

  • Provide more online sites and communities to that support fathers engaging in fatherhood discussions and activities (akin to the many sites for mothers already available)
  • Support anonymity or pseudonymity in online father communities to create a safe space for sharing about fatherhood online (as well as support small groups of trusted fathers on sites like Facebook)
  • Increase visibility of audience norms and expectations so that fathers can post parenting content to targeted audiences

Data Sources

  • Interviews with 37 fathers recruited through father mailing lists, father offline groups, father online groups, Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist
  • The sample is a convenience sample
  • Interviews were conducted from October 2013-February 2014

Limitations
This study’s sample contained only fathers. Furthermore, participants all were currently or had previously been married to a person of the opposite gender. We did not ask participants their household incomes and do not know how representative the results are to all income ranges.

This research is published in CHI 2015. For more details, please read the full paper.

The interview protocol for this study is available: Interview Protocol.

Ammari, T. and Schoenebeck, S.Y. (2015). “Understanding and Supporting Fathers and Fatherhood on Social Media Sites.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). Seoul, Korea. April 18-23, 2015.

This research was approved by University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board HUM00080547.

How new mothers share baby photos on Facebook

Mothers actively share photos of their young babies on Facebook, but little research has explored why they do this and the benefits and risks of sharing. This research explored what baby pictures new mothers share on Facebook and how they decide what to share or not share. We conducted an interview study with 22 new mothers about how they share baby photos on Facebook. We introduce the concept of privacy stewardship to describe the responsibility parents take on when deciding what is appropriate to share about their children online and when ensuring that family and friends respect and maintain the integrity of those rules.

Types of photos mothers share on Facebook
Mothers share four kinds of baby photos on Facebook: photos where the baby looks “cute”, photos where the baby is doing something funny, photos where the baby is with family or friends, and photos of milestones (e.g., crawling, walking).

Types of photos mothers don’t share on Facebook
Mothers don’t share three kinds of baby photos: low quality photos, photos that convey negativity, or photos that overexpose the child (e.g., naked).

Benefits of sharing baby photos

  • Documenting and archiving childhood as a “modern day babybook”
  • Helping new mothers to identify as a good mother (e.g., displaying a happy and healthy family)
  • Validation of good mothering through likes and comments on baby photos

Risks of sharing baby photos

  • Limiting oversharing out of a concern that Facebook friends will get tired of seeing too many posts, including sensitivity to Facebook friends who might be struggling to conceive themselves
  • Managing children’s digital footprints by trying to understand how a child might feel about their digital identity being shared online before young children have the ability to decide for themselves what should be posted about them
  • Controlling information that other people such as friends and extended family share about a baby that may violate the parents’ preferences about what should be shared

Why this matters:
Benefits of “Imagined Audiences”
Imagined audiences have often been portrayed as presenting a challenge for people trying to craft a message for multiple or unknown audiences (e.g., posting a status that is appropriate for a boss as well as college friends), but these audiences offer benefits to new mothers. Mothers feel validated by the numerous likes and comments they receive on baby photos, even if they come from weak ties (e.g., high school acquaintances) who were not part of participants’ originally expected audience.

Privacy Stewardship
How will this generation of young children feel when they become old enough to find out that their digital footprint has been shaped since before their birth? From a privacy perspective, we might fear that pictures will not disappear, but from an archival perspective, we worry that they will. Parents face an almost impossible tension between the expectation that they will document and archive their children’s social lives, while simultaneously ensuring that their child’s privacy is protected and identity is carefully stewarded.

Limitations
This study’s sample primarily included educated, married, heterosexual white women in the United States or who had lived in the United States at some point. Participants’ ages ranged from mid-twenties to late-thirties. This study does not address the role of fathers — an important gap to address.

This research is published in CSCW 2015. For more details, please read the full paper.
The interview protocol for this study is available: Interview Protocol.

Kumar, P. and Schoenebeck, S.Y. (2015). “The Modern Day Baby Book: Enacting Good Mothering and Stewarding Privacy on Facebook.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’15). Vancouver, Canada. March 14-18, 2015.

This research was approved by University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board HUM00080547.

Giving up Twitter for Lent: How and Why We Take Breaks from Social Media

This research explores whether Twitter users who tweeted that they were giving up Twitter for Lent actually did so. It investigates why people look to take breaks from social media and what the underlying concerns they have are.

To what extent are social media users able to manage their own social media use?

  • 64% of users who expressed intent to give up Twitter for Lent on Twitter successfully did so
  • Among the remaining 36%, 13.3% (or 5% of the total group) only tweeted one or two times during the Lenten period

Twitter users hedge about taking breaks, meaning that they talk about taking a break on Twitter but don’t expression intention to actually do so
In a weak moment I thought about giving up twitter and facebook for lent but I’m not strong enough #goodluck
I don’t know how people are giving up twitter for lent #addicted
I thought about giving up Twitter for #lent until I realized the first thing I want to do about this decision is tweet it. #irony
Thought about giving up Twitter for lent, but then I thought… Jesus didn’t give up on his followers. So I won’t #BitchesBePreachin’
I was thinking about giving up twitter for lent.. But I don’t think it’s physically possible for me to go a day without tweeting.

Hedging Word Tree "I was" Hedging Word Tree "I thought"

What factors drive social media users to consider taking breaks from social media?

  • Spending too much time on social media
  • Tradeoffs of not spending time elsewhere
  • Social media versus “real life”

Data

  • Tweets: 3 years of tweets from users who tweeted about giving up Twitter for Lent and their subsequent behavior
  • Interviews: Interviews with 12 social media users recruited from craigslist

Limitations
It is difficult to interpret intention from tweets. Interviewing users who had tweeted about giving up Twitter soon after they tweeted this would help us to better understand their intentions. Recruiting interview participants from craigslist produces a biased sample.

For more details, please read the full paper

Schoenebeck, S.Y. (2014). “Giving up Twitter for Lent: How and Why We Take Breaks from Social Media.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’14). Toronto, Canada. April 26-May 1, 2014.

How Parents of Children with Special Needs Use Social Media

This research explored how parents of children with special needs use social media.

Parents join two types of online groups:

  • case-based groups for shared interests (e.g. ADHD, autism)
  • geographically-based groups for local interests (e.g. local school policies)

Parents feel more judged offline than online:
Parents of children with special needs find offline interactions (with family, strangers, friends and colleagues, teachers, coaches, etc.) more judgmental than online interactions (on Facebook, Yahoo! Groups, etc.)

Among parents who use Facebook:

  • 40% frequently post statuses about their child with special needs
  • 34% frequently post photos of their child with special needs
  • About 30% post articles, campaigns, or medical information

Parents perceive some kinds of Facebooking about children with special needs to be more appropriate than other kinds

  • Parents perceive Facebook statuses containing humor to be more appropriate than Facebook statuses containing judgment or violence
  • Parents perceive posts to Facebook groups about achievement to be more appropriate than posts about alternative treatments or social comparisons.

Why it Matters
About 1 in 6 children are diagnosed with some kind of special need in the United States every year. Receiving these diagnoses can be emotionally and economically demanding for the child, their siblings, and their parents. Understanding where parents find information and social support online and to what extent they experience judgment and social stigma offline and online can help us design social media sites to better support their needs.

Data Sources

  • Interviews with 18 parents of children with special needs recruited via convenience sampling and snowball sampling
  • Surveys with 205 parents of children with special needs recruited via nationally representative sampling

Limitations
Results are biased towards parents who are willing to participate in an interview or complete a survey. They may be more likely to be involved in their children’s needs and may be more likely to be active in special needs causes. They are also subject to self-report biases.

For more details, please read the full paper

Ammari, T., Morris, M.R., Schoenebeck, S.Y. (2014). “Accessing Social Support and Overcoming Judgment on Social Media among Parents of Children with Special Needs..” In AAAI International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media 2014 (ICWSM ’14). Ann Arbor, MI, June 1-4, 2014.

This research was approved by University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board HUM00074842.

Facebook Use in Developing Regions*

How is Facebook used in urban and rural Kenya?

Access to Facebook and use of Facebook is limited, including:

  • limited access to computers and smartphones
  • unreliable electricity

To overcome costs, participants go to Facebook to try to generate income by:

  • looking for employment
  • marketing themselves
  • and seeking money from friends and family abroad

 Data

  • Interviews with 28 young adults living in an informal settlement, or slum, in Nairobi, Kenya
  • 24 interviews at Internet cafés in rural Kenya

Limitations

Both studies were ethnographic in nature and studied a small sample of users. Findings are representative of trends and patterns of behavior associated with a particular set of participants and experiences. The complexities surrounding race, gender, colonialism, and constraints including financial, technical, and infrastructural ones cannot be fully represented in an exploratory study.

*This research was led by Dr. Susan Wyche at Michigan State University. The bulk of the credit for this work belongs to her. 

For more details, please read this paper <a title=”Hustling Online: Understanding Consolidated Facebook Use in an Informal Settlement in Nairobi” href=”http://yardi.people.si.umich.edu/pubs/Yardi_HustlingOnline13.pdf”>full paper</a> and <a title=”Facebook is a Luxury”: An Exploratory Study of Social Media Use in Rural Kenya” href=”http://yardi.people.si.umich.edu/pubs/Yardi_FacebookLuxury13.pdf”>this paper</a>

The Secret Life of Online Moms

Goal
Understand how mothers participate online anonymously on a large scale

What is YouBeMom.com?
YouBeMom is an anonymous message board for parents. YouBeMom is both supportive (similar to sites like iVillage and BabyCenter.com) and critical (similar to sites like 4chan.com and Reddit.com). YouBeMom is unique in that it has no profile images, no usernames, no pseudonyms, and no advertisements. Posts contain a variety of shortcodes such as dd (dear daughter), ds (dear son), and dcs (dear children).

Data Sources

  • Ethnographic-style observation of YouBeMom site
  • Dataset (collected by crawling the site) of 4,828,815 posts and 47,748,793 comments posted between 2008-2012

Findings
Moms post about family and home life:

  • Over 5% of posts on YouBeMom are about children (e.g. dd, ds, dcs)
  • Almost 5%–over 400,000–of posts contain references to “dh” (which refers to “dear husband”)
  • Yet, only about .0005%–or 58–posts contain explicit references to “dear husband”

Posts about “dear husband” are more negative than other posts

  • Posts that refer to “dh” are more angry than other posts
  • Post that refer to “dh” are more negative than other posts
  • Posts about money co-occur with “dh” more than other posts

Implications

  • Moms go online anonymously to vent frustrations about family life and everyday life
  • Online sites may offer a platform for coping and providing social support
  • Even though flaming is common, YouBeMom remains popular (as do other similar anonymous parenting sites)

Why Study Moms?
Parenting support boards are immensely popular. Sites like iVillage.com and babycenter.com see millions of visitors and views every month. On these sites moms use real names or pseudonyms when they post comments to each other. Moms find a different kind of social outlet on YouBeMom than they might find in other parts of their daily lives. This gives them a place to share questions, anxieties, and even fantasies, that they might not feel comfortable sharing face-to-face or on a site like Facebook.

Why Study Anonymity?
On “real name” sites like Facebook, people may not always want to admit failures or weaknesses, or reveal what they are really thinking. People engage in face saving behavior, where we try to present our best selves to others online. Anonymity lets people be more honest, without fear or repercussion. Online disinhibition allows people to separate their online actions from their face-to-face identity.

Limitations
Posts and comments are anonymous. We do not know whether posts come from moms or not, how many people are posting, how many people are reading, and whether they are telling the truth or not in their posts. In future studies, pairing these data with qualitative interviews with YouBeMom participants would help us explain motivations for participating on this site.

For more details, please read the full paper

Designing Community-Based Online Sites for Parents

ParentNet

Online social networking platform for parents of middle school children to talk about and keep up with their children’s technology and social media use

Data

  • 10 months of deployment
  • 133 participants
  • log data
  • focus groups

Outcomes

  • Parents may not easily switch from existing school communication platforms
  • that they are already familiar with
  • School support was critical for promoting adoption
  • Parents felt like they had too much technology in their lives and were not looking for more platforms to keep up with

For more details, please read the full paper