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Online Social Network Interactions: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Network Structure on McDonald's Facebook Sites between Taiwan and USA

  • Chang, Hui-Jung (Center for Computer-Mediated Communication, Indiana University)
  • Received : 2017.05.05
  • Accepted : 2017.12.02
  • Published : 2017.12.31

Abstract

A cross-cultural comparison of social networking structure on McDonald's Facebook fan sites between Taiwan and the USA was conducted utilizing the individualism/collectivism dimension proposed by Hofstede. Four network indicators are used to describe the network structure of McDonald's Facebook fan sites: size, density, clique and centralization. Individuals who post on both Facebook sites for the year of 2012 were considered as network participants for the purpose of the study. Due to the huge amount of data, only one thread of postings was sampled from each month of the year of 2012. The final data consists of 1002 postings written by 896 individuals and 5962 postings written by 5532 individuals from Taiwan and the USA respectively. The results indicated that the USA McDonald's Facebook fan network has more fans, while Taiwan's McDonald's Facebook fan network is more densely connected. Cliques did form among the overall multiplex and within the individual uniplex networks in two countries, yet no significant differences were found between them. All the fan networks in both countries are relatively centralized, mostly on the site operators.

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