I’m Charles Kiene. I am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. I am advised by Professor Benjamin Mako Hill.

As part of my doctoral research, I study organizational behavior of volunteer-based groups that manage communities in computer-mediated, online settings, such as Discord servers, subreddits, and MMORPG guilds. Topics include:

  • Massive influxes of newcomers
  • Technological change and adaption
  • Organizational culture and conflicts
  • Emergence and evolution of rules
  • Turnover and division of labor

I use interviewing and ethnographic research methods for inductive qualitative studies of the groups that manage online communities. I also use computational social science methods (programming and maintaining automated web crawling software in SQL databases; machine learning; statistical modeling) for collecting and analyzing data as part of both descriptive and deductive research studies of online communities.

Research Papers

TeBlunthuis, N., Kiene, C., Brown, I., Levi, L. (Alia), McGinnis, N., & Hill, B. M. (2022). No Community Can Do Everything: Why People Participate in Similar Online Communities. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction: Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 6. https://doi.org/10.1145/3512908

C. Kiene and B. Hill. 2020. Who Uses Bots? A Statistical Analysis of Bot Usage in Moderation Teams. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1145/3334480.3382960

C. Kiene, Jialun “Aaron” Jiang, and B. Hill. 2019. “Technological Frames and User Innovation: Exploring Technological Change in Community Moderation Teams.” Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 3, CSCW, Article 44 (November 2019), 23 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3359146 PDF

Jialun “Aaron” Jiang, C. Kiene, S. Middler, J. R. Brubaker, and C. Fiesler. 2019. Moderation Challenges in Voice-based Online Communities on Discord. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 3, CSCW , Article 55 (November 2019), 23 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3359157 PDF

C. Kiene, A. Shaw, and B. Hill, “Organizational Culture in Online Group Mergers” in Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 2, CSCW, Article 89, New York, NY, USA, Nov 2018. https://doi.org/10.1145/3274358 PDF

C. Kiene, A. Monroy-Hernández, and B. Hill, “Surviving an ‘Eternal September’: How an Online Community Managed a Surge of Newcomers,” in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16), San Jose, California, USA, May 2016. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2858356 PDF


C. Kiene, E. Chandrasekharan, J. Seering, S. Gilbert, S. Jhaver, B. Dosono, A. Jiang, K. Lo, Y. Wohn, B. Dym, and K. Shores, “Volunteer Work: Mapping the Future of Moderation Research.” in CSCW ’19 Companion, Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion Publication, Nov 2019. https://doi.org/10.1145/3311957.3359443

T. Bipat, B. Hecht, C. Kiene, D. McDonald, M. Zachry, “Navigating the Challenges of Multi-Site Research,” in CSCW 2018, Workshops, New York, NY, USA, Nov 2018. https://doi.org/10.1145/3272973.3273014

Other Interests

Outside of academia, I enjoy spending time with my wife Hillary and our two cats and puppy, lifting weights, hiking mountains, and photography. I am also into streetwear fashion and technical clothing.

Hillary & Charlie on RAT beach in southern California.