Structure and Reciprocity in Technology-Centered Q&A Communities
In this paper we examine the network structure of the MythTV mailing list, an online technology Q&A user community, and we use time-series analysis techniques to study users’ reciprocity behavior in this community. We find that the amount of help users provide is strongly correlated to the amount of help they receive. Further, by conducting the Granger Causality test on the time series data of active users’ activity, we find that the amount of help given is actually the reason why one gets a lot of help. This finding corresponds to the concept of directed reciprocity in social networks and provides insights into social dynamics in technology-centered online communities.