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

See all articles by Anya Savikhin Samek

Anya Savikhin Samek

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR); University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Gerhard Klimeck

Purdue University - School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date Written: May 13, 2013

Abstract

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

Samek, Anya Savikhin and Klimeck, Gerhard, A Field Experiment on Using Messaging and Virtual Rewards to Increase User Participation on NanoHUB.org (May 13, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344049 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2344049

Anya Savikhin Samek (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Gerhard Klimeck

Purdue University - School of Electrical and Computer Engineering ( email )

Electrical Engineering Building
465 Northwestern Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

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