Community Strategy Insights

The latest insights on community strategy, technology, and value by FeverBee’s founder, Richard Millington

Social Responses To Questions

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

An interesting paper to note:

Contrary to the theory of reciprocity, and in line with predictions by the bystander effect, we found that receiving high quality answers negatively influenced new knowledge seekers’ future likelihood of knowledge contribution.

Consistent with the social exchange theory, receiving high quality answers positively affected newcomers’ future knowledge seeking behaviors. Social responses (votes to the new members’ questions) were found to have strong positive effects on both newcomers’ future knowledge contribution and seeking behaviors.

This closely aligns with what we’ve seen.

Providing a really good answer to a question might encourage more questions but not more answers to a question. Reciprocity doesn’t work well within most online communities as people primarily interact with strangers.

If you want to convert an asker into an answerer, you usually need to tickle their needs for status and validation. Give them a small taste of importance (stress the impact or influence of the question). Great answers alone aren’t enough.

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