A Field Experiment on Using Messaging and Virtual Rewards to Increase User Participation on NanoHUB.org
14 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013 Last revised: 25 Jan 2015
Date Written: May 13, 2013
We conducted an experiment with 30,000 users of a virtual nanotechnology facility, nanoHUB.org. We investigate the effect of virtual points and message framing on user participation in a survey. In one treatment, users receive points for completing the survey. In another treatment, users are exposed to a visual observation cue. We vary the social message, either emphasizing the private benefit to the user or the social benefit to the community of participation. Participation rates are increased through virtual points and for users receiving the private benefit messaging. The observation cue doesn’t have an effect.
Keywords: contribution, field experiment, incentives, online community, public goods
JEL Classification: C72, C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation