Average Time until First Reply

The average time until first reply is an indicator for the response time of a user. This metric can be calculated for individual users and is of ego-centric scope. It is suggested by Hacker et al. (2015) and Viol et al. (2016).

The average time until first reply $ar$ is calculated for a users, who creates the first reply in a particular thread. The median is used instead of the mean, as some values for the response time can be big outliers.

1. select all threads in a group or network
2. retrieve the first and second post of the thread
3. omit threads, where second post is not from given user
4. ar := calculate median time difference between first and second post of thread

Hacker et al. (2015) analyse the response time of messages, which can be described as a delay in sending messages. A high value indicates a user, who is receiving a lot of information, especially from asking questions. Therefore such a user is successfully looking for information. This is also related to the number of likes received on such topics.

Continuing this interpretation, a user who responds quickly does so by writing short replies. This indicates a user who is responding with a simple acknowledgement or thanks according to Viol et al. (2016). Such a characterisation is typical of a passive user, who is not contributing to the network. The passivity of a user is visible in high in-degree and a low out-degree values. Because Social Capital is established by forming social relationships through reciprocal interactions, this suggests a lack of Social Capital in the network.

Contrary, engaging and active users require time to think of an appropriate response and due to their activity all over the network, cannot reply that quickly. Their participation in discussions lets them interact with other users and form social relationships. The social ties facilitate Bonding Social Capital, which enables effective collaboration.