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Encouraging Contribution

Encouraging Contribution

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Encouraging Contribution

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  1. Encouraging Contribution

  2. Today’s goals Introduction to view of social design based on social science theory Application to the problems of contribution to online groups Introduction to Wikipedia assignment

  3. Broad Definition of Online Community • Any virtual space where people come together for interaction, to get or give information or support from peers, to learn, to discuss, to be with others online (Preece, 2003) • Persistence • Common or complementary goals • Interaction, often text-based • Differences among them in purpose, size, organization, etc. both shape how they operate and are factors that can be influenced by community designers & managers

  4. Online communities face challenges typical of off-line groups • Community start-up • Recruit, select and socialize members • Encourage commitment • Elicit contribution • Regulate behavior • Coordinate activity But anonymity, weak ties, high turnover, & lack of institutionalization make challenges more daunting online

  5. Theory as a Tool for Community Design • “There is nothing so practical as a good theory” --Lewin • Prior social science research will be relevant to making design decisions • “If you want to understand something, try to change it” --Lewin • Conclusions from conventional groups and organizations may need to be modified for the online environment • Analytic, one variable at a time approach may not be compatible with the multidimensional, synthetic task of design • My approach: • Use empirical methods to assess whether existing theory explains success in online groups & develop new generalizations • Translate theory into design claims • Test design claims in field experiments

  6. Online communities face challenges typical of off-line groups • Community start-up • Recruit, select and socialize members • Encourage commitment • Elicit contribution • Regulate behavior • Coordinate activity But anonymity, weak ties, high turnover, & lack of institutionalization make challenges more daunting online

  7. Reasons To Care • Overall goal. Creating sufficient volume of contribution of the resources the group values to provide benefits to group members and others who rely upon the online community • Different communities require different types of contribution • Social support forums: Conversational facts, empathy, offers of help • Recommender systems: Votes, opinions, comments • Facebook: Invites, accepts, wall posts, pictures • WoW guild: Time, particular skills • Threadless: T-shirt designs • OSS: Patches, code, translations, documentation • Wikipedia: New articles, facts, copy-editing, administration work, cash (& yesterday, letters to congressmen)

  8. Unequal Contribution Is Rampant • Across many Internet domains, a small fraction of participants contribute the majority of material • Code in open source projects • Edits in Wikipedia • Illegal music in Gnutella • Answers in technical support groups • Often leads to a power-law/Zipf curve distribution • Is this a problem? • What causes it? • How can social website designers reduce inequality of contribution?

  9. Apache Code 4% of developers (15 people/388) produced • 83% of the MRs and deltas • 88% of added lines, • 91% of deleted lines. Mockus, A., Fielding, R. T., & Herbsleb, J. D. (2002). Two case studies of open source software development: Apache and mozilla. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, 11(3), 309-346.

  10. Most communities have extremely unequal contribution WP Gnutella Apache

  11. Apache Usenet Support Forum • 50% of questions from 24% of info seekers • 50% of answers from 2% of providers Lakhani, K. R., & Hippel, E. V. (2003). How open source software works: "free" user to user assistance. Research Policy, 32, 923-943.

  12. Lurking in 77 health and 21 software support email-based lists Nonnecke, B., & Preece, J. (2000). Lurker demographics: Counting the silent. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI Letters, 4(1), 73-80.

  13. Nielson’s 90-9-1 rule of participation To Overcome Participation Inequality • Make it easier to contribute. • Make participation a side effect. • Edit, don't create. • Reward — but don't over-reward — participants. • Promote quality contributors. People Participation

  14. George Kingsley Zipf, a Harvard linguistics professor: Identifed the relationship btw frequency of an event or object & its rank. (1935) Zipf's law states that the frequency of the Nth largest occurrence of the event is inversely proportional to it's rank y ~ N-b, with b close to unity. Characterizes many phenomenon, where small events are common & large events are rare: e.g., word frequency, earthquakes, city size, author posts, web site visits Digression on Zipf’s curve: Word frequencies

  15. Guassian(normal) vs Pareto (long-tailed) distributions

  16. Number of posts per author X Rank of author Zipf curves: Usenet posts by author rank Power law: log(y) = log(C) - b log(X) Zipf curve: y = C X-b

  17. Inequality of contribution is closer to linear in small, face-to-face groups Is this a online effects Is it a size effect? Unevenness contribution is more extreme online in large online groups than small offline ones Author Rank in Usenet groups

  18. Is “under contribution” (i.e., uneven contribution) a problem?

  19. Is “under contribution” (i.e., uneven contribution) a problem? • Many sites thrive with small numbers of people producing most of the content • Apache server • Usenet • Apache technical support group • Wikipedia

  20. Misleading Because of Survivor Bias • Many communities die or never start up from lack of participation • ~70% of SourceForge development projects have no active members & only 25% of newly registered projects ever get a single new participant • ~50% of “active” listserves have no traffic (Butler, • Generally too much to do • 2/3s of Wikipedia articles are stubs • In Usenet ~ 40% of initial posts get no response • Tasks differ on importance & attractiveness  Hard to direct volunteers to do the most needed or least pleasant work • E.g., In software development, writing code is more fun than user support or documentation  Need tools or techniques to stimulate particular contributions

  21. Themes • What causes contribution & “under-contribution”? • What can a site manager/designer do to insure that the important contributions are made

  22. Utility models in economics & psychology People contribute to achieve outcomes they desire  Increase the direct & indirect benefits from contributions Theories of persuasion Goal setting Multiple Theories in Economics & Social Psychology Relevant to Contribution

  23. Naïve Task Analysis of Online Contribution To get people to contributed needed content : • They need to understand what is wanted • They have to be motivated to provide it • Extrinsic motivations • Intrinsic motivations • Social motivations • They have to be competent to provide it

  24. To increase contributions focus activities through requests • Make the list of needed contributions easily visible to increase the likelihood that the community will provide them

  25. In week after email reminder, contributes quadrupled, to ~ 20 ratings/person from ~5.4 Is this sustainable? Email request to contribute to MovieLens quadruples ratings

  26. Identify who should do the contribution • 400 Chat rooms • “Can you tell me how to see someone’s profile” • Count number of people simultaneously present • Ask by name or not • DV=Time to response Markey(2000)

  27. Ask someone who is willing & able to help: Intelligent Task Routing (Cosley, 2007)

  28. Architecture • Find intersection of articles that need work & are related to articles that a user has worked on

  29. Suggestions

  30. Suggestions Quadruple Editing Rates

  31. Challenges as a special type of request • Have qualities of challenging goal & game

  32. Challenge to redesign the HCII website

  33. Goal Setting Theory • Goals motivate effort, perseverance & performance • Trigger for both self-reward (e.g., self-efficacy) & external reward (e.g., money, reputation, promotion) • Goals are more effective if • Specific & challenging rather than easy goals or vague ‘do your best’ • Immediate, with feedback • People commit selves to the goals – because of importance, incentives, self-esteem, … • People envision the specific circumstance & method they will use to achieve them

  34. Demonstrates That Goals Work:Goal Setting Experiment • Send email to ~900 MovieLens subscribers • Gave non-specific, do your best goal or specific, numerical contribution goals • Assigned goal to individual subscribers or a nominal group of 10 subscribers (the “Explorers”)

  35. Featured Status in Wikipedia as a Challenge Wikipedia edits before and after reaching featured status

  36. Weekly minutes playing World of Warcraft, by level Ducheneaut, N., et al.(2007). The life and death of online gaming communities: A look at guilds in world of warcraft. in SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. San Jose, California, USA. Goals Setting In WoW

  37. Results Specific, challenging goals increased contribution Group assignment increased contributions Goal Experiment Results

  38. Design claims re: goals • Providing members with specific and highly challenging goals will increase their contributions. • Goals have larger effects when people receive frequent feedback about their performance with respect to the goals. • Externally imposed goals can be as effective as self-imposed ones, as long as the goals are important to community members

  39. Motivations for Contributing

  40. That contribution occurs at all seems problematic • Why do people • Upload their music? • Work on open source projects? • Answer helpdesk-like questions in technical & help support groups? • Outline craters as a Mar’s click worker • Assumption that people are working against their self-interest • Expending effort • Giving away labor and intellectual property when others get economic return for similar activities  Search for rational self-interest explanations for seemingly anomalous behavior

  41. Expectancy-Value Model of Motivation • Quasi-economic, expectancy-value model: People work hard to the extent that doing so increases personal payoffs • Expected Utility = P(contribution leads to outcome) X (value of the outcome – contribution costs) • You swim hard (effort)  • You have fast race (individual performance)  • You win the race (Individual outcome)  • You are proud, get reputation as good athlete and girlfriend is grateful (evaluation of outcome) 3 individual performance individual outcome 5 3, 4 4 individual effort individual utility individual motivation 6 6 group performance group outcome

  42. What motivates contributors? • External personal value • Reinforcement • Pay • Privilege • Reputation • … • Intrinsic value of task (e.g., fun, curiosity, challenge) • Social utility • Reciprocity • Identification with the group • Altruism • These are leverage points for interventions to increase motivation

  43. Design claims: Matching experiences with motivations increase people’s willingness to volunteer Recruiting Retention Different people have different motivations to volunteer Clary, E. and Snyder, M., (1999). The motivations to volunteer: Theoretical and practical considerations. Current Directions in Psychological Science. p. 156-159.

  44. Variety of Motives to Participate in Online Communities Methods Sample: 27 active online groups on a variety of topics Data: Open ended responses to “Why did you join this virtual community?” N: 399 respondents 2 judges classified reason into 7 categories (kappa=.88) Ridings, C.M. and Gefen, D., (2004). Virtual community attraction: Why people hang out online. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. 10(1): p. np.

  45. Classification of motivations

  46. Motives Differ by Group Type Information & social motivations dominate But motives differ systematically across groups Health & professional groups seek support Hobby groups seek friendship

  47. Lakhani & von Hippel:How open source software works Research Question: Why do people give each other technical help in software support communities

  48. Recent posts to alt.apache.configuration • From: Hugh Oxford ares...@fas.comSubject: DNS lookup and .htaccessI wish to allow access to a host in the directory's .htaccess file by using the DNS name (in this case a dyndns name). Even though I have switched HostnameLookups to ON, the error logs are still denying the host based on the IP address. The error log is in the ssl_error_log. am using apache 2.Any thoughts? • you are not providing us with info about anything no info from what is in your .htaccess file and no info from your error log... • your client is (not) the same as '' ? verify if they really are the same bye issueing a ping from the command-line, and check if you get the that is mentioned in your logfile. • Best alternative I can think of is to modify the .htaccess by an external, frequently scheduled script. That script should verify the current IP of at its authenticating DNSsever. Given the time it takes to have DNS changes synchronized world wide, preserving at least one previous value too should prevent a lock out shortly after changes are made.

  49. Motivations/Benefits • Intrinsic interest • Identity Reciprocity Self-interest

  50. Why do info providers help? Costless operation They are already reading the boards for private benefit They are web administrators, reading the forums to get information for themselves The info they provide isn’t proprietary. The info they provide is costless. They average less than 3 minutes/question 86% already knew info Costs less for frequent contributors