Talk amongst yourselves

Inviting users to participate in online conversations

F. Maxwell Harper, Dan Frankowski, Sara Drenner, Yuqing Ren, Sara Kiesler, Loren Terveen, Robert Kraut, John Riedl

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

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many small online communities would benefit from increased diversity or activity in their membership. Some communities run the risk of dying out due to lack of participation. Others struggle to achieve the critical mass necessary for diverse and engaging conversation. But what tools are available to these communities to increase participation? Our goal in this research was to spark contributions to the movielens.org discussion forum, where only 2% of the members write posts. We developed personalized invitations, messages designed to entice users to visit or contribute to the forum. In two field experiments, we ask (1) if personalized invitations increase activity in a discussion forum, (2) how the choice of algorithm for intelligently choosing content to emphasize in the invitation affects participation, and (3) how the suggestion made to the user affects their willingness to act. We find that invitations lead to increased participation, as measured by levels of reading and posting. More surprisingly, we find that invitations emphasizing the social nature of the discussion forum increase user activity, while invitations emphasizing other details of the discussion are less successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIUI 2007
Subtitle of host publication2007 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces
Pages62-71
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2007
Event12th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2007Jan 31 2007

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI

Other

Other12th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2007
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI
Period1/28/071/31/07

Fingerprint

Electric sparks
Experiments

Keywords

  • Discussion forums
  • Incentives
  • Invitations
  • Online community
  • Personalization

Cite this

Harper, F. M., Frankowski, D., Drenner, S., Ren, Y., Kiesler, S., Terveen, L., ... Riedl, J. (2007). Talk amongst yourselves: Inviting users to participate in online conversations. In IUI 2007: 2007 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (pp. 62-71). (International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI). https://doi.org/10.1145/1216295.1216313

Talk amongst yourselves : Inviting users to participate in online conversations. / Harper, F. Maxwell; Frankowski, Dan; Drenner, Sara; Ren, Yuqing; Kiesler, Sara; Terveen, Loren; Kraut, Robert; Riedl, John.

IUI 2007: 2007 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. 2007. p. 62-71 (International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI).

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

Harper, FM, Frankowski, D, Drenner, S, Ren, Y, Kiesler, S, Terveen, L, Kraut, R & Riedl, J 2007, Talk amongst yourselves: Inviting users to participate in online conversations. in IUI 2007: 2007 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI, pp. 62-71, 12th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2007, Honolulu, HI, United States, 1/28/07. https://doi.org/10.1145/1216295.1216313
Harper FM, Frankowski D, Drenner S, Ren Y, Kiesler S, Terveen L et al. Talk amongst yourselves: Inviting users to participate in online conversations. In IUI 2007: 2007 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. 2007. p. 62-71. (International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI). https://doi.org/10.1145/1216295.1216313
Harper, F. Maxwell ; Frankowski, Dan ; Drenner, Sara ; Ren, Yuqing ; Kiesler, Sara ; Terveen, Loren ; Kraut, Robert ; Riedl, John. / Talk amongst yourselves : Inviting users to participate in online conversations. IUI 2007: 2007 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. 2007. pp. 62-71 (International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI).
@inproceedings{4fb1be002bfe446682741ab796826b2d,
title = "Talk amongst yourselves: Inviting users to participate in online conversations",
abstract = "Many small online communities would benefit from increased diversity or activity in their membership. Some communities run the risk of dying out due to lack of participation. Others struggle to achieve the critical mass necessary for diverse and engaging conversation. But what tools are available to these communities to increase participation? Our goal in this research was to spark contributions to the movielens.org discussion forum, where only 2{\%} of the members write posts. We developed personalized invitations, messages designed to entice users to visit or contribute to the forum. In two field experiments, we ask (1) if personalized invitations increase activity in a discussion forum, (2) how the choice of algorithm for intelligently choosing content to emphasize in the invitation affects participation, and (3) how the suggestion made to the user affects their willingness to act. We find that invitations lead to increased participation, as measured by levels of reading and posting. More surprisingly, we find that invitations emphasizing the social nature of the discussion forum increase user activity, while invitations emphasizing other details of the discussion are less successful.",
keywords = "Discussion forums, Incentives, Invitations, Online community, Personalization",
author = "Harper, {F. Maxwell} and Dan Frankowski and Sara Drenner and Yuqing Ren and Sara Kiesler and Loren Terveen and Robert Kraut and John Riedl",
year = "2007",
month = "9",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1145/1216295.1216313",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "1595934812",
series = "International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI",
pages = "62--71",
booktitle = "IUI 2007",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Talk amongst yourselves

T2 - Inviting users to participate in online conversations

AU - Harper, F. Maxwell

AU - Frankowski, Dan

AU - Drenner, Sara

AU - Ren, Yuqing

AU - Kiesler, Sara

AU - Terveen, Loren

AU - Kraut, Robert

AU - Riedl, John

PY - 2007/9/28

Y1 - 2007/9/28

N2 - Many small online communities would benefit from increased diversity or activity in their membership. Some communities run the risk of dying out due to lack of participation. Others struggle to achieve the critical mass necessary for diverse and engaging conversation. But what tools are available to these communities to increase participation? Our goal in this research was to spark contributions to the movielens.org discussion forum, where only 2% of the members write posts. We developed personalized invitations, messages designed to entice users to visit or contribute to the forum. In two field experiments, we ask (1) if personalized invitations increase activity in a discussion forum, (2) how the choice of algorithm for intelligently choosing content to emphasize in the invitation affects participation, and (3) how the suggestion made to the user affects their willingness to act. We find that invitations lead to increased participation, as measured by levels of reading and posting. More surprisingly, we find that invitations emphasizing the social nature of the discussion forum increase user activity, while invitations emphasizing other details of the discussion are less successful.

AB - Many small online communities would benefit from increased diversity or activity in their membership. Some communities run the risk of dying out due to lack of participation. Others struggle to achieve the critical mass necessary for diverse and engaging conversation. But what tools are available to these communities to increase participation? Our goal in this research was to spark contributions to the movielens.org discussion forum, where only 2% of the members write posts. We developed personalized invitations, messages designed to entice users to visit or contribute to the forum. In two field experiments, we ask (1) if personalized invitations increase activity in a discussion forum, (2) how the choice of algorithm for intelligently choosing content to emphasize in the invitation affects participation, and (3) how the suggestion made to the user affects their willingness to act. We find that invitations lead to increased participation, as measured by levels of reading and posting. More surprisingly, we find that invitations emphasizing the social nature of the discussion forum increase user activity, while invitations emphasizing other details of the discussion are less successful.

KW - Discussion forums

KW - Incentives

KW - Invitations

KW - Online community

KW - Personalization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34648831846&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34648831846&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1145/1216295.1216313

DO - 10.1145/1216295.1216313

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 1595934812

SN - 9781595934819

T3 - International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI

SP - 62

EP - 71

BT - IUI 2007

ER -