The more people I meet, the more I like my dog: A study of pet-oriented social networks on the Web

  • Jennifer Golbeck University of Maryland, College Park
Keywords: social networks, human-animal bond

Abstract

Online social networks are one of the largest uses of the Web, and growing rapidly. They are also being used actively by pet owners. Just as pet owners are different, we might expect their needs within a social network to differ. In this work, we present an analysis of dog– and cat–owners behavior in pet–oriented social networks. Our results show that dog and cat owners use these sites quite differently. While dog owners focus on their relationship with their pets and looking for advice, cat owners tend to use the site more to build community. Both results show that these pet social networks are already being used to help support the human–animal bond online, and that different types of pet owners would benefit from different types of support within the systems. We discuss the implications of these results for designing networks to support different types of users and what this means for the understanding of passion–based social networks.

Author Biography

Jennifer Golbeck, University of Maryland, College Park
Human-Computer Interaction Lab College of Information Studies
Published
2011-01-29
How to Cite
Golbeck, J. (2011). The more people I meet, the more I like my dog: A study of pet-oriented social networks on the Web. First Monday, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i2.2859