Research

My research examines the dynamics of how temporary online organizations self-organize, stabilize, dissolve, and re-emerge. Specifically, I am interested in how emergent virtual teams are able to coordinate and adapt under high tempo conditions in the face of surprise, uncertainty, and complex knowledge collaboration demands. To date, my approach to computational social science has mixed and integrated methods in network analysis, multilevel statistics, simulation, content analysis, and digital trace ethnography to examine (1) the fluid and novel coordination roles, practices, and structures which emerge from Wikipedians’ coverage of breaking news events as well as (2) how large-scale behavioral data about cheaters in massively multiplayer online games can better inform theories about the dynamics of offline clandestine behavior.

Online communities and other forms of social media are becoming important loci for knowledge collaboration, creative work, and political participation. Understanding the collaboration dynamics in socio-technical systems can potentially illuminate the features and processes which support knowledge work in other “networked organizations” characterized by teams with fluid membership and temporary roles, distributed but interrelated responsibilities, as well as work mediated through information and communication technologies (ICTs). However, little work has focused on the ability of socio-technical systems to organize in response to shocks and surprises. The coalescence of organizations following unexpected events vividly illustrates the origins and transformation of social structure in both online and offline contexts. The mediation of these processes through databases logging fine-grained behavior allows the development of rich, post-hoc accounts of these dynamics.

Journal articles

[J2] Keegan, B., Gergle, D., Contractor, N. (2013) “Hot off the Wiki: Structure and Dynamics of Wikipedia’s Coverage of Breaking News Events.” American Behavioral Scientist, forthcoming. 

[J1] Williams, D., Castronova, E., Huang, Y., Shen, C., Keegan, B., Ratan, R., Xiong, L. (2009) “As real as real? Macroeconomic behavior in a large-scale virtual world.” New Media & Society 11: 685-707.

Scientific proceedings

[P15] Hannak, A., Margolin, D., Keegan, B., Weber, I. (2014) “Get Back! You Don’t Know Me Like That: The Social Mediation of Fact Checking Interventions in Twitter Conversations.” Eight International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), Ann Arbor, MI, USA. 

[P14] Keegan, B. (2013) “A History of Newswork on Wikipedia.” 2013 Joint International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym + OpenSym). Hong Kong, China. 

[P13] Keegan, B., Ceni, A., Smith, M. (2013) “Analyzing Multi-Dimensional Networks Within MediaWikis.” 2013 Joint International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym + OpenSym). Hong Kong, China. 

[P12] Lin, Y-R. Margolin, D., Keegan, B., Baronchelli, A., Lazer, D. (2013) “#BigBirds Never Die: Understanding Social Dynamics of Emergent Hashtags.” Seventh International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM). Boston, MA, USA. 

[P11] Lin, Y-R., Margolin, D., Keegan, B., Lazer, D. (2013). “Voices of Victory: A Computational Focus Group Framework for Tracking Opinion Shift in Real Time.” 22nd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

[P10] Keegan, B., Gergle, D., Contractor, N. (2012) “Staying in the Loop: Structure and Dynamics of Wikipedia’s Breaking News Collaborations.” Eighth International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym), Linz, Austria. 

[P9] Keegan, B., Gergle, D., Contractor, N. (2012) “Do Editors or Articles Drive Collaboration? Multilevel Statistical Network Analysis of Wikipedia Coauthorship.” ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Seattle, WA, USA. 

[P8] Ahmad, M.A., Keegan, B., Sullivan, S., Williams, D., Srivastava, J., Contractor, N. (2011) “Illicit Bits: Detecting and Analyzing Contraband Networks in Massively Multiplayer Online Games.” Third IEEE Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom), Boston, MA.

[P7] Keegan, B., Gergle, D., Contractor, N. (2011) “Hot off the Wiki: Dynamics, Practices, and Structures in Wikipedia’s Coverage of the Tohoku Catastrophes.” International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym), Mountain View, CA.

[P6] Keegan, B., Ahmad, M., Williams, D., Srivastava, J., Contractor, N. (2011) “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi Virtuali? Promise and Peril at the Intersection of Computational Social Science and Online Clandestine Organizations.” International ACM Conference on Web Science (WebSci), Koblenz, Germany. (15% acceptance rate) Best Paper. Video & Slides.

[P5] Ahmad, M., Keegan, B., Srivastava, J., Williams, D., Contractor, N. (2011) “Trust Amongst Rogues? A Hypergraph Approach for Comparing Clandestine Trust Networks in MMOGs.” International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), Barcelona, Spain. (15% acceptance rate) Video & Slides.

[P4] Keegan, B., Ahmad, M., Williams, D., Srivastava, J., Contractor, N. (2010) “Dark Gold: Statistical Properties of Clandestine Networks in Massively Multiplayer Online Games.” IEEE Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom), Minneapolis, MI. (13% acceptance rate)

[P3] Keegan, B., Gergle, D. (2010) “Egalitarians at the Gate: One-Sided Gatekeeping Practices in Participatory Social Media.” ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), Savannah, GA. (20% acceptance rate) Honorary Mention, Best Note.

[P2] Ahmad, M., Keegan, B., Srivastava, J., Williams, D., Contractor, N. (2009) “Mining for Gold Farmers: Automatic Detection of Deviant Players in MMOGs.” Symposium on Social Intelligence and Networking, First IEEE Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom), Vancouver, BC.

[P1] Huang, Y., Zhu, M., Wang, J., Pathak, N., Shen, C., Keegan, B., Contractor, N. (2009) “The Formation of Task-oriented Groups.” IEEE Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom), Vancouver, BC. (13% acceptance rate)

Conference papers

[C9] Keegan, B. “Comparative Analysis of Coauthorship Networks on Wikipedia Breaking News Articles.” Sunbelt XXXII, International Network for Social Network Analysis. Redondo Beach, CA, USA.

[C8] Chang, C. Keegan, B., Bennett, N., Lungeanu, A., Gilborne, J., & Contractor, N. (2012) “Multidimensional Networks in Crowdsourced Collaboration.” Sunbelt XXXII, International Network for Social Network Analysis. Redondo Beach, CA, USA.

[C7] Keegan, B. (2011) “Breaking News, Breaking Planes, and Breaking Hearts: Psycholinguistic Dynamics and Sensemaking in Collaborative Accounts of Catastrophe.” 2011 International Communication Association. Boston, MA. Best Student Paper, Communication and Technology division.

[C6] Keegan, B., Ahmad, M., Williams, D., Srivastava, J., Contractor, N. (2011) “Mapping Gold Farming Back to Offline Clandestine Organizations: Methodological, Theoretical, and Ethical Challenges.” The Game Behind the Video Game: Business, Regulation, and Society in the Gaming Industry. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. Best Paper.

[C5] Keegan, B., Gergle, D., Contractor, N. (2011) “A Multi-theoretical, Multi-level Model of High Tempo Collaboration in an Online Community.” Sunbelt XXXI, International Network for Social Network Analysis. St. Petersberg, FL.

[C4] Keegan, B., Ahmad, M., Williams, D., Srivastava, J., Contractor, N. (2011) “Using ERGMs to Map Online Clandestine Behavior to Offline Criminal Activity.” Sunbelt XXXI, International Network for Social Network Analysis. St. Petersberg, FL.

[C3] Williams, D., Castronova, E., Huang, Y., Shen, C., Keegan, B., Ratan, R., Xiong, L., Contractor, N. (2009) “As real as real? Macroeconomic behavior in a large-scale virtual world.” 2009 International Communication Association. Chicago, IL.

[C2] Keegan, B. (2009) “Are Wikipedians Really Gamers? A ludological perspective on the motivational literature and implications for designing participatory environments.” Internet Research 10.0, Association of Internet Researchers. Milwaukee, WI.

[C1] Fullerton, L., Keegan, B., Menchen-Trevino, E. (2009) “Institutionalizing notability on Wikipedia: process, policy and change.” Internet Research 10.0, Association of Internet Researchers. Milwaukee, WI.

Conference panels, workshops, tutorials, and doctoral consortia

[W4] Keegan, B., Ahmad, M.A., Sullivan, S., Williams, D., Srivastava, J., Contractor, N. (2011) “Untangling Dark Webs: Theories, Methods, and Models for a Computational Social Science of Clandestine Networks.” Third IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, Boston, MA.

[W3] Keegan, B. (2011) “Breaking News on Wikipedia: Dynamics, Structures, and Practices of High-Tempo Collaboration.” Doctoral Symposium, Seventh International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, Mountain View, CA.

[W2] Keegan, B. (2011) “Breaking News on Wikipedia: Dynamics, Structures, and Practices of High-Tempo Self-Organized Collaboration.” 2011 Social Computational Systems Workshop, Minneapolis, MN.

[W1] Ettema, J., Fullerton, L., Keegan, B., Menchen-Trevino, E., Sandvig, C. (2009) “Listening for the Wisdom of Crowds: New Media and New Forms of Knowledge.” 2009 International Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Invited talks

[T5] “Mapping Clandestine Networks in MMOGs to Offline Criminal Organization.” (April 2011). University of Chicago ACM Chapter, Chicago, IL.

[T4] “Network Analysis, Online Games, and Clandestine Organization.” (January 2011). Science and Technology Policy Institute, Institute for Defense Analysis, Washington, D.C.

[T3] “Using MMOGs to Understand the Organization of Clandestine Networks.” (November 2010). Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

[T2] “Gold Farming and Clandestine Networks in MMOGs.” (October 2010). School of Computing, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

[T1] “Dark Gold: Statistical Properties of Clandestine Networks in MMORPGs.” (September 2010). HCI Reading Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.