Current Projects

Multimodal networks, emergent communities and health crises  

Absolute activity on r/grandorder subreddit
Absolute activity on the r/grandorder (non-health) subreddit representing the corpus of posts and comments from 2016-2018, representing topical evolution over time.

This research investigates multiple aspects of multimodality, specifically, the interplay between online and face-to-face interactions, with a focus on how discourse influences the evolution of topics in networks and communities. The is situated within various domains, including environmental health crises (such as wastewater issues and social media discussions) and emergent communities (crowdsourcing), as well as recurrent viral infections such as the flu, exploring the temporal and structural changes over time. The research also examines technical affordances and ethical concerns related to how health challenges are communicated. Additionally, in this line of work, I address communication challenges in rural, underserved communities, examining linguistic cues, nonliteral language, emotional appeals, and the role of AI/AR.

  • Britt, R. K., Doss, E. F., & Hayes, M. (2023). Infrastructural and network support in the illness experience: The role of community crowdsourcing in self-care. Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2023. Track: Information Technology in Healthcare, Social Media and Healthcare Technology.
  • VanDyke, M. S., Britt, B. C., Britt, R. K., & Franco, C. L. (2022). How environment-focused communities discuss COVID-19 online: An analysis of (risk) information amplification on Reddit. Environmental Communication.
  • Britt, R. K., Britt, B. C., Panek, E., & Lee, J. (2022). Communication expressed on the COVID-19 subreddit in the midst of a global pandemic. Health Communication.
  • Britt, B. C., Britt, R. K., Hayes, J. L., Panek, E. T., Maddox, J., & Musaev, A. (2020). Oral healthcare implications of dedicated online communities: A computational content analysis of the r/dentistry subreddit. Health Communication.
  • Britt, B. C., & Britt, R. K. (2020). From waifus to whales: The evolution of discourse in a mobile game-based competitive community of practice. Mobile Media & Communication.
  • Britt, R. K., & Englebert, A. M. (2019). Experiences of patients living with inflammatory bowel disease in rural communities. Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare, 3, 40-46.

Online health communities, tech affordances, Twitter and Reddit 

This research is centered around online health communities and mental health communicated online. This includes the use of computational techniques to analyze large datasets related to mental health including how mental health organizations evolve and change their communication over time, with the goal of identifying patterns and that can inform health policy and intervention designs. This line of work also includes a series of systematic reviews that evaluate various platforms and their affordances and ethical considerations. I am interested in understanding how online platforms such as Reddit are used for health communication scholarship and the practical considerations of using them as a source for social support, health information, and critical evaluation as a whole. Moreover, I seek to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of the field of health communication studying platforms like Reddit and Twitter to understand what has and has not been studied; the theories that are dominantly used and those that are underutilized.

  • Britt, R. K., Chou, S., Omah, O., & Chakraborty, A. (2023). The state of eHealth studies across information technology and communication: An analysis of published studies to guide future scholarship. Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2023. Track: Information Technology in Healthcare, IT Adoption, Diffusion, and Evaluation in Healthcare.
  • Price, S. F., & Britt, R. K. (2023; in press). “Look for positive people”: Constructions of counter narratives within r/transgender_surgeries. Manuscript in press at Women & Language.
  • Britt, B. C., Britt, R. K., Hayes, J. L., & Oh, J. (2021). Continuing a community of practice beyond the death of its domain: Examining the Tales of Link subreddit. Behaviour & Information Technology.
  • Britt, R. K., Maddox, J., Kanthawala, S., & Hayes, J. L. (2020). The impact of mHealth interventions: Improving health outcomes through narratives, mixed methods and data mining. In J. Kim & H. Song, Eds., New Technologies for Health-related Cognitive and Behavioral Changes. Elsevier.

Persuasion and social media influencers  

Influencer Graph
Centralization scores for networks corresponding to each influencer in Britt et al., 2020.

Within this research, I focus on investigating the role of social media influencers (SMIs) and their impact on the lay public. I am interested in how social influence operates through SMIs and their audiences, as well as the evolution of networks over time. Recent studies have delved into the emotional impact of health and medical influencers on the public, with an emphasis on understanding how SMIs shape decision-making processes, such as purchasing intent. Through this research, I am interested in the formation of new networks and organizations that emerge around SMIs, the role of affective and cognitive processes in shaping their influence, and how these processes contribute towards persuasive intent outcomes.

  • Britt, R. K., & Chakraborty, R. (2023). Imagined audiences and motives for engagement with companies through impression management on Twitter. Manuscript in progress.
  • Park, H., Hayes, J. L., Britt, B. C., & Britt, R. K. (2023). A cross-cultural study of consumer brand engagement through social media influencers on Twitter: A computational comparison of American and South Korean influencers. Manuscript to be presented at the annual conference of the American Academy of Advertising.
  • Britt, R. K., Hayes, J., Britt, B. C., & Park, H. (2020). Too big to sell? A computational analysis of network and content characteristics among mega and micro beauty and fashion social media influencers. Journal of Interactive Advertising.