“What do you recommend a complete beginner like me to practice?”: Professional self-disclosure in an online community

Yubo Kou, Colin M. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


CSCW scholarship has previously addressed how professionals use digital technologies for learning and communication, but limited attention has been paid to professional self-disclosure on social media. Acts of self-disclosure—intentionally revealing personal information to others—are often considered beneficial for communication and formation of relationships, and describing the role of disclosure in professional communication is important to advance CSCW research that focuses on occupations or organizational settings. In this paper, we present a mixed-methods study of professional self-disclosure in an online community focused on user experience design (UX), documenting how acts of self-disclosure may support professional development. We found that self-disclosure was frequently used as an effective rhetorical and content-focused strategy to provoke discussions and request assistance with the goal of developing or maintaining professional competence. Through the identification of these self-disclosure strategies, we discuss professional self-disclosure in relation to professional identity development in online communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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