The impact of membership overlap on the survival of online communities

Haiyi Zhu, Robert E. Kraut, Aniket Kittur

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

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

If people belong to multiple online communities, their joint membership can influence the survival of each of the communities to which they belong. Communities with many joint memberships may struggle to get enough of their members' time and attention, but find it easy to import best practices from other communities. In this paper, we study the effects of membership overlap on the survival of online communities. By analyzing the historical data of 5673 Wikia communities, we find that higher levels of membership overlap are positively associated with higher survival rates of online communities. Furthermore, we find that it is beneficial for young communities to have shared members who play a central role in other mature communities. Our contributions are two-fold. Theoretically, by examining the impact of membership overlap on the survival of online communities we identified an important mechanism underlying the success of online communities. Practically, our findings may guide community creators on how to effectively manage their members, and tool designers on how to support this task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOne of a CHInd - Conference Proceedings, 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages281-290
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450324731
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Apr 26 2014May 1 2014

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014
CountryCanada
CityToronto, ON
Period4/26/145/1/14

Keywords

  • Membership overlap
  • Online communities
  • Survival analysis

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