Self-Organisation of Interest Communities: An Evolutionary Approach
21 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2008
Date Written: June, 2008
The purpose of this paper is to study the role of individual contributions and some aspects of online community infrastructure on the self-organizing process of interest-based community. Contrary to the classical conclusions in which the presence of free-riding behavior damages the sustainability of online community, our findings show that the heterogeneity of individual contributions favor the self-organization of interest-based communities. This result is robust to the introduction of bimodal structure of preference. We also consider two designed strategies which link the ability to provide information for the community and the perceived switching costs. The results show that both positive and negative correlations between contributions and switching costs may lead to the emergence of self-organized community of interest. If agents are (not) sensitive to the diversity of information, a positive (negative) correlation between contributions and switching costs is likely to produce self-organization.
Keywords: Interest community, Internet, Self-organization
JEL Classification: D23, D8, M15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation