Cliff Lampe (1), Jessica Vitak (2), Rebecca Gray (3) & Nicole Ellison (4)
1. University of Michigan, c...@umich.edu
2. Michigan State University, jvi...@msu.edu
3. Michigan State University, Gray...@msu.edu
4. Michigan State University, nell...@msu.edu
Social network sites such as Facebook have become an increasingly important channel for fulfilling a wide range of communication goals, including requesting help from one’s social network to address information needs. Using survey data (N= 614) collected from non-academic staff at a large Midwestern University, we show how social capital, network characteristics, and use of Facebook are related to how useful individuals find Facebook to be for informational purposes and their propensity to seek different types of information on the site. We find that bridging social capital and engagement with one’s network through directed communication behaviors are important predictors of these dimensions of information behavior, and that there are a number of demographic and usage behavior differences between those who engage in these behaviors and those who do not. Following presentation of results, we discuss theoretical implications of our findings and offer suggestions for future research in this area.