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Incentives for Online Communities


Online communities promote wide access to a vast range of skills and knowledge from a heterogeneous group of users. Yet implementations of various online communities lack consistent participation by the most qualified users. Encouraging such expert participation is crucial to the social welfare and widespread adoption of online community systems. Thus, this research proposes techniques for rewarding the most valuable
contributors to several classes of online communities, including question and answer (QA) forums and other content-oriented social networks. Overall, novel quantitative incentives can be used to encourage their participation. Using a game theory approach, this research designs and tests an incentive mechanism for QA systems. Based on survey data gathered from online community users, the proposed mechanism relies on systemic rewards, or rewards that have tangible value within the framework of the online community. This research shows that human users have a strong preference for reciprocal systemic rewards over traditional rewards. Furthermore, this research shows that it is possible to motivate participation from the most valuable contributors to an online community.

D. DeAngelis and K. S. Barber. Incentives for Online Communities. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology (IJCIT). Vol. 3, Issue 06, November 2014. pp. 1229-1240.
Dave DeAngelis,
Mar 13, 2015, 6:15 PM