Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design (MIT Press)
Robert E. Kraut, Paul Resnick
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Online communities are among the most popular destinations on the Internet, but not all online communities are equally successful. For every flourishing Facebook, there is a moribund Friendster -- not to mention the scores of smaller social networking sites that never attracted enough members to be viable. This book offers lessons from theory and empirical research in the social sciences that can help improve the design of online communities.
The authors draw on the literature in psychology, economics, and other social sciences, as well as their own research, translating general findings into useful design claims. They explain, for example, how to encourage information contributions based on the theory of public goods, and how to build members' commitment based on theories of interpersonal bond formation. For each design claim, they offer supporting evidence from theory, experiments, or observational studies.
protection from newcomers and, 217–221 pseudonyms and, 158–161, 168t psychology and, 129, 131, 141, 155, 157 (see also Psychology) public bad problem and, 129 reciprocity and, 8, 31, 102–104, 113t, 115 recruitment and, 161 regulation of, 125–170 (see also Regulation) reputation systems and, 131, 156–158, 160, 168t, 170n3 rewards and, 153–166 sanctions and, 153–166 shills and, 68, 128, 135 Slashdot and, 131, 133–134, 154, 159 social contact and, 43–47, 106
However, even if a reward decreases intrinsic motivation, if it increases extrinsic motivation more, it will have its desired design effect of increasing the probability that people will perform the action. The net effects of a reward will depend upon how it simultaneously influences these two types of motivations. If designers offer a tangible incentive for a contribution, like the money that Threadless contributors can earn for their T-shirt designs, the incentive is likely to increase their
there is still a visible trace that nonnormative behavior occurred. When a message is moved or removed without leaving a trace, others will no longer know that a violation occurred. Wookieepedia, a wiki dedicated to Star Wars (http://starwars.wikia.com, Wookieepedia 2010), has a prominent page on being civil and respectful, which includes examples of personal attacks that should be avoided. Sometimes conflict continues to escalate and mediators are brought in to help resolve it, in which case
moderator is less likely to generate drama or retaliation than the same message coming from someone without a formal role. Second, steps can be taken to prevent direct retaliation. For example, in 2008 eBay introduced a new rule under which sellers are not allowed to submit negative or neutral feedback any more—only positive. That change eliminated the possibility of sellers retaliating with negative feedback when they received it and should make buyers more willing to give negative feedback.
Researchers have been studying ways to automatically discover these influencers by analyzing the graph structure of the social network with computer algorithms. For instance, Domingos and Richardson (2001) showed that by analyzing the way opinions appear to flow along a social network, one can choose users who would be the best people to market a product to. These users are the ones who would most influence other users in the social network to use the product. Kempe, Kleinberg, and Tardos (2003)