Churn in Social Networks
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Karnstedt, Marcel; Hennessy, Tara; Chan, Jeffrey; Basuchowdhuri, Partha; Hayes, Conor (2010) 'Churn in Social Networks' In: Handbook of Social Network Technologies and Applications. USA : Springer.
Telcom networks, online gaming communities, online communities and discussion forums all have one thing in common: they all can be represented by a network of the social links between people. The links in this social network may be based on calls between customers or explicit and implicit connections extracted from online communities, such as friendship relations, shared activity in popular forums, common contributions to discussion threads and so on. While churn in the telcom sector has been studied extensively, no research has been carried out on the general meaning and consequence of churn in online social networks and communities. This chapter aims at filling this gap. Churn is an important factor for social network providers, as it leads to a loss of social capital and ultimately effects service sustainability. Churn undermines the health and ability of communities to self-govern and self-maintain. The risks to digital social networks arise not only through members stopping their activity, but also through significantly reducing activity. This becomes particularly evident where network services rely upon member activity.