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Online communities like Webdeveloper.com

  • Online community - a group of people that interact on the web for social, professional, educational or other purposes.
  • What is the motivation?

Peter Kollock (1998) researched motivations for contributing to online communities. In "The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace", he outlines three motivations (Kollock:227) that do not rely on altruistic behavior on the part of the contributor:

  • Anticipated Reciprocity - A person is motivated to contribute valuable information to the group in the expectation that one will receive useful help and information in return
  • Increased Recognition - Individuals want recognition for their contributions.
  • Sense of efficacy - Individuals may contribute valuable information because the act results in a sense of efficacy, that is, a sense that they have had some effect on this environment.
  • Communion (Sense of community) - People, in general, are fairly social beings and it is motivating to many people to receive direct responses to their contributions.


Kollock, P. 1999. "The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace," in Communities in Cyberspace.