Emergent social network communities : hashtags, knowledge building, and communities of practice
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The hashtag #phdchat is used by doctoral students all over the world to engage with their peers, share information, and commiserate over their experiences in academia. Anyone can join the conversation simply by typing the tag and publishing a tweet, but many regularly contribute to what has become a vibrant emergent social network community. Using an analysis of the discourse that was labeled with the hashtag over about a one-month period, this paper draws conclusions about who belongs to this community and what the network achieves for the users and as an entity of its own. The researcher makes conclusions about this network by drawing on the attributes of communities of practice and knowledge building communities in order to ground it as its own permutation of a learning community.
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