Recently a colleague of mine has asked me what would be the key academic papers on the topic of “new media”. It took me a few hours to think through the request not because I didn’t remember the papers but rather because I had a hard time to categorize them around themes that are relevant for the topic. Finally, I have settled for the following list of papers and categories. No wonder, the list is heavily biased towards my research. Sorry for this.
1. The first category deals with the topic of Word-of-mouth (WOM). The important papers here are marked by Dina Mayzlin, a colleague at Yale. She has a few publications in Marketing Science (a recent one alone, one with Chevalier in 2006 and another with Dave Godes 2004).
2. Then, I’d have another set of papers about links, link formation and how this relates to content and content building. Important papers here are:
- Katona and Sarvary 2008 (Marketing Science)
- Mayzlin and Yoganarasimhan (forthcoming in Marketing Science)
- Stephen and Toubia 2009 (JMR).
- Also the job market paper of Liye Ma from CMU. Here is a link
Btw, this is a very technical empirical paper but quite profound.
3. The third category would consist of a set of papers about networks and social communities. Here, the Economics and Computer Science literatures are quite important to lay down the foundations. The classics are:
- Brin and Page 1999.
- Bala and Goyal 2000, (Econometrica).
- Jackson has a good review in a book Chapter in ‘Group formation in economics’ 2004, (Cambridge U. Press).
- I also have a paper on social network formation with Katona and Zubcsek (2010) in JMR.
4. Finally, I’d have papers about content in old and new media. Here I have some research but again it is a bit too biased (our recent working paper with Kaifu Zhang, and a previous paper in Marketing Science with Yi Xiang, 2007). Also relevant is Tuba Pinar Yildirim’s job market paper on user-generated content in new media.
I would probably omit the literature on search advertising and position auctions. This is a big body of work both in Economics (e.g. Varian’s paper) and marketing (Katona and Sarvary, and Yao and Mela) but not really about new media (rather specifically about search advertising).