Crowdsourcing, Attention and Productivity
Bernardo A. Huberman
Daniel M. Romero
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Bristol
September 12, 2008
The tragedy of the digital commons does not prevent the copious voluntary production of content that one witnesses in the web. We show through an analysis of a massive data set from YouTube that the productivity exhibited in crowdsourcing exhibits a strong positive dependence on attention, measured by the number of downloads. Conversely, a lack of attention leads to a decrease in the number of videos uploaded and the consequent drop in productivity, which in many cases asymptotes to no uploads whatsoever. Moreover, uploaders compare themselves to others when having low productivity and to themselves when exceeding a threshold.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: digital commons, social attention, productivity, crowdsourcing
JEL Classification: E23,C92, D70, D83, M37working papers series
Date posted: September 14, 2008 ; Last revised: September 25, 2008
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