User:OrenBochman/WGT/Social Roles

A Catalog of Social RolesEdit

Wikipedians can occupy different social roles. Work on Usenet and other communities have indicated that social roles of different community members of virtual communities can change over time. On Wikipedia with its many coordination spaces it is entirely possible for one person to occupy different social roles.

Below is an attempt to catalog these roles and identify their

  1. a functional definitions
  2. network structure indicators
  3. game theoretic indicators (to be added)
  4. linguistic clues to power see bellow

By looking at SNA and Linguistics one hopes to produce a language independent methodology.

I also theorize that looking at actions of adding and removing sentiment from text is an indicator of emotional value worth investigating.

Information RolesEdit

Information roles are :

  1. Censor - reduces information contents
  1. Creator - add new information
  1. Mover - moves info around and rephrases

Leader RolesEdit

Leadership roles require exercising power and providing leadership. Leadership also requires sharing of power and delegating responsibility as the community grows. The top issues with leadership roles are therefore:

  1. providing leadership
  2. exercising power
  3. continuity, where the exists a failure to transfer the leader's role as the project matures.
  4. stepping aside - good leaders let go of power once this is beneficial to their project.

Name functional def SNA affect Social Indexicality[1]
Absent Leader[2] inactivity will correlate with a decline in the project. Strong correlation of leader activity with the production of people who interact with him. negative
Admin gains power though elevated access
  • Will initiate admin action. (Block,Ban,Page Protection, etc - )
  • Will be asked to do the above.
Benevolent Dictator[2] the originator whose benevolence prevets forking but does not pass on the role Project Centrality, Inner Centrality, Eigenvector Centrality neutral
Elder [3] Ex Celebrity who contributes less but has the community's respect. Ego network ratio of edit to talk has changed over time from edit to communicate. Communication is based on Questions positive
First Servant[2] Leads by example, eschews power. positive
God King[2] excessive use of authority will have an admin actions than request negative
Role Model[2] teaches by example zero or low ratio of admin action events to leadership events positive

Some questions:

  • how do we characterize leadership events.
  • how do we characterize admin events. Can we score and correlate them based on incoming requests ?

Hero RoleEdit

Heroes are the role assigned to core community members. Heros can become leaders. The issues of hero roles are: recognition, aspirations, ownership.

Header text functional def SNA affect Social Indexicality[1]
make many small edits c.f. substansive role below small uncontroversial edits on many unrelated articles pages; alters are many and disconnected, minimal need for talk positive
AttentionSeeker[2] require recognition unlike gnomes will have more action on talk pages negative
BuildingJanitor[2] an admin prototype for an admin positive
Celebrity [3] highly visible prolific contributor (core contributor) positive
RoleModel[2] positive
VestedContributor[2] inflated sense of ownership, which may lead to unnecessary conflict negative
WikiMaster[2] positive

Community RoleEdit

  • Lurker
  • Newby
  • VisitorRole[2]
  • GuestRole[2]
  • CommunityMember[2]
  • ModeratorRole[2]
  • HostRole[2]
  • DeveloperRole[2]

Communication RoleEdit

InterWiki RoleEdit

  • RefugeeRole[2]
  • GateKeeper[2]
  • BoundarySpanner[2] (GluePeople)

Eccentric RoleEdit

  • CourtJester[2]
  • FringeArtist[2]
  • AntiAuthoritarian[2]
  • Trolls[3]
    • UsurperTroll[2]
    • SpoilSportTroll[2]
  • Spammer
  • HyenaRole[2]
  • EccentricCharacter[2]
  • ArthurStace[2]
  • VestedTroubleMaker - can get away with bending rule but is not part of a cabal (has no mutual defence pact, cannot influence the hiveMind etc)
  • Biter - Bites new-comers (or old timers)
  • VandalFighter
  • AnonymousDonor[2] unregistered user (long tail)
  • KnowItAll[2]
  • RecordKeeper[2]
  • PoliceForce/VigilanteJustice[2]


  • DevilsAdvocate[2]
  • Wiki:JustaStudent[2]
  • ColdBlanket[2]
  • DramaticIdentity[2] feature:negative individual speaking "for an entity".
  • FlameWarrior
  • Ranter [3]
  • Answer person[4]
  • Question persons[4]
  • Dicussion person[4]
  • Discussion catalyst[4]

note: network dynamics imply that there would be ratios between certain roles. For example an answer person will need many question persons.

events of interestEdit

events are best organized as parts of games between two or more people.

  • ham spam game:
    • article creation
    • article deletion nomination.
    • spamming
    • spam/vandal fighting
  • communication games - [note 1]
  • Q&A Game
    • question
    • response
  • Conversation Thread game
    • new thread
    • respond old player
    • respond new player
    • end thread
  • Coordination games (consensus
    • consensus
    • no consensus vote

Other conceptsEdit

  • right to leave
  • peer pressure
  • fun factor

Machiavellianism and other Psychological FactorsEdit

High Mechs will learn to work the system. In interacting with different social roles - they will learn how to manipulate these people to get their way. Some of these insights are available in the MeatBall web site. E.g.

  • It could be using a policy to shutting down objections.
  • It could be getting another person contribute (edit/research) 80% to their 20% work.

SNA definitionEdit

  • Some Social roles can be observed directly in SNA visualization.
  • Others may be possible to extract using algorithms.

The above lists include "functional" social roles, are their SNA based social roles that are non functional. Of interest are the their parallels can be extracted via SNA.

  • whole Web net can expose leader roles.
  • Motif and Motif rations in an ego web.
  • Motif and Motif ratios in an ego web.

Lexical Analysis of Social RelationsEdit

  1. a Linguistic/Ethnographic indicators.
    • metalinguistic words and expressions:
      • metasemantic definitions: (X is a Y; X means a Y).
      • metapragmatic events of language use (X ordered/insulted/teased me). - using verbs of speaking
    • grammaticality judgments.
    • capturing etiquette lapses (are these indicative of social standing) - ask DDG about these.
    • capturing mixed signals e.g (hyper politeness and contempt)indicating veiled aggression
    • can a speech between two different social roles - embodying different levels of the social hierarchy be differentiated. Are there discrepancy. Is there censure for exceeding your one's social standing.
    • are there performative formulas for establishing indexical equality in speech. Are these formulas effective means for manipulating the empowered to comply with the wishes if the proletariat

Indexical Analysis:

    • look at deictic expressions: pronouns, anaphora, demonstratives, markers of tense, mood and modality and where they collapse the axes of denotation and interaction.
    • Identify the zero point defaults or origo of reckoning: -
      • I; me; my; to me; we, us, our, to us; you, your,to you; here, there; now, then; hither, thither; this, that[1]
      • here, and now. This is a moving reference point relative to the rest of the sentence
    • Look at pronouns to recover the referent.
      • which - directs the previous context for who the speaker, hearer, etc are
      • that - directs to the circumstance of the utterer.
    • Look at denotational variables:
    • referents (entities).
    • predicates (Qualities and relations of entities).
    • propositions (state of affairs predicated entities).

this suggest the performative game where in an initial asymmetrical situation one side tries to force a symmetrical mode of communication

this type of analysis - requires parsing of the sentence, identifying verb valence, and resolving the deictic references used in each slot. (Pragmatical resolution)

the deictic selectivity of propositional acts shapes interpersonal realities by establishing a link between denotational and interactional variables.

Algorithm to identify the degree of specificity of an utterance. [1]

  1. look at and annotate:
  • interrogative mood
  • definiteness of determiners
  • past tense
  1. enumerate specific nodes with +; unspecific with - and non deictic cats with () i.e. neutral

With tight linkage the propositional act shapes the interaction. When the linkage is loose, the content appears to transcend the moment when the act was made. Looseness can create generic laws, contracts, commitments, stereotypical politeness [1]

Role fractions of speaker[1]:

  • Animator - one who physically produces the current utterance.
  • Principal - one held responsible for utterance propositional content.
  • Author - one held responsible for utterance wording.
  • Figure - persona performed through the act of utterance.

Algorithm to identify the degree of modalization and explicit performative locution. [1]

  1. look at and annotate each predicate with +/- for each feature:
    • interrogative mood.
    • past tense.
    • passive voice.
    • perfective aspect.

speech chain transmission:

... [S->R] [S->R] [S->R] [S->R] ...
        +--+  +---+  +---+ 
     --------------------------> time
S:= sender
R:= receiver

speech chains form networks.


  • A semiotic register: a register where language use is not the only type of

sign-behavior modeled, and utterance not the only modality of action. A register of discourse is a special case.

  • Enregisterment: processes whereby performable signs become recognized (and regrouped) as belonging to distinct register by a population.

can we identify different registers in a population.



  1. a b c d e f g h p.47 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Asif Agha" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Asif Agha" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Asif Agha" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Asif Agha" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Asif Agha" defined multiple times with different content
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq
  3. a b c d e SOCIAL ROLES IN ELECTRONIC COMMUNITIES Scott A. Golder and Judith Donath Sociable Media Group, MIT Media Laboratory,
  4. a b c d e A conceptual and operational definition of'social role'in online community by Gleave, Eric & Welser, HT in System Sciences, 2009


  1. look at languages evolution games