7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

WikiSym 2011

Mountain View, California
October 3-5, 2011

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Online and Offline Interactions in Online Communities

Authors: Wyl McCully, Cliff Lampe, Chandan Sarkar, Alcides Velasquez and Akshaya Sreevinasan.

Abstracts: Online communities, while primarily enacted through technology-mediated environments, can also include offline meetings between members, promoting interactivity and community building. This study explores the offline interactions of online community members and its subsequent impact on online participation. We argue that offline interactions have a counterintuitive impact on online participation. Although these offline interactions strengthen relationships, these relationships undermine the community’s sustainability in terms of site participation. Participation has been defined as contribution of content to the online community. A multi-method analysis technique using content analysis, qualitative interviews, and server level quantitative data of users in Everything2.com supports our claim.

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