Effort, Benefits and Commitment on Online Knowledge Communities: An Empirical Study on Yahoo!Answers
30 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2008
Date Written: August 11, 2008
Yahoo!Answers operates a question-answering community of users who post questions and receive answers on various topics. In this paper we examine the effect of activity on service posture (measured by volume and time) as expressed by user contributed effort and user received benefit in an online community facilitated by members of the Yahoo!Answers community. By programming a web crawler to store a random sample of questions posted over a period of one month we used a set of time series, random effects and logistic regression models which confirm to a large extend our formed hypotheses. Findings indicate that the ratio of contributed effort and received benefit has an effect on service posture (volume and time). In particular we find that users who contribute more effort in the community than received benefit get a question answered by more users in less time than users who receive more benefit than the effort they contribute to the community.
Keywords: Online Communities, Activity, Effort, Electronic Groups
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