Forum Analysis

Fernando Maestre qualitatively coded about four hundred posts on forums for people living with HIV in an attempt to capture the relationships between how people seek support and the support that they receive. Posts were divided into “support seeking”, “support providing”, and “other”. Support seeking was further divided into “direct” and “indirect”, and “emotional” and “informational” (as well as “network” and “esteem”, but these categories were too sparse to be considered). Support providing posts were also divided between “informational” and “emotional” with personal centeredness scores of “low”, “medium”, and “high” based on how attentive the response was to the original poster’s specific worries and concerns.

I have been working with Nandini Ramanan on coming up with a machine learning algorithm that can accurately replicate these qualitative codes so that we can automate the data collection for more responses.