Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



Research has established the critical role of social networks in facilitating adjustment to foreign environments. Increasingly, social interactions are happening through computer mediated technology. This paper explores the role of emotional expression in newcomers’ blogs in developing and interacting with social networks in a new country. This research uses a dictionary-based text analytics approach to detect emotional expression in newcomers’ blog posts and their associated discussions. Blog posts with more emotional expression had more associated responses; discussions tended to be more positive than posts; and the relative amount of negative emotion in the discussions increases as posts become more negative. Results suggest that expression of emotion in blogs can facilitate access to social networks and increase engagement in online communities by increasing the amount of responses and triggering congruent emotional response from blog readers, which is a precursor to affiliation and understanding. The findings in this paper highlight the role of emotional expression in blog posts and discussions, and its connection to developing social networks and engaging in online communities which has the potential to facilitate access to social support.