Mass Media vs. the Mass of Media: A Study on the Human Nodes in a Social Network and their Chosen Messages
In Internet-based social networks, the nodes have the most pivotal role in the processes and outcomes of the networks. Whether they pay attention to a message in the network or ignore it defines the fate of the message. One message is shared and re-shared by millions of users and another is left forgotten. The current study tries to shed light on one aspect of the role of the users in a social network: How are people different in the types of messages to which they pay attention? Some 500 Facebook users were interviewed and a creative method were used to find the public Facebook messages on which they had commented. Then, the researchers coded the data into different categories and carried out statistical analyses looking for significant relations between the types of Facebook users and the types of messages on which they commented. The results of the study include 21 significant relations, suggesting that the approach taken by this study can be promising and if completed by several other studies it could help us find local and universal patterns that affect the flow of information. With enough knowledge on social networks we must be able to design specific messages, for specific groups of people.