• Jakob Christensen
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen
This thesis seeks to explore and analyze the roles that the community weblog MetaFilter plays in
the everyday information practice of its users. The methodological basis of this thesis is Mixed
Methods Research, which encompasses a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches in
collecting and analyzing data.
MetaFilter's stated purpose of serving as a community weblog is discussed and juxtaposed with the
distinct elements typically associated with a social network site (SNS) that the website contains.
Structured observation on the frontpage of the website during a one-month period reveals a fairly
homogenous amount of daily postings pertaining to a great breadth of subjects. However, the
amount of hyperlinks contained in a given post varies greatly and are sometimes deemed
A comprehensive survey was posted on the MetaTalk section of MetaFilter, during the month of
April, and subsequent interviews were conducted with 12 users. The purpose of the survey and
interviews are to obtain a better understanding of the varying roles the website plays in the users'
information practice. In addition, the survey and interviews explores the users' motivational factors
for using MetaFilter as well as what the implications of the website are, in terms of potentially
alleviating 'information overload'.
Analysis of the data reveals that the primary motivational factors for using MetaFilter are
serendipitive discovery of information on the frontpage; collective help in regard to answering
questions of personal interest in the 'AskMeFi' section; the prevalence of interesting discussions on
the website; effective moderation and 'code of conduct' guiding information practice; the ability to
act anonymously in social interactions and aggregation of important news stories.
The potential ability to use the frontpage of MetaFilter in order to alleviate 'information overload' is
concluded to be highly contigent on the users ability to ”parse” and ”scan” large amounts of
information in order to obtain an overview and focus on a select few postings that are of particular,
personal interest, thus fulfilling one or more information needs.
Udgivelsesdato1 jul. 2013


  • Information practice, User motivation, Information overload, Weblogs, Social Network Sites