“Where do you order your bonsai dishes?”: Online information sharing among bonsai hobbyists via the YouTube platform

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This presentation provides early findings from an ongoing study about information seeking and sharing in the context of bonsai growing as a form of serious leisure. The study aims to find out to what extent bonsai enthusiasts are active in creating and sharing hobby-related information via social media platforms such as YouTube and how useful the shared information is. The data collection method is based on the user-generated content (UGC) approach. A sample of publicly available comments posted on the most visited bonsai videos was collected and then mapped onto the classification scheme developed for the YouTube comments by Madden et al. (2013). The scheme contains ten categories: information, advice, impression, opinion, responses, expression of personal feelings, general conversations, site processes, video content description, and non-response comments. The early findings show the data can be fully mapped onto the scheme. Moreover, bonsai growing is in an amazingly information-rich context as bonsai enthusiasts actively seek, create, share, and use a huge volume of information about many aspects of this hobby, ranging from horticultural techniques to aesthetic skills. The findings also reveal bonsai hobbyists can be divided into four categories based on their level of involvement and knowledge, including beginners, enthusiasts, experts and masters. Each group has diverse information needs and different information sharing patterns. Furthermore, usually the publicly available information on YouTube is not sufficient for beginners to succeed in this hobby. They need to seek other resources such as books and magazines or attend bonsai workshops. Nonetheless, YouTube is useful in terms of providing them with networking opportunities and creating new information grounds.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 03 Feb 2021
EventSchool of Information Studies Research Seminar Series 2021 - Online, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Duration: 03 Feb 202103 Feb 2021


SeminarSchool of Information Studies Research Seminar Series 2021
CityWagga Wagga
Internet address


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