CSCW 2012
Conference paper

Asking questions of targeted strangers on social networks

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When people have questions, they often turn to their social network for answers. If the answer is obscure or time sensitive however, no members of their social networks may know the answer. For example, it may be difficult to find a friend who has experience with a particular feature or model of digital camera or who knows the current wait time for security at the local airport. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of answering questions by asking strangers. In this approach, strangers with potentially useful information are identified by mining the public status updates posted on Twitter, questions are sent to these strangers, and responses are collected. We explore feasibility in two ways: will users respond to questions sent by strangers and, if they do respond, how long must we wait for a response? Our results from asking 1159 questions across two domains suggest that 42% of users will respond to questions from strangers. 44% of these responses arrived within 30 minutes. © 2012 ACM.


19 Mar 2012


CSCW 2012