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June 1, 2009

Feed Me: Motivating Newcomer Contribution in Social Network Sites

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Social networking sites (SNS) are only as good as the content their users share. Therefore, designers of SNS seek to improve the overall user experience by encouraging members to contribute more content. However, user motivations for contribution in SNS are not well understood. This is particularly true for newcomers, who may not recognize the value of contribution. Using server log data from approximately 140,000 newcomers in Facebook, we predict long-term sharing based on the experiences the newcomers have in their first two weeks. We test four mechanisms: social learning, singling out, feedback, and distribution.

By: Moira Burke, Cameron Marlow, Thomas Lento