Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Cyberspace reloaded: settlement size and distance in an online social network landscape

Contents:

Author Info

  • Balazs Lengyel

    ()

  • Akos Jakobi

    ()

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This initial paper of our interest on geography of online social network is based on a literature in which geographers reformulated major concepts and hypotheses in the ‘90ies due to revolutionary development of internet (Cairncross, 1997). Cyberspace quickly became central issue in understanding human behaviour in the virtual world and cyber world has been always claimed to strongly twitted with physical world (Hayes, 1997). Parallel shift in economic geography research moved the focus of interest from distance to proximity, which is essential in our understanding for new knowledge creation and innovation in cities while the importance of distance is decreasing (Boschma, 2005). Economic geographers also claim that innovation and knowledge creation remained local in the era of internet because the need of face-to-face interactions (Feldman, 2002); internet-based communication seems to stimulate local offline communication (Storper and Venables, 2004). Social network sites are major fields of online communication and “enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks” (boyd and Ellison, 2007). Online social network (OSN) are large-scale networks and claimed to be supplemental forms of communication between people who have known each other primarily in real life (Ellison et al, 2006, 2007). We believe that studying these networks will give new insights to local learning and social capital issues by providing excellent data on online local learning and also proxies of offline local learning. According to recent findings on large scale OSNs (Facebook and Twitter), geographical location of users and their friends turns to be a determining factor for the structure of the network (Backstrom et al, 2011, Takhteyev et al, 2012, Ugander et al, 2011). However, more traditional geographical aspects are also needed to analyse spatial distribution of OSN activity. Our research questions address both the effects of distance and settlement size on population shares involved in online communities such as online social networks. Preliminary findings on iWiW, a leading online social network in Hungary with more than 4 million users, suggest that share of users is higher in bigger settlements and positively associated with geographical proximity of Budapest. On the other hand, the average number of friendship ties is independent from settlement size and is higher in peripheral regions of the country. In sum, settlement size and distance may play decisive role in shaping geographies of OSN. Keywords: online social network, geography, settlements, size effect, distance JEL codes: L86, R10, O18, O33

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa12/e120821aFinal01034.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa12p1032.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Oct 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p1032

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
    Web page: http://www.ersa.org

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p1032. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.