Social networking sites in the facilitation of collaborative processes

Collaborative efforts, when successful, often produce better and more creative results than when individuals work on a task alone. Social networks present new avenues for collaboration, dissolving the boundaries of space and time.

Start date: 10/1/2009
End date: 9/30/2014


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UMSI assistant professor Cliff Lampe will be working as a co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant administered by Michigan State University: “The Role of Social Networking Sites in Facilitating Collaborative Processes."

He will be designing and conducting data collection efforts, mentoring graduate student researchers and working with the lead PI, MSU’s Charles Steinfield, in overall project management. UMSI’s Nicole Ellison is the project’s former PI and is currently working as a co-principal investigator.

Although traditionally conceived of as a purely “social” outlets, social network sites such as Facebook contain a number of social and technical affordances that enable users to engage in both organizing and collaboration. Many people have been using social network sites like Facebook to seek information from their friends and colleagues. This project examines what kinds of collaborations can be facilitated by social networks, how the features of these networks affect the processes, who uses these sites to collaborate, and why.


The role of social network sites in facilitating collaborative processes, National Science Foundation: $16,602


The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"