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Where should I send my post? The concept of discourse quality in online communities and its dependency on membership size


Aschoff, Felix-Robinson; Schaer, Verena; Schwabe, Gerhard (2011). Where should I send my post? The concept of discourse quality in online communities and its dependency on membership size. In: 5th International Conference on Communities & Technologies, Brisbane, Australia, 29 June 2011 - 2 July 2011, 69-78.

Abstract

Today's Web users are faced with a large number of available online communities for every domain. While there are rules-of-thumb for the choice of a specific community, the validity of these heuristics has hardly been tested empirically. Furthermore, there is a lack of well-founded measures that allow for a systematic comparison of different online forum communities. In this contribution, we propose the concept of discourse quality as a means to this end. This measure is conceptualized from a user perspective and combines quantitative as well as qualitative parts, including a codebook for content analysis. To show the applicability and the usefulness of this measure, we systematically compare 34 online forums with varying degrees of membership size. We are able to show that the forums with the most members online consistently show high discourse quality. Finally, we discuss the potential of benchmark measures for future online community research.

Abstract

Today's Web users are faced with a large number of available online communities for every domain. While there are rules-of-thumb for the choice of a specific community, the validity of these heuristics has hardly been tested empirically. Furthermore, there is a lack of well-founded measures that allow for a systematic comparison of different online forum communities. In this contribution, we propose the concept of discourse quality as a means to this end. This measure is conceptualized from a user perspective and combines quantitative as well as qualitative parts, including a codebook for content analysis. To show the applicability and the usefulness of this measure, we systematically compare 34 online forums with varying degrees of membership size. We are able to show that the forums with the most members online consistently show high discourse quality. Finally, we discuss the potential of benchmark measures for future online community research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:2 July 2011
Deposited On:10 Feb 2012 11:30
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 11:27
Publisher:Association for Computing Machinery
Series Name:Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies
ISBN:978-1-4503-0824-3
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/2103354.2103364
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:5880

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