Arguello, J., Butler, B. S., Joyce, E., Kraut, R., Ling, K. S., Rosé, C., & Wang, X. (2006, April). Talk to me: foundations for successful individual-group interactions in online communities. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (pp. 959-968). ACM.
People come to online communities seeking information, encouragement, and conversation. When a community responds, participants benefit and become more committed. Yet interactions often fail. In a longitudinal sample of 6,172 messages from 8 Usenet newsgroups, 27% of posts received no response. The information context, posters’ prior engagement in the community, and the content of their posts all influenced the likelihood that they received a reply, and, as a result, their willingness to continue active participation. Posters were less likely to get a reply if they were newcomers. Posting ontopic, introducing oneself via autobiographical testimonials, asking questions, using less complex language and other features of the messages, increased replies. Results suggest ways that developers might increase the ability of online communities to support successful individual-group interactions.