|What's mine is mine: territoriality in collaborative authoring|
|Authors:||Jennifer Thom-Santelli, Daniel Regis Cosley, Geri Gay|
|Citation:||CHI '09 Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems : 1481-1484. 2009 April 4-9.|
|Publication type:||Conference paper|
|Google Scholar cites:||Citations|
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Territoriality, the expression of ownership towards an object, can emerge when social actors occupy a shared social space. In the case of Wikipedia, the prevailing cultural norm is one that warns against ownership of oneâ€™s work. However, the authors observe the emergence of territoriality in online space with respect to a subset of articles that have been tagged with the Maintained template through a qualitative study of 15 editors who have self-designated as Maintainers. The participants communicated ownership, demarcated boundaries and asserted their control over artifacts for the sake of quality by appropriating existing features of Wikipedia. The authors then suggest design strategies to support these behaviours in the proper context within collaborative authoring systems more generally.
"Territoriality, the expression of ownership towards an object, can emerge when social actors occupy a shared social space. In the case of Wikipedia, the prevailing cultural norm is one that warns against ownership of one's work. However, we observe the emergence of territoriality in online space with respect to a subset of articles that have been tagged with the Maintained template through a qualitative study of 15 editors who have self-designated as Maintainers. In this paper, we present the results of a qualitative study exploring the expression of territoriality online, using Wikipedia as an example. We describe how a group of lead users express territoriality in this space by appropriating existing functionality to exert control over artifacts."
|Research design:||Statistical analysis|
|Data source:||Experiment responses, Interview responses|
|Collected data time dimension:||Cross-sectional|
|Unit of analysis:||User|
|Wikipedia data extraction:||N/A|
|Wikipedia page type:||N/A|
"Our data revealed that territoriality does emerge within online space—and that when a hierarchical style of collaboration is crucial to success, territorial behavior may be valuable. However, it can also have a negative effect by deterring new member participation. Instead of negotiating with a Maintainer who reverts their contributions, new editors of an article might just give up on the article, or the community as a whole. To maintain the health of a collaborative social system, encouraging a diverse pool of participants to help maintain documents may help slow the decay of artifact quality. We found that Maintainers were amenable to small formatting changes made by other editors. Collaborative authoring system might support this kind of collaboration with an expertise locator that allows lead contributors to more easily choose collaborators with desired skills, especially ones that do this kind of minor work. This type of system may also have an educational benefit by helping newer members who are learn community norms through incremental participation . Retaining the expertise of longtime community members, however, is also essential to the survival of a collaborative authoring environment. Building upon , we propose that visible markers can be intelligently routed to users who display a pattern of leadership behaviors consistent with those we observed in our interviews. The outward expression of ownership may encourage community attachment and member retention so that longtime contributors have a more systematically recognized outlet to demonstrate commitment to other participants. However, these markers should not encourage excessive in-group and out-group identity such that newer community members are deterred from participation. We also note that the expression of ownership may be less productive in certain contexts as well, such as edit wars which may adversely affect the quality of the information found within an authoring environment . However, we observe that territoriality can be a valuable component to the collaborative process in an appropriate context, particularly when during labor-intensive periods of work, such as initial document creation . As a result, careful encouragement of marking, control and defense behaviors, along with tools that support these behaviors when appropriate, may lead to more productive user experiences within collaborative systems, when balanced with measures that allow for full community participation"