I’m giving a seminar at Brunel University in West London in the Department of Information Systems and Computing on Wednesday 3 March looking at how the results described in my thesis address some of the issues we presented in the Virtual Revolution series.

Here’s the blurb:

The World Wide Web is a communication medium that has challenged concepts of information ownership and distribution. Online interaction – anonymous and mediated – has been celebrated for both its pro-social and anti-social characteristics, and indeed is generally framed as a context that is separate from the offline environment. But what effect might this have on the diffusion of attitudes and behaviours on the Web?

In this talk, Aleks will introduce the issues the Web raises for social scientists and will identify several key areas relating to social influence in online communities: the meaning of relationships for community members, the effects of anonymous interaction in online communities on perceptions of others members’ beliefs, and the impact of these on the adoption of new innovations. Evidence suggests that the group processes that have been observed on the Web are similar to those that occur offline, but Aleks will identify the areas where this does not appear to be the case. This talk will outline good practice for ethical research designs and will offer further questions for detailed analysis.