Big Since the Beginning. Assessing Online Contributors' Behavior by Their First Contribution.
LR-MOS, University of La Rochelle; Université de Rennes I - Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM)
Telecom Bretagne, iSchool; M@rsouin (Môle Amoricain de Recherche sur la Société de l'information et les Usages d'Internet)
January 9, 2012
This paper aims at investigating the process of involvement in open online communities producing knowledge, via the link between first contribution and current involvement. We challenge the fact that in many communities based on voluntary contributions, becoming a core members starts with peripheral contributive activities and results from a continuous learning process. Our results, based on 13,000 answers to a survey on the use and contributions to Wikipedia, show that the future level of users' involvement is function of the time between the discovery of Wikipedia and the first contribution (negatively), and of the effort put in the first contribution (positively). The roles of the motivations and environment for the first contribution are also investigated. Implications for management are also discussed as we know that better understanding how to optimize the level of (new) contributions is of the highest importance for online communities, being open or intra-organization.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: voluntary participation, Wikipedia, survey, econometric studies, Probit, Heckman
JEL Classification: L17, L86, H41working papers series
Date posted: January 10, 2012 ; Last revised: July 4, 2014
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