Leveraging Social Foci for Information Seeking in Social Media
Keywords:Social Media, Q&A, Social Foci
The rise of social media provides a great opportunity for people to reach out to their social connections to satisfy their information needs. However, generic social media platforms are not explicitly designed to assist information seeking of users. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to identify the social connections of a user able to satisfy his information needs. The information need of a social media user is subjective and personal, and we investigate the utility of his social context to identify people able to satisfy it. We present questions users post on Twitter as instances of information seeking activities in social media. We infer soft community memberships of the asker and his social connections by integrating network and content information. Drawing concepts from the social foci theory, we identify answerers whose community memberships in the question domain overlap with that of the asker. Our experiments demonstrate that the framework is effective in identifying answerers to social media questions.