Searching for the goldilocks zone

Trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups

Loxley Sijia Wang, Jilin Chen, Yuqing Ren, John Riedl

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

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dedicated and productive members who actively contribute to community efforts are crucial to the success of online volunteer groups such as Wikipedia. What predicts member productivity? Do productive members stay longer? How does involvement in multiple projects affect member contribution to the community? In this paper, we analyze data from 648 WikiProjects to address these questions. Our results reveal two critical trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups. First, factors that increase member productivity, measured by the number of edits on Wikipedia articles, also increase likelihood of withdrawal from contributing, perhaps due to feelings of mission accomplished or burnout. Second, individual membership in multiple projects has mixed effects. It decreases the amount of work editors contribute to both the individual projects and Wikipedia as a whole. It increases withdrawal for each individual project yet reduces withdrawal from Wikipedia. We discuss how our findings expand existing theories to fit the online context and inform the design of new tools to improve online volunteer work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages989-998
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 19 2012
EventACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Feb 11 2012Feb 15 2012

Publication series

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

Other

OtherACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period2/11/122/15/12

Fingerprint

Productivity

Keywords

  • online volunteer group
  • productivity
  • trade-off
  • wikipedia
  • withdrawal

Cite this

Wang, L. S., Chen, J., Ren, Y., & Riedl, J. (2012). Searching for the goldilocks zone: Trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups. In CSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 989-998). (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW). https://doi.org/10.1145/2145204.2145351

Searching for the goldilocks zone : Trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups. / Wang, Loxley Sijia; Chen, Jilin; Ren, Yuqing; Riedl, John.

CSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. 2012. p. 989-998 (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW).

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

Wang, LS, Chen, J, Ren, Y & Riedl, J 2012, Searching for the goldilocks zone: Trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups. in CSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW, pp. 989-998, ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12, Seattle, WA, United States, 2/11/12. https://doi.org/10.1145/2145204.2145351
Wang LS, Chen J, Ren Y, Riedl J. Searching for the goldilocks zone: Trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups. In CSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. 2012. p. 989-998. (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW). https://doi.org/10.1145/2145204.2145351
Wang, Loxley Sijia ; Chen, Jilin ; Ren, Yuqing ; Riedl, John. / Searching for the goldilocks zone : Trade-offs in managing online volunteer groups. CSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. 2012. pp. 989-998 (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW).
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