RECOMMENDED READING: 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and University of Southampton researchers recently wrote a paper analyzing 4Chan's "alternative credibility mechanisms" and particular community activity. Collecting a dataset over two weeks (576,096 posts in 482,559 threads) 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community (Michael S. Bernstein, Andrès Monroy-Hernández, Drew Harry, Paul Andrè, Katrina Panovich, Greg Vargas) considers the speed of activity on the site and user habits like having “/b/ folders” archiving material from the site and unicode fluency is a status indicator. Interestingly, the paper sees 4chan's ephemerality as a potential motivator for further participation ("One may think users would see no point to contributing if their actions will be removed within minutes. However, if /b/ users want to keep a thread from expiring within minutes, they need to keep conversation active. This 'bump' practice, combined with a norm of quick replies, may encourage community members to contribute content. This hypothesis was derived from our observations, and will need to be tested more rigorously.")
Among their findings:
The median life of a thread is just 3.9 minutes...The fastest thread to expire was gone in 28 seconds (i.e., a thread with no responses during a very high activity period); the longest-lived lasted 6.2 hours (i.e., a thread with frequent new posts to bump it). The median thread spends just 5 seconds on the first page over its entire lifetime..The fastest thread was pushed off the first page in less than one second (actually, 58 of them shared this dubious honor), and the most prominent thread spent 37 minutes on the first page cumulatively over its lifetime. Threads last the longest between 9am and 10am EST and expire fastest between 5pm and 7pm EST ...
(shout out to david o'rielly) (i got a max beat behind me) (im doing me, making .gifs) (on the web. Ryder Ripps) (It's cool cause its nerdyyy) (yeah)
datamoshing cool datamoshing great. justin bieber i'l move him with my face. then use it for an art show. use it for a piece projected on a apple projected on a peach find me on the internet, i'm making gifs...
Via Sarah Hromack, pointing out the site has a lot of potential: "I love a big, gorgeous, authoritative slideshow. What I love even more though, are projects that expose the precarious state of the digital image."