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 line examines several items relating to multimodality including online and face to face interaction, largely surrounding how discourse surrounding topical evolution in networks and communities. This is within several related domains: of environmental health crises (through environmental health and wastewater issues including social media discussions and in surveying users offline; and emergent communities through crowdsourcing); of recurrent viral infections such as the flu, considering the temporal and structural ebb and flow year-over-year. Within this domain of work we likewise consider the features of platforms, the governance and ethical concerns in how health challenges are communicated. In this line of work I address communication challenges among rural, underserved communities focusing on linguistic cues, nonliteral language, emotional appeals, and the role of AI/AR.

  • Britt, R. K., Doss, E. F., & Hayes, M. (2022). Infrastructural and network support in the illness experience: The role of community crowdsourcing in self-care. Manuscript under review.
  • 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.

Group organizing & technology and mass-understanding of distributed work   

This line of research is twofold; first it examines how informal groups develop into organizations and ultimately have an impact on the adoption of digital affordances and health communication through social support, which has been a core part of my research agenda throughout the entirety of my career. Second, given the use of CMC by lay publics, this line of research also maps out an agenda for research addressing health challenges through distributed work identifying the systems and scholarship in health and technology. This is through meta analyses, systematic reviews, and manuscripts analyzing the scope of scholarship and addresses ethical challenges in computational research. Likewise, we include OSF files that will be made public upon publication given the open nature of data scraping and for replicability purposes.

  • Britt, R. K., Chou, S., Omah, O., & Chakraborty, A. (2022). The state of eHealth studies across information technology and communication: An analysis of published studies to guide future scholarship. Manuscript under review.
  • Britt, R. K., Franco, C. L., & Jones, N. (2021). A meta-analysis of health communication studies on Reddit. National Communication Association– Health Communication Division.
  • 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 influence (Information, affect and cognitive processes) from social media influencers through network analysis and large scale data sets

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

In this line of research, I am examining the role of social influence via social media influencers (SMIs), influencer-influencer networks and the evolution of networks on the lay public. In recent work, this involves examining the emotional impact of medical influencers on the public. I also examine how SMIs shape persuasive decision making processes of their audience (e.g. purchasing intent) which enhances understanding of information sharing and the formation of new networks and organizations that form surrounding SMIs. I am particularly interested in the role of affective and cognitive processes in understanding SMIs.

  • Park, H., et al. (2022). A cross-cultural study of consumer brand engagement through social media influencers on Twitter: A computational comparison of American and South Korean influencers. Manuscript in progress.
  • 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.