Skip to main content
Log in

Raising and Rising Voices in Social Media

A Novel Methodological Approach in Studying Cyber-Collective Movements

  • Research Paper
  • Published:
Business & Information Systems Engineering Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Emerging cyber-collective social movements (CSMs) have frequently made headlines in the news. Despite their popularity, there is a lack of systematic methodologies to empirically study such movements in complex online environments. Using the Al-Huwaider online campaign as a case to illustrate our methodology, this contribution attempts to establish a rigorous and fundamental analysis that explains CSMs. We collected 150 blogs from 17 countries ranging between April 2003 and July 2010 with a special focus on Al-Huwaider’s campaigns capturing multi-cultural aspects for our analysis. Bearing the analysis upon three central tenets of individual, community, and transnational perspectives, we develop novel algorithms modeling CSMs by utilizing existing collective action theories and computational social network analysis. This article contributes a methodology to study the diffusion of issues in social networks and examines roles of influential community members. The proposed methodology provides a rigorous tool to understand the complexity and dynamics of CSMs. Such methodology also assists us in observing the transcending nature of CSMs with future possibilities for modeling transnational outreach. Our study addresses the lack of fundamental research on the formation of CSMs. This research contributes novel methodologies that can be applied to many settings including business, marketing and many others, beyond the exemplary setting chosen here for illustrative purposes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. http://globalvoicesonline.org/ – An open project supported by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Reuters, the MacArthur Foundation, Hivos, and other funding sources.

  2. http://www.ushahidi.com/ – An open project supported by the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Google, Cisco, Mozilla, Hivos, and other funding sources.

  3. Such as unemployment, unemployment under 25 years, population below poverty, GDP per capita, Internet literacy and access, mobile phone/smart device market penetration, U.S. economic aid, U.S. military aid, population and male/female breakup, political leadership and tenure collected through open sources such as Gallup, C.I.A. World Factbook, U.S. A.I.D. 2009 Economic and Military Aid, U.S. Census International Data Base.

References

  • Adamic LA, Glance N (2005) The political blogosphere and the 2004 US election: divided they blog. In: Proc 3rd international workshop on link discovery, pp 36–43

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Agarwal N, Liu H (2009) Modeling and data mining in blogosphere. In: Grossman R (ed) Synthesis lectures on data mining and knowledge discovery. Morgan & Claypool, pp 1–101

  • Agarwal N, Liu H, Tang L, Yu P (2008a) Identifying influential bloggers in a community. In: Proc 1st international conference on web search and data mining (WSDM), February 10–12, pp 207–218.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Agarwal N, Liu H, Salerno J, Sundarajan S (2008b) Understanding group interaction in blogosphere: a case study. In: Proc 2nd international conference on computational cultural dynamics (ICCCD), September 15–16, Washington, DC, pp 9–17

    Google Scholar 

  • Agarwal N, Galan M, Liu H, Subramanya S (2010) WisColl: collective wisdom based blog clustering. J Inf Sci 180(1):39–61

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Agarwal N, Lim M, Wigand R (2011a) Finding her master’s voice: the power of collective action among female Muslim bloggers. In: Tuunainen V, Nandhakumar J, Rossi M, Soliman W (eds) 19th European conference on information systems (ECIS), Helsinki, pp 898–909

    Google Scholar 

  • Agarwal N, Lim M, Wigand R (2011b) Collective action theory meets the blogosphere: a new methodology. Commun Comput Inf Sci 136(3):224–239

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alchian AA, Allen WR (1972) Exchange and production. Wadsworth, Belmont

    Google Scholar 

  • Anderson C (2006) The long tail: why the future of business is selling less of more. Hyperion, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Baeza-Yates R, Ribeiro-Neto B (1999) Modern information retrieval. ACM Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Becker G (1976) The economic approach to human behavior. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Bimber B (2003) Information and American democracy: technology in the evolution of political power. Cambridge University Press, New York

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Bimber B, Flanagin AJ, Stohl C (2005) Reconceptualizing collective action in the contemporary media environment. Commun Theory 15:389–413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bob C (2005) The marketing of rebellion. Cambridge University Press, New York

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Brooks C, Montanez N (2006) Improved annotation of the blogosphere via auto-tagging and hierarchical clustering. In: Proc 15th international conference on world wide web, New York, pp 625–632

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Chen W, Wang Y, Yang S (2009) Efficient influence maximization in social networks. In: Proc 15th ACM SIGKDD international conference on knowledge discovery and data mining, pp 199–208

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Chi Y, Song X, Zhou D, Hino K, Tseng B (2007a) Evolutionary spectral clustering by incorporating temporal smoothness. In: Proc 13th ACM SIGKDD international conference on knowledge discovery and data mining, pp 153–162

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Chi Y, Zhu S, Song X, Tatemura J, Tseng B (2007b) Structural and temporal analysis of the blogosphere through community factorization. In: Proc 13th ACM SIGKDD international conference on knowledge discovery and data mining, pp 163–172

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Cleaver H (1998) The Zapatistas and the electronic fabric of struggle. In: Holloway J, Pelaez E, Pelaez E (eds) Zapatista! Reinventing revolution in Mexico. Pluto Press, London, pp 81–103

    Google Scholar 

  • Coase RH (1937) The nature of the firm. Economica 4(16):386–405. Wiley online library

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Coombs M, Ulicny B, Jaenisch H, Handley J, Faucheux J (2008) Formal analytic modeling of bridge blogs as personal narrative: a case study in grounding interpretation. In: Proc workshop on social computing, behavioral modeling, and prediction (SBP), Phoenix, pp 207–217

  • Diani M (2003) Social movements and networks. Oxford University Press, London

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Etling B, Kelly J, Faris R, Palfrey J (2009) Mapping the Arabic blogosphere: politics, culture, and dissent. Internet & democracy project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, University of California at Berkeley

  • Faloutsos M, Faloutsos P, Faloutsos C (1999) On power-law relationships of the Internet topology. In: Proc conference on applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols for computer communication, pp 251–262

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Feree MM (1992) The political context of rationality: rational choice theory and resource mobilization. In: Morris AD, Mueller CM (eds) Frontiers in social movement theory. Yale University Press, New Haven, pp 29–52

    Google Scholar 

  • Fortunato S (2009) Community detection in graphs. Phys Rep 486(3–5):75–174

    Google Scholar 

  • Friedland J, Rogerson K (2009) How political and social movements form on the internet and how they change over time. Institute for Homeland and Security Solutions

  • Gill K (2004) How can we measure the influence of the blogosphere? In: WWW 2004 workshop on the weblogging ecosystem: a ggregation, analysis and dynamics

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldenberg J, Libai B, Muller E (2001) Talk of the network: a complex systems look at the underlying process of word-of-mouth. Mark Lett 12:211–223

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goyal A, Bonchi F, Lakshamanan L (2010) Learning influence probabilities in social networks. In: Proc ACM international conference of web search and data mining (WSDM), pp 241–250

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Gruhl D, Liben-Nowell D, Guha R, Tomkins A (2004) Information diffusion through blogspace. ACM SIGKDD Explor Newsl 6(2):43–52

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hagen L, Kahng A (1992) New spectral methods for ratio cut partitioning and clustering. IEEE Trans Comput-Aided Des Integr Circuits Syst 11(9):1074–1085

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herald Sun (2009) Prita Mulyasari faces jail over email complaint. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/prita-mulyasari-faces-jail-over-email-complaint/story-e6frf7jx-1225721567535, 2009-06-04

  • Jamjoom M (2010) Saudi women raise their voices over male guardianship. CNN World. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-07/world/saudi.arabia.women_1_saudi-women-wajeha-al-huwaider-saudi-arabia?_s=PM:WORLD. 2010-12-08. Accessed 2011-12-31

  • Java A, Kolari P, Finin T, Oates T (2006) Modeling the spread of influence on the blogosphere. In: WWW 2006 workshop on the weblogging ecosystem: aggregation, analysis and dynamics

    Google Scholar 

  • Java A, Joshi A, Finin T (2008) Detecting communities via simultaneous clustering of graphs and folksonomies. In: Proc 10th workshop on web mining and web usage analysis (WebKDD). ACM, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnston H, Larana E, Gusfield JR (1994) Identities, grievances and new social movements. In: Laurana E, Johnston H, Gusfield JR (eds) New social movements: from ideology to identity. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, pp 3–35

    Google Scholar 

  • Katz E (1957) The two-step flow of communication: an up-to-date report on a hypothesis. Public Opin Q 21:61–78

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kelly C, Breinlingger S (1996) The social psychology of collective action, identity, injustice and gender. Taylor & Francis, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Kelly J, Etling B (2008) Mapping Iran’s online public: politics and culture in the Persian blogosphere. Technical report, Berkman Research Center, Harvard Law School

  • Kempe D, Kleinberg J, Tardos E (2003) Maximizing the spread of influence through a social network. In: Proc ACM SIGKDD international conference on knowledge discovery and data mining, pp 137–146

    Google Scholar 

  • Kerbo HR (1982) Movements of crisis and movements of affluence: a critique of deprivation and resource mobilization theories. J Confl Resolut 26:645–663

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Klandermans B (1991) New social movements and resource mobilization: the European and the American approach revisited. In: Rucht D (ed) Research on social movements: the state of the art in Western Europe and the USA. Campus, Frankfurt, pp 17–44

    Google Scholar 

  • Knickerbocker B (2010) December 8. ‘Jihad Jane’ joins growing list of American terror suspects. Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0312/Jihad-Jane-joins-growing-list-of-American-terror-suspects. Accessed 2011-12-31

  • Korfhage RR (1997) Information storage and retrieval. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Kritikopoulos A, Sideri M, Varlamis I (2006) Blogrank: ranking weblogs based on connectivity and similarity features. Paper presented at the international workshop on advanced architectures and algorithms for Internet delivery and applications (AAA-IDEA)

  • Lady Zee (2007) Bloguons utile pour les jeunes détenus et l’AACRPE: le bilan. http://bloguonsutile.wordpress.com/. Accessed 2011-12-31

  • Leskovec J, Krause A, Guestrin C, Faloutsos C, Van-Briesen J, Glance N (2007) Cost-effective outbreak detection in networks. In: Proc 13th ACM SIGKDD international conference on knowledge discovery and data mining, pp 420–429

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Lewin L (1988) Utilitarianism and rational choice. Eur J Polit Res 16:29–49

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li B, Xu S, Zhang J (2007) Enhancing clustering blog documents by utilizing author/reader comments. In: Proc 45th annual Southeast regional conference, New York, pp 94–99

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Lichbach MI (1996) The cooperator’s dilemma. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor

    Google Scholar 

  • Lim M (2003) The Internet, social network and reform in Indonesia. In: Couldry N, Curran J (eds) Contesting media power: alternative media in a networked world. Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, pp 273–288

    Google Scholar 

  • Lim M (2004a) Informational terrains of identity and political power: the Internet in Indonesia. Indones J Soc Cult Anthropol 73(26):1–11

    Google Scholar 

  • Lim M (2004b) The polarization of identity through the Internet and the struggle for democracy in Indonesia. Electronic J Commun 14(3–4):18

    Google Scholar 

  • Lim M (2006) Cyber-urban activism and political change in Indonesia. Eastbound J 1:1–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Lim M (2011) @crossroads: democratization and corporatization of media in Indonesia. Country report. Tempe/Jakarta: Participatory Lab at ASU & Ford Foundation

  • Lim M (2012) Clicks, cabs, and coffee houses: social media and oppositional movements in Egypt. J Commun 62(2)

  • Lim M, Kann M (2008) Politics: deliberation, mobilization and networked practices of agitation. In: Varnelis K (ed) Networked publics. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 77–107

    Google Scholar 

  • Lin J, Halavais A (2004) Mapping the blogosphere in America. In: Workshop on the weblogging ecosystem, 13th international world wide web conference

    Google Scholar 

  • Lupia A, Sin G (2003) Which public goods are endangered? How evolving technologies affect the logic of collective action. Public Choice 117:315–331

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luxburg U (2007) A tutorial on spectral clustering. Stat Comput 17(4):395–416

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MacCarthy MN, Zald JD (1979) The dynamics of social movements. Winthrop, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Markus M, Steinfield C, Wigand R, Minton G (2006) Industry-wide IS standardization as collective action: the case of the US residential mortgage industry. Manage Inf Syst Q 30:439–465. Special issue on standard making

    Google Scholar 

  • McKinnon R (2005) Seeking “bridge bloggers”. http://globalvoicesonline.org/2005/07/07/seeking-bridge-bloggers/. 2005-07-07. Accessed 2011-12-31

  • Melucci A (1996) Challenging codes—collective action in the information age. Cambridge University Press, New York

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Merton R (1957) Social theory and social structure. Free Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Ning H, Xu W, Chi Y, Gong Y, Huang T (2007) Incremental spectral clustering with application to monitoring of evolving blog communities. Paper presented at the SIAM international conference on data mining

  • Norris P (2002) Democratic phoenix: reinventing political activism. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Olson M (1965) The logic of collective action. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Reilly T (2007) What is Web 2.0: design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Commun Stratégies 65:17

    Google Scholar 

  • Pool de Sola I (1983) Technologies of freedom. Harvard University Press/Belknap Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Quirk PW (2009) Iran’s Twitter revolution. Foreign policy in focus. http://www.fpif.org/articles/irans_twitter_revolution. 2009-12-08. Accessed 2011-12-31

  • Richardson M, Domingos P (2002) Mining knowledge-sharing sites for viral marketing. In: Proc 8th ACM SIGKDD international conference on knowledge discovery and data mining, pp 61–70

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Rogers E, Shoemaker F (1971) Communication of innovations: a cross-cultural approach. Free Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Rubinstein A (1979) Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion. J Econ Theory 21:1–9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sandler T (1992) Collective action: theory and applications. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor

    Google Scholar 

  • Sandler T, Tschirhart JT (1980) The economic theory of clubs: an evolutionary survey. J Econ Lit 43:1481–1521

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott J (1992) Social network analysis. Sage, Newbury Park

    Google Scholar 

  • Sen K, Hill D (2005) The Internet in Indonesia’s new democracy. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Shi J, Malik J (2000) Normalized cuts and image segmentation. IEEE Trans Pattern Anal Mach Intell 22(8):888–905

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Snow DA, Rochford EB Jr, Worden SK, Benford RD (1986) Frame alignment processes, micromobilization, and movement participation. Am Sociol Rev 51(4):464–481

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Song X, Chi Y, Hino K, Tseng B (2009) Identifying opinion leaders in the blogosphere. In: Proc 16th ACM conference on information and knowledge management, New York, pp 971–974

    Google Scholar 

  • Sreberny-Muhammadi A, Muhammadi A (1994) Small media, big revolution: communication, culture, and the Iranian revolution. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis

    Google Scholar 

  • Surowiecki J (2004) The wisdom of crowds: why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies, and nations. Doubleday, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • The Women’s Eye (2011) Interview: Dalia Ziada blogs to help bring democracy to Egypt. 2011-02-08. http://thewomenseye.com/2011/02/08/interview-dalia-ziada-7069/. Accessed 2011-12-31

  • Warr PG (1982) Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity. J Public Econ 19:131–181

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Warr PG (1983) The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income. Econ Lett 13:207–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wigand RT (1988) Communication network analysis: a history and overview. In: Goldhaber G, Barnett GA (eds) Handbook of organizational communication. Ablex, Norwood, pp 319–358

    Google Scholar 

  • Wigand RT, Mande DM, Wood J (2010) Taming the social network jungle: from web 2.0 to social media. In: Proc 16th Americas conference on information systems, Lima, Paper, 416. http://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2010/416

    Google Scholar 

  • Wigand R, Steinfield C, Markus M (2005) IT standards choices and industry structure outcomes: the case of the United States home mortgage industry. J Manag Inf Syst 22(2):165–191

    Google Scholar 

  • Zuckerman E (2008) Bridgeblogger and xenophile, a tale of two bloggers. 2008-12-05. http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/12/05/bridgeblogger-and-xenophile-a-tale-of-two-bloggers/. Accessed 2011-12-31

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation’s Social-Computational Systems (SoCS) Program within the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering’s Division of Information & Intelligent Systems (Award numbers: IIS-1110868 and IIS-1110649) and by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (Grant number: N000141010091). We gratefully acknowledge this support.

An earlier version of this article was presented to the European Conference on Information Systems, held in Helsinki, June 9–11, 2011. We would like to thank the conference track chairs for their invitation to submit the paper to this journal. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers of this journal for their suggestions and comments and, especially, for Dr. Dorothy E. Leidner’s valuable advice and suggestions.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nitin Agarwal.

Additional information

Accepted after one revision by Prof. Leidner.

This article is also available in German in print and via http://www.wirtschaftsinformatik.de: Agarwal N, Lim M, Wigand R (2012) Meinungsäußerung und -bildung in sozialen Medien. Ein neuer methodischer Ansatz zur Untersuchung cybersozialer Bewegungen. WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK. doi: 10.1007/s11576-012-0317-3.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Agarwal, N., Lim, M. & Wigand, R. Raising and Rising Voices in Social Media. Bus Inf Syst Eng 4, 113–126 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-012-0210-z

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-012-0210-z

Keywords

Navigation