Participation in Social Media: Studying Explicit and Implicit Forms of Participation in Communicative Social Networks

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

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Participation in Social Media: Studying Explicit and Implicit Forms of Participation in Communicative Social Networks


  • Mikko Villi Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Janne Matikainen Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland


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Abstract:  The diverse forms of participation in social media raise many methodological and ethical issues that should be acknowledged in research. In this paper, participation in social media is studied by utilising the framework of explicit and implicit participation. The focus is on the communicative and communal aspects of social media. The aim of the paper is to promote the reconsideration of what constitutes participation when online users create connections rather than content. The underlying argument is that research on social media and the development of methods should concentrate more on implicit forms of participation.

Keywords:  connectivity; ethics; explicit participation; implicit participation; methods; social media

Published:   10 October 2016


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v4i4.578


© Mikko Villi, Janne Matikainen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.