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Journal cover: Internet Research

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Online from: 1991

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Mining consumer dialog in online forums

Document Information:
Title:Mining consumer dialog in online forums
Author(s):Carolin Kaiser, (Department of Information Systems, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany), Freimut Bodendorf, (Department of Information Systems, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany)
Citation:Carolin Kaiser, Freimut Bodendorf, (2012) "Mining consumer dialog in online forums", Internet Research, Vol. 22 Iss: 3, pp.275 - 297
Keywords:Consumer behaviour, Data analysis, Digital communication systems, Information exchange, Internet, Social networks, Text mining
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/10662241211235653 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The paper's aim is to mine and analyze opinion formation on the basis of consumer dialogs in online forums.

Design/methodology/approach – The study identifies opinions, communication relationships, and dialog acts of forum users using different text mining methods. Utilizing this data, social networks can be derived and analyzed to detect influential users and opinion tendencies. The approach is applied to sample online forums discussing the iPhone.

Findings – Combining text mining and social network analysis enables the study of opinion formation and yields encouraging results. Out of the four methods employed for text mining, support vector machines performed best.

Research limitations/implications – The data set applied here is fairly small. More threads on different products will be considered in future work to improve validation.

Practical implications – The approach represents a valuable instrument for online market research. It enables companies to recognize opportunities and risks and to initiate appropriate marketing actions.

Originality/value – This work is one of the first studies that combine communication content, relationships and dialog acts for analyzing opinion formation.

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