Motivational visualization for resources-sharing online communities
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As online applications such as online newsgroups, internet game-rooms, online chat-rooms, and peer-to-peer (P2P) resources-sharing systems become popular, online community visualization became a hot research topic. Different forms and metaphors of visualizations focused on various aspects of online communities have been proposed. In this thesis, I propose one prototype of online community visualization which is designed to motivate user contributions in various aspects and stimulate users to participate in the online community more actively. The uneven participation is a well known problem in human society; according to the 80-20 rule, 20% of the people make 80% of contributions, for example, 20% of the employees in a company do 80% of the work. This problem exits in all kinds of online communities, e.g. newsgroups, chat-rooms, but it is particularly crucial for P2P online resources-sharing communities. Such communities do not have a central server and rely solely on the peers not just to provide contributions, but also to ensure the infrastructure. Large P2P file-sharing communities like KaZaA and Limewire can provide the redundancy of peers and resources needed to support the infrastructure and availability of resources. However, when an online community is small, for example, the students in a class, a research group, a department, or a school, the problem of lack of users it is hard to reach a “critical mass” of user participation, leading to poor service and resource availability, which reduces users’ interest in participating in the system. To attract users and motivate them to make more contributions into an online resources-sharing community, I propose to use motivational visualization of the community and the contributions of its members. The motivational effect of the visualization is grounded on two theories in social psychology which explain how individuals align their behaviour with each other and with their group (community). In this thesis, I discuss three stages in the design of the visualization and the subsequent redesigns following results from evaluation and user feedback.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeZhang, W. J. (Chris); Mould, David; McCalla, Gordon I.
Copyright DateMay 2005