Collective Action Theory Meets the Blogosphere: A New Methodology

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Abstract

With the advent of advanced yet exoteric ICTs, especially the social media, new forms of collective actions have emerged to illuminate several fundamental yet theoretically obscure aspects of collective actions. Existing computational studies focusing on capturing and mapping the interactions and issues prevailing in social media manage to identify the manifestations of collective actions. They, however, lack modeling and predictive capabilities. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to gain deeper insights into cyber-collective actions by analyzing issue propagation, influential community members’ roles, and transcending nature of collective actions through individual, community, and transnational perspectives, The efficacy of the proposed model is demonstrated by a case-study on Al-Huwaider’s campaigns consisting of 150 blogs from 17 countries tracked between 2003 and 2010. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed methodology is the first to address the lacking fundamental research shedding light on re-framing Collective Action Theory in online environments.