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My kind of people?: perceptions about Wikipedia contributors and their motivations
Abstract Perceptions of information products such aPerceptions of information products such as Wikipedia can depend on assumptions and stereotypes about the people who create them. As new Wikipedians consider contributing they are likely to apply such assumptions and ask themselves: "Are Wikipedia contributors my kind of people? Is this a group I'd like to belong to?" In this qualitative study I address the potential challenge of these questions by exploring readers and infrequent editors' perceptions of Wikipedia contributors and their motivations. Through analysis of twenty semi-structured interviews, I find evidence of strong negative perceptions as well as positive ones which nonetheless prevent users from identifying with active Wikipedia contributors. I argue that these perceptions present a barrier to the progression of participation over time. I conclude by discussing the practical challenges of my findings for Wikipedia and other online collaborative systems.ia and other online collaborative systems.
Added by wikilit team Yes  +
Collected data time dimension Cross-sectional  +
Comments This paper is related to Antin's doctoral thesis, that is also included in Wikilit
Conclusion "In this study I have focused attention on"In this study I have focused attention on potential contributors’ assumptions about active contributors. These assumptions, I have argued, can constrain or enable users from progressing to richer forms of participation. My results constitute evidence that at least some potential contributors tell themselves “active contributors are not my kind of people.” Whether positive (the Hacker Ethic) or negative (the Wikipedia “geek” stereotype), most of my participants concluded that they either could not identify as an active contributor or would not want to. However, much future research remains. This study has focused on a deep exploration of meaning in an interview setting. The consistent repetition of ideas and themes within my sample lends weight to the results. However, future research should establish representativeness beyond my sample and beyond Wikipedia. Having identified some potentially problematic stereotypes, survey research in particular would help determine how widespread such stereotypes might be. Armed with this information, Wikipedia could design an informed strategy for cultivating new users over time, reinvigorating its user base and drawing in a more diverse array of invested users. Furthermore, understanding the kinds of stories people tell themselves about their own place in complex collaborative communities will improve our ability to design and maintain sustainable online collaboration." (p. 3419)stainable online collaboration." (p. 3419)
Conference location Vancouver, BC, Canada +
Data source Interview responses  +
Dates 2011-05-07 +
Doi 10.1145/1978942.1979451 +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22My%2Bkind%2Bof%2Bpeople%3F%3A%2Bperceptions%2Babout%2BWikipedia%2Bcontributors%2Band%2Btheir%2Bmotivations%22  +
Has author Judd David Antin +
Has domain Computer science + , Information systems +
Has topic Contributor motivation + , Community building +
Month 05  +
Pages 3411-3420  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Conference paper  +
Published in CHI '11 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems +
Publisher ACM +
Research design Case study  +
Research questions [What are] "perceptions about Wikipedia’s contributors among readers and infrequent editors"?
Revid 10,879  +
Theories Hacker ethic by Himanen
Theory type Analysis  +
Title My kind of people?: perceptions about Wikipedia contributors and their motivations
Unit of analysis N/A  +
Url http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1215943  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction N/A  +
Wikipedia language Not specified  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2011  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 23 January 2014 13:55:40  +
Categories Contributor motivation  + , Community building  + , Computer science  + , Information systems  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:30:03  +
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