Mittwoch, 27. November 2013

Why People Participate in Online Communities

Why do people hang out online and what motivates them to participate in online communities? There are two very interesting studies that provide some insight into the answers of these questions.(continue reading on The Community Manager)

Mittwoch, 25. September 2013

Social Presence, Social Identity and Participation in Online Communities


In an empirical study from 2006, Shen et al. [1] combined two important concepts - social presence and social identity - in order to investigate their effect on community participation. The structural model revealed that social presence is a decisive factor in creating social identity and that the influence of social presence and social identity on participation is bigger than the fulfillment of information needs (one of the primary reasons why people join a community).

Freitag, 30. August 2013

Gamification – What is the benefit for community management?

Gamification is a very young and hot debating topic. The term was not existent before 2010 [1], a fact that might explain that there are so few empirical studies on this subject. Furthermore, the available studies show mixed results [2]. Apparently, the effectiveness of gamification depends on a whole set of interrelated factors (community topic, community type, community size, cultural factors, members' motives and appraisals, the design of the reward system itself etc.). This multitude of determinants makes it difficult to decide whether gamifying one’s own community site may be such a good idea after all.

Montag, 12. August 2013

Sense of community in virtual communities

Sense of community (SOC) is a concept in community psychology with far ranging implications for the management of face-to-face communities. It is applied to geographical communities (i.e. neighbourhoods, blocks, colleges) as well as to relational communities of interest where members are brought together primarily by social interaction and not by territorial demarcation. If you google for instance „developing sense of community“ you will see that SOC is a desirable thing because individuals and institutions devote a lot of energy to its creation. So, can this concept be made operational for the management of virtual communities?

Freitag, 12. April 2013

Why Knowing Your Community Type is Important

Should you ban off-topic discussions in your community? Is it always a good idea to promote growth? Does a large number of anonymous members threaten your community? Three different questions it seems—but the answers have one thing in common: the way the member is attached to the community. Two basic types of communities can be distinguished: members may be attached primarily either to the community as a whole, or to other members. This has some interesting implications (continue reading on The Community Manager).

Mittwoch, 27. März 2013

The effect of community type on member attachment, motivation and participation

Should community management ban off-topic discussions? Is it always a good idea to promote growth? Does a large number of anonymous members threaten the community?Although it isn't obvious at first glance, the three questions have some sort of common denominator: the kind of attachment the member feels for the community.

Sonntag, 10. März 2013

The sources of sense of virtual communitiy: Identity, support and norms

McMillan & Chavis (1986) defined sense of community [SOC] - in the context of face-to-face communities - as a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to
one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through
their commitment to be together. Sense of community has four elements:

Samstag, 9. Februar 2013

From lurking to posting - a community participation framework

Are lurkers beneficial or detrimental to a community? Does it make sense to try to convert lurkers into participants or is it just a waste of time and of ressources that would be better allocated e.g. in taking care of new members? Opinions are divided and like in so many cases the answer to both questions is: It depends. Interventions targeted at delurking aren't outright useless. But it seems, that much can already be achieved by setting the right framework for participation.

Dienstag, 5. Februar 2013

Can Community Management Influence Lurking Behavior?

Most online communities have lurkers. Lurkers are users on the fringe of a community—they observe what happens, but don’t interact, post, or contribute. Most CMs have likely wondered how they can turn lurkers into regular contributors. There’s some academic research that dives into this topic. (continue reading on: The Community Manager)

Freitag, 18. Januar 2013

Sense of Virtual Community: Antecedents and Implications for Community Management

In 2004 Blanchard & Marcus presented their qualitative study of an online community (a member-initiated newsgroup for multiple sport enthusiasts) and introduced the concept of "sense of virtual community" (SOVC). SOVC in a virtual setting is basically the equivalent of McMillan and Chavis' (1986) sense of community observable in real neighbourhoods and face-to-face communities of interest, but there are some differences.

Freitag, 4. Januar 2013

Congrats! 2013 is the 20th anniversary of Howard Rheingold's book "The Virtual Community"

For people who haven't yet read the book, here is the link to the html-version on Howard Rheingold's homepage: http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/intro.html.

My favourite part of the book is chapter 10: Disinformocracy. And this is how it opens:

"Virtual communities could help citizens revitalize democracy, or they could be luring us into an attractively packaged substitute for democratic discourse."

In 1987 Howard Rheingold wrote the article "Virtual Communities - exchanging ideas through computer bulletin boards". It seems that this article is the first known publication of the term "virtual community".