How much is a "like" worth? engagement and retention in an online health community

Ruyuan Wan, Zachary Levonian, Svetlana Yarosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2020 Companion - Conference Companion Publication of the 2020 Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages413-417
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380591
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 17 2020
Event3rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 17 2020Oct 21 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW

Conference

Conference3rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2020
CountryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period10/17/2010/21/20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Owner/Author.

Keywords

  • Online health community
  • Survival analysis
  • User engagement

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