One and done: Factors affecting one-time contributors to ad-hoc online communities

Brian J. Mcinnis, Elizabeth L. Murnane, Dmitry Epstein, Dan Cosley, Gilly Leshed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Often, attention to "community" focuses on motivating core members or helping newcomers become regulars. However, much of the traffic to online communities comes from people who visit only briefly. We hypothesize that their personal characteristics, design elements of the site, and others' activity all affect the contributions these "one-timers" make. We present the results from an experiment asking Amazon Mechanical Turk ("AMT") workers to comment on the AMT participation agreement in a discussion forum. One-timers with stronger ties to other Turkers or feelings of trust for Amazon are more likely to leave more - but shorter and less relevant- comments, while those with higher self-efficacy leave longer and more relevant comments. The phrasing of prompts also matters; a general appeal for personally-reflective contributions leads to comments that are less relevant to community discussion topics. Finally, activity matters too; synchronous activity begets responses, while pre-existing content tends to suppress them. These findings suggest design moves that can help communities harness this "long tail" of contribution.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2016
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages609-623
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450335928
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2016 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 27 Feb 20162 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW
Volume27

Conference

Conference19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period27/02/162/03/16

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement We thank all the Turker participants, whose thoughtful comments inspired additional research. Thanks also to Marie Kurahashi-Sofue, Josselyn Tsai, Cynthia Farina, Mary Newhart, and the Cornell eRulemaking Initiative (CeRI) team for all their help in the project. This work is supported by NSF IIS 0910664, IIS 1422484, IIS 1405634, and HCC 1314778

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 ACM.

Keywords

  • Amazon mechanical turk
  • One-time participation
  • Online community

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