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An Invisible Leverage in the Adoption of Online Social Support Community
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community 12 posted a message. Adopters are those who have posted two more messages over two or more days. If any poster has posted three or more messages within a day, he or she is not qualified as an adopter. Social support type exchanged refers to how many times each social support type was exchanged in each OSSC. The present study proposes three major types: (1) Informational support; (2) Emotional support; and (3) Others. Informational support includes asking or giving information related to the illness. Emotional support includes four subtypes -- social companionship, esteem support, empathy, and sharing personal feelings. Social companionship refers to asking or giving a ‘sense of belonging’ such as sharing general banters like jokes about doctors or expressing a willingness to communicate with others. Esteem support refers to affirming or acknowledging the recipient’s action, statement or point of view. Empathy refers to expressing that the poster knows and understand the recipient’s feelings and sufferings. Sharing personal feelings refers to telling personal stories or accounts of personal feelings or illness history. Others include tangible support, administrative support, and hostile message. Tangible support refers to asking or being willing to give any material help off-line. In off-line social support, this category can be considered as a separate major category. The present study, however, includes it in the other category since it doesn’t arise as a major one because of the nature of online communities. Administrative support refers to asking or giving any technical or organizational help. Hostile messages refer to negative responses to previous messages. 1 Adoption refers to the degree to which each OSSC is used by OSSC participants as a regular support group. Adoption is defined in six ways. First, Adoption is defined as the frequency of postings per adopter. Adopters are those who have posted two or more messages during two or more days. Not all posters remain as adopters. One-time posting or multiple- postings within a day is regarded as trial, not as adoption. The higher the frequency per adopter in an OSSC, the higher the degree of adoption of the OSSC. Second, Adoption is defined as the average duration of adopters. Duration is calculated by subtracting the initial posting date from the last posting date of each adopter. The longer the average duration in an OSSC, the higher the degree of adoption of the OSSC. 1 The data collection and analysis of this social support type exchanged part is under way. The present paper could not include this part in testing the study model. Please refer to the forthcoming paper in AEJMC 2004 for this part. A detailed coding scheme and instruction will be presented in the next paper.

Authors: Yun, Haejin., Park, Songyi. and Kim, Hee-Jung.
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Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community
12
posted a message. Adopters are those who have posted two more messages over two or more
days. If any poster has posted three or more messages within a day, he or she is not qualified as
an adopter.
Social support type exchanged refers to how many times each social support type was
exchanged in each OSSC. The present study proposes three major types: (1) Informational
support; (2) Emotional support; and (3) Others. Informational support includes asking or giving
information related to the illness. Emotional support includes four subtypes -- social
companionship, esteem support, empathy, and sharing personal feelings. Social companionship
refers to asking or giving a ‘sense of belonging’ such as sharing general banters like jokes about
doctors or expressing a willingness to communicate with others. Esteem support refers to
affirming or acknowledging the recipient’s action, statement or point of view. Empathy refers to
expressing that the poster knows and understand the recipient’s feelings and sufferings. Sharing
personal feelings refers to telling personal stories or accounts of personal feelings or illness
history. Others include tangible support, administrative support, and hostile message. Tangible
support refers to asking or being willing to give any material help off-line. In off-line social
support, this category can be considered as a separate major category. The present study,
however, includes it in the other category since it doesn’t arise as a major one because of the
nature of online communities. Administrative support refers to asking or giving any technical or
organizational help. Hostile messages refer to negative responses to previous messages.
1
Adoption refers to the degree to which each OSSC is used by OSSC participants as a
regular support group. Adoption is defined in six ways. First, Adoption is defined as the
frequency of postings per adopter. Adopters are those who have posted two or more messages
during two or more days. Not all posters remain as adopters. One-time posting or multiple-
postings within a day is regarded as trial, not as adoption. The higher the frequency per adopter
in an OSSC, the higher the degree of adoption of the OSSC. Second, Adoption is defined as the
average duration of adopters. Duration is calculated by subtracting the initial posting date from
the last posting date of each adopter. The longer the average duration in an OSSC, the higher the
degree of adoption of the OSSC.
1
The data collection and analysis of this social support type exchanged part is under way. The present paper could
not include this part in testing the study model. Please refer to the forthcoming paper in AEJMC 2004 for this part.
A detailed coding scheme and instruction will be presented in the next paper.


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