Online health communities are designed to help their users acquire social support, but developing self-sustaining communities capable of providing that support requires long-term user retention. Therefore, understanding the factors early in a user's experience that predict their long-term retention is important. In this study, we explore the impact of short-term visitor engagement on long-term user retention. We study users of CaringBridge.org, an online health community for communicating about health journeys, using survival analysis methods to quantify the impact of engagement on retention. First, we explicitly compare the impact of non-text "likes'' to text comments, surprisingly finding that likes exceed comments in their impact on retention for some users. Second, we compare less active and more active users in their response to visitor engagement, finding that more active users are less affected by short-term visitor engagement. We discuss the implications of our findings for the design of OHCs and for future work on visitor engagement.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||CSCW 2020 Companion - Conference Companion Publication of the 2020 Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Oct 17 2020|
|Event||3rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States|
Duration: Oct 17 2020 → Oct 21 2020
|Name||Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW|
|Conference||3rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2020|
|Period||10/17/20 → 10/21/20|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 Owner/Author.
- Online health community
- Survival analysis
- User engagement