Socialization tactics in Wikipedia and their effects

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Socialization tactics in Wikipedia and their effects is a 2010 publication written in English by Boreum Choi, Kira Alexander, Robert E. Kraut, John M. Levine.

[edit] Abstract

Socialization of newcomers is critical both for conventional groups. It helps groups perform effectively and the newcomers develop commitment. However, little empirical research has investigated the impact of specific socialization tactics on newcomers' commitment to online groups. We examined WikiProjects, subgroups in Wikipedia organized around working on common topics or tasks. In study 1, we identified the seven socialization tactics used most frequently: invitations to join, welcome messages, requests to work on project-related tasks, offers of assistance, positive feedback on a new member's work, constructive criticism, and personal-related comments. In study 2, we examined their impact on newcomers' commitment to the project. Whereas most newcomers contributed fewer edits over time, the declines were slowed or reversed for those socialized with welcome messages, assistance, and constructive criticism. In contrast, invitations led to steeper declines in edits. These results suggest that different socialization tactics play different roles in socializing new members in online groups compared to offline ones.

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