Automated Discovery of Emerging Online Communities Among Blog Readers: A Case Study of a Canadian Real Estate Blog
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More than 184 million people worldwide have started a web blog, that collectively attracted at least 346 million blog readers. Due to their popularities, web blogs have been the focus of many recent Internet studies. Aside from being a great publishing platform, many of these studies confirmed the fact that modern blogs with commenting-capabilities are also great places for meeting like-minded individuals and forming new social relationships. As a result, it is not surprising that there is also a growing interest in discovering and characterizing online communities that tend to naturally form around some web blogs. Traditional analyses of blog are hampered by the expensive and time consuming processes. To address these problems, this paper proposes an automated approach for the discovery of social networks among blog readers just from their comments posted to a blog. This new approach is called “name network” and is an integral part a companion web-based tool called Internet Community Text Analyzer or ICTA for short (http://textanalytics.net). The “name network” method is capable of automatically discovering a social network among blog readers that accurately represents group dynamics.