The Effect of 'Following' on Contributions to Open Source Communities
Thirty Sixth International Conference on Information Systems, Fort Worth, 2015
10 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 22, 2015
Online communities have been growing rapidly in the last two decades and at the same time becoming more diverse. Millions of internet users actively contribute to various types of online communities ranging from user generated contents and social media to collaborative content communities, on a daily bases. Although numerous studies have examined members’ motivation to contribute to such communities, the positive effect of social factors has not been unanimously confirmed in different settings. In this study, we estimate the effect of “online following,” a basic form of online social interaction, on members’ contributions in open source software (OSS) communities. This estimation is based on analysis of a large-scale dataset of 4 million online members and their interactions over 7 years, collected from the largest OSS community. The results have implications for online community designers and OSS scholars.
Keywords: Open Source Software, Open Source Communities, Online Communities, Social Interaction, Online Following
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