Cliff Lampe


This page is just a static listing to help those who want just the basic facts. A more lively set of links and papers can be found at my personal site,

Current interests:
I research social interactions that are supported by mediating technology. More specifically, I'm interested in how people can engage in collective action using tools that support their doing so. The collective action can include discussion, the creation or art or knowledge, political activity, environmental action, or offline organizing.

Put more simply, I'm interested in how groups use social media and online communities to accomplish their goals. Social media has been shown to reduce the cost of organizing and maintaining relationships, both of which may lead to interests outcomes for people as they try to work with others to change their worlds.

Cliff Lampe is an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Previous to that, he spent several years on the faculty of the department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. He received his PhD in Information in 2006 from the University of Michigan. Cliff studies how groups can engage in a variety of collective action activities using information and communication technologies. Most recently, he has studied the desgin, uses, and effects of use of such sites as Facebook, Wikipedia, Everything2, and Slashdot. Cliff has also been involved in the creation of many online communities, often in the context of some pro-social goal.


Previous Positions

Assistant Professor 2005-2011
Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University
AgBioResearch, Michigan State University


Ph.D., Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2006.
      Dissertation: Ratings Use in an Online Discussion System: The Slashdot Case.
Advisor: Dr. Paul Resnick
Special areas of interest: Online communication; recommender and reputation systems; human-computer interaction; computer-supported cooperative work.

MSI Masters in the Science of Information. University of Michigan, School of Information.  Ann Arbor, MI.  January 2001.

B.A., magna cum laude, with honors in Psychology, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI 1996

Refereed Publications

Lampe, C., Obar, J., Ozkaya, E., Zube, P., Velasquez, A. (2012) The Wikimedia Public Policy Initiative: Classroom Exercises as Introductions to Peer Production. To appear in the Proceedings of the 2012 ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Seattle, WA.

Wash, R., and Lampe, C. (2012) The Power of the Ask in Social Media. To appear in the Proceedings of the 2012 ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Seattle, WA.

Smock, A. D., Ellison, N. B., Lampe, C., & Wohn, D. Y. (2011). Facebook as a toolkit: A uses and gratification approach to unbundling feature use. Comput. Hum. Behav., 27(6), 2322-2329.

McCully, W., Lampe, C., Sarkar, C., Velasquez, A., & Sreenivasan, A. (2011). Online and offline interactions in online communities. Paper presented at the WikiSym'11 The 7th International Sympoisum on Wikis and Open Collaboration, Mountain View, CA.

Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, C. & Lampe, C. (2011). Connection Strategies: Social capital implications of Facebook-enabled communication practices. New Media & Society. 13: 873-892.

Lampe, C., Wohn, D.Y., Wash, R., VItak, J., & Ellison, N. (2011) “Sensemaking in the classroom.  Social and psychology predictors of students’ use of Facebook to reduce equivocality.  International Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Learning. 6 (3). 329-347.

Vitak, J., Zube, P., Smock, A., Carr, C., Ellison, N., Lampe, C. (2011) It's Complicated: Facebook Users' Political Participation in the 2008 Election. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. March 2011, 14(3): 107-114.

Lampe, C., Larose, R., Steinfield, C., & DeMaagd, K. (2011). Inherent barriers to the use of social media for public policy informatics. The Innovation Journal. 16 (1)

Wohn, Y., Lampe, C., Vitak, J. & Ellison, N. Coordinating the Ordinary: Social Information Uses by Adults. Proceedings of the iConference 2011. Seattle, WA.

Wohn, D. Y., Lampe, C., Ellison, N., Wash, R., & Vitak, J. (2011). The “S” in social network games: Initiating, maintaining, and enhancing relationships. Paper to be presented at the the 44th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Kauai, HI.

Vitak, J., Zube, P., Smock, A., Carr, C., Ellison, N., & Lampe, C. (2010). It’s complicated: Facebook users’ political participation in the 2008 election. Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking.

Lampe, C., Wash, R., Velasquez, A., & Ozkaya, E. (2010) Motivations to Participate in Online Communities. In the Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (Atlanta, GA 2010).

Lampe, C., & Ellison, N. (2010). Student athlete use of Facebook. In Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2010)

Ganley, D. and Lampe, C. 2009. The ties that bind: Social network principles in online communities. Decis. Support Syst. 47, 3 (Jun. 2009), 266-274.

Steinfeld, C. JM DiMicco, N Ellison, C Lampe. (2009) "Bowling Online: Social Networking and Social Capital within the Organization." Full Paper, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T 2009). June 2009.
(Participated in research design, data collection, and writing)

Lampe C., Ellison, N. and Steinfield, C. (2008) Changes in Participation and Perception of Facebook. ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. November 8-12.  San Diego CA.
(My primary research community is computer science, which depends heavily on refereed conference proceedings as its most prestigious outlets. For this paper I participated in all levels of production, and took lead in the writing of the paper)

Steinfield, C., Ellison, N. and Lampe, C. (2008) Social capital, self-esteem, and use of online social network sites: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29 (6), 434-445.
(Played a strong role in writing, data collection and analysis)

Ellison, N., Steinfield, C., and Lampe, C. (2007) The Benefits of Facebook "Friends:" Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 12 (4), 1143-1168
(Played an equal role with other PIs in research design, data collection and writing)

Lampe, C., Johnston, E., and Resnick, P. (2007) Follow the Reader: Filtering Comments on Slashdot Proceedings of the ACM Computer-Human Interaction Conference. April 2007. San Jose CA.
(Lead author, responsible for all phases of writing, research, analysis and data collection)

Lampe C., Ellison, N., and Steinfield, C. (2007) A Familiar Face(book): Profile Elements as Signals in an Online Social Network.  Proceedings of the ACM Computer-Human Interaction Conference. April 2007. San Jose CA.
(Lead author in charge of writing, also involved in all aspects of data collection and study design)

Lampe, C., Garrett, K.  (2007)  It’s All News to Me: Effects of Instruments on Rating Provision.  Submitted 2007 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS).

Lampe, C., Ellison, N., Steinfield, C. (2006)  A Face(book) in the Crowd: Social Searching vs. Social Browsing. ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Banff, VC.

Margaret L. Hedstrom, Christopher A. Lee, Judith S. Olson, Clifford A. Lampe  “The old version flickers more”: digital preservation from a user's perspective."  The American Archivist 69:1 (2006).

Lampe, C. and E. Johnston (2005). Follow the (Slash) dot: Effects of Feedback on New Members in an Online Community. International Conference on Supporting Group Work, GROUP '05, Sanibel Island, FL, ACM Press.

Lampe, C. and Resnick, P. (2004)  Slash(dot) and Burn: Distributed Moderation in a Large Online Conversation Space.  Proceedings of the ACM Computer-Human Interaction Conference.  April 2004.  Vienna, Austria.

Hedstrom, M. and Lampe, C. (2001) “Emulation vs. Migration: Do Users Care?” RLG Diginews.

Non-Proceedings Conference Publications

Ellison, N., Vitak, J., Lampe, C., Gray, R., & Brooks, B. (2011, September). Cultivating social resources: The relationship between bridging social capital and Facebook use among adults. Paper presented at A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society. Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK.

Lampe, C., LaRose, R., Steinfield, C., DeMaagd, K. (2011, May) Inherent Barrier to Social Media Use in Public Sector Organizations.  Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Boston MA.

Vitak, J., & Ellison, N. (2010, November). “There's a network out there you might as well tap”: Social support and information-sharing on Facebook by adult users. Paper presented at the 96th Annual Conference of the National Communication Association, San Francisco.

Smock, A., Ellison, N. B., Wohn, D. (2010, November.) Facebook as a toolkit: Motivations predicting feature use. Paper to be presented at the 96th Annual Conference of the National Communication Association, San Francisco.

Lampe, C., Ellison, N., Vitak, J., Wohn, Y., & Wash, R. (2010, June). Social sensemaking: Propensity to use Facebook to reduce classroom equivocality. Paper presented at the 60th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Singapore.

Book Chapters

Steinfield, C., Ellison, N., Lampe, C., & Vitak, J. (forthcoming). Online social network sites and the concept of social capital. In F. L. F. Lee, L. Leung, J. L. Qui, & D. S. C. Chu (Eds.), The Internet turning 40 (working title). New York: Routledge.

Lampe, C. (in press) Second Order Effects of Reputation Systems.  Chapter in an MIT Press book on reputation systems.

Ellison, N.B., Vitak, J., Steinfield, C., Gray, R. & Lampe, C. (2011). Negotiating privacy concerns and social capital needs in a social media environment. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy Online: Perspectives on Privacy and Self-Disclosure in the Social Web. Heidelberg and New York: Springer

Ellison, N., Lampe, C., Steinfield, C., & Vitak, J. (2010). With a little help from my Friends: Social network sites and social capital. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), The networked self: Identity, community and culture on social network sites. New York: Routledge.

Lampe, C. and Resnick, P. (2004) Recommender and Reputation Systems. In “Berkshire encyclopedia of human-computer-interaction”. Ed Bainbridge, W.S. Berkshire Publishing Group, Great Barrington, MA.

Professional publications

Nardi, B., Ellison, N. & Lampe, C. (In press). "Understanding Science: Context for Senator Tom Coburn’s ‘Under the Microscope’ Report." In Interactions. New York: ACM Press.

Lampe, C., Resnick, P., Forte, A., Yardi, S., Rotman, D., Marshall, T., et al. (2010). Educational Priorities for Technology Mediate Social Participation. Computer, 43, 60-67.

Ellison, Nicole, Lampe, Cliff, & Steinfield, Charles. (2009). Social Network Sites and Society: Current Trends and Future Possibilities. Interactions Magazine (16) 1.