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Explaining Quality in Internet Collective Goods: Zealots and Good Samaritans in the Case of Wikipedia
Abstract One important innovation in information anOne important innovation in information and communication technology developed over the past decade was organizational rather than merely technological. Open source production is remarkable because it converts a private commodity (typically software) into a public good. A number of studies examine the factors motivating contributions to open source production goods, but we argue it is important to understand the causes of high quality contributions to such goods. In this paper, we analyze quality in the open source online encyclopedia Wikipedia. We find that, for users who create an online persona through a registered user name, the quality of contributions increases as the number of contributions increase, consistent with the idea of experts motivated by reputation and committed to the Wikipedia community. Unexpectedly, however, we find the highest quality contributions come from the vast numbers of anonymous “Good Samaritans” who contribute infrequently. Our findings that Good Samaritans as well as committed “Zealots” contribute high quality content to Wikipedia suggest that open source production is remarkable as much for its organizational as its technological innovation that enables vast numbers of anonymous one-time contributors to create high quality, essentially public goods.te high quality, essentially public goods.
Abstractsub One important innovation in information anOne important innovation in information and communication technology developed over the past decade was organizational rather than merely technological. Open source production is remarkable because it converts a private commodity (typically software) into a public good. A number of studies examine the factors motivating contributions to open source production goods, but we argue it is important to understand the causes of high quality contributions to such goods. In this paper, we analyze quality in the open source online encyclopedia Wikipedia. We find that, for users who create an online persona through a registered user name, the quality of contributions increases as the number of contributions increase, consistent with the idea of experts motivated by reputation and committed to the Wikipedia community. Unexpectedly, however, we find the highest quality contributions come from the vast numbers of anonymous “Good Samaritans” who contribute infrequently. Our findings that Good Samaritans as well as committed “Zealots” contribute high quality content to Wikipedia suggest that open source production is remarkable as much for its organizational as its technological innovation that enables vast numbers of anonymous one-time contributors to create high quality, essentially public goods.te high quality, essentially public goods.
Bibtextype inproceedings  +
Has author Denise Anthony + , Sean Smith + , & Tim Williamson +
Has remote mirror http://web.mit.edu/iandeseminar/Papers/Fall2005/anthony.pdf  +
Number of citations by publication 3  +
Number of references by publication 0  +
Published in Fall 2005 Innovation & Enterpreneurship Seminar at MIT +
Title Explaining Quality in Internet Collective Goods: Zealots and Good Samaritans in the Case of Wikipedia +
Type conference paper  +
Year 2005 +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 20 September 2014 16:52:54  +
Categories Publications without keywords parameter  + , Publications without language parameter  + , Publications without license parameter  + , Publications without DOI parameter  + , Publications without archive mirror parameter  + , Publications without paywall mirror parameter  + , Conference papers  + , Publications without references parameter  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 20 September 2014 16:52:54  +
DateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 2005  +
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Explaining Quality in Internet Collective Goods: Zealots and Good Samaritans in the Case of Wikipedia + Title
 

 

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