Supporting an Experiment of a Community Support System: Community Analysis and Maintenance Functions in the Public Opinion Channel

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Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam
Community analysis and maintenance functions of a community support system called Public Opinion Channel (POC) are described. A field-test and a psychological experiment using a community support system are important for investigating activities in a community. Existing community support systems, however, have limitations on having an experiment smoothly because few systems consider functions for supporting an experiment. To investigate activities in a community smoothly, community support systems should have community analysis and maintenance functions that support an analyst and a community organizer in an experiment. We implemented those functions in the POC system, and used in a field-test and a social psychological experiment. From these experiments, we found that proposed functions enabled an analyst and a community organizer to (1) find up-to-date state of a community during an experiment, (2) analyze relations between messages efficiently and objectively, and (3) maintain communities easily. Requirements for the functions, implementation, and experience in the experiments are described.