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Why Wikipedia: self-efficacy and self-esteem in a knowledge-political battle for an egalitarian epistemology
Abstract What makes people contribute voluntarily tWhat makes people contribute voluntarily to Wikipedia? A new qualitative empirical study uncovers new motives, publication strategies and social dynamics in Wikipedia. In addition to the motives treated in the existing scientific literature such as status through status play, altruism through ideological identification, identity through community, the analysis uncovers three other motives through theoretical probability-making and empirical demonstration. Consequently, the following three motives must be added to the repertoire of possible motives for contributing voluntarily to Wikipedia. Firstly, the contributors experience a unique and cheap feeling of self-efficacy. They feel that they are efficient and able to handle the tasks that they take upon themselves. This feeling is caused by the fact that many types of contributions may be experienced as a successful contribution, from small text corrections to authoring of complete lexicon articles. Secondly, the contributors get a unique and cheap experience of self-esteem. A feeling that their modest input has a great impact because they are contributing to the creation of a global knowledge good. Thirdly, they are motivated by the ideology that all people have something to bring to Wikipedia. This may be called an egalitarian epistemology. These three motives in combination with the motives described in the literature provide a better and more balanced answer to the above question. The case is the Danish version of Wikipedia and the qualitative survey consists of six qualitative interviews with six contributors.litative interviews with six contributors.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Cross-sectional  +
Comments This is conducted in the Danish Wikipedia, though there is no such option in our 'Wikipedia language' field
Conclusion The answer is that they do it to achieve sThe answer is that they do it to achieve status, feel that they are part of the community, for political reasons, for identity, learning, joy of creating and because it is fun it itself. They do it because they believe in the ideology of a common free virtual knowledge good and fight for an egalitarian epistemology. They do it because it gives them a unique and cheap feeling of self-efficacy and self-esteem. Which of these motives is most important, when and how, depends on the different historical stages, social roles and work assignments in Wikipedia. The optimal strategy for realizing most of these benefits with the lowest possible risk and smallest possible investment is by writing articles on narrow subjects with few readers as a niche expert. That is why we have Wikipedia.che expert. That is why we have Wikipedia.
Data source Interview responses  +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Why%2BWikipedia%3A%2Bself-efficacy%2Band%2Bself-esteem%2Bin%2Ba%2Bknowledge-political%2Bbattle%2Bfor%2Ban%2Begalitarian%2Bepistemology%22  +
Has author Timme Bisgaard Munk +
Has domain Philosophy and ethics + , Information systems +
Has topic Contributor motivation +
Issue 4  +
Pages 13-34  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Observatorio (OBS*) +
Research design Content analysis  +
Research questions What makes people contribute voluntarily to Wikipedia?
Revid 11,057  +
Theories This empirical study is based on the theorThis empirical study is based on the theory of Wikipedia as a common good with the three above-mentioned supplementary motives. According to this theory, Wikipedia may be perceived as a virtual free common knowledge good with the opportunities and problems that arise when many people are collectively working to create common good in the physical as well as in the virtual world (Samuelson, 1954; Olson, 1970; Ostrom, 1994; Shirky, 2008); Olson, 1970; Ostrom, 1994; Shirky, 2008)
Theory type Explanation  +
Title Why Wikipedia: self-efficacy and self-esteem in a knowledge-political battle for an egalitarian epistemology
Unit of analysis User  +
Url http://obs.obercom.pt/index.php/obs/article/view/248  +
Volume 3  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction N/A  +
Wikipedia language Danish  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2009  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:33:40  +
Categories Contributor motivation  + , Philosophy and ethics  + , Information systems  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:32:30  +
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