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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2022

Jiahua Jin, Tingting Zhang and Xiangbin Yan

Online Q&A communities have been widely highlighted as an important knowledge exchange market. Although motivations for users’ initial knowledge-seeking behavior have been…

Abstract

Purpose

Online Q&A communities have been widely highlighted as an important knowledge exchange market. Although motivations for users’ initial knowledge-seeking behavior have been widely investigated, the factors that affect online Q&A users’ continued knowledge-seeking behavior are still vague. This study aims to investigate the factors that affect users continuously seeking knowledge from online social Q&A communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on social information processing theory, social capital theory, social exchange theory and social cognitive theory, this study used a negative binomial regression model to explore what would affect people’s continued knowledge-seeking behavior. Empirical data was collected from a popular Chinese online social Q&A community.

Findings

The results indicate that while previous knowledge sharing behavior, peer responses for previous seeking behavior, identity-based trust have a positive impact on knowledge-seeking behaviors, social exposure has a negative impact. In addition, self-presentation negatively moderates the relationship between social exposure and knowledge-seeking behavior.

Originality/value

This study contributed to the theoretical basis for knowledge-seeking behavior in online Q&A communities. The research findings can be used to derive guidelines for the development and operation of online social Q&A communities.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 February 2022

Ruiqian Yang, Shizhong Ai, Na Li, Rong Du and Weiguo Fan

Social question and answer (Q&A) systems have been rapidly developed on many e-commerce websites. The purpose of this paper is to explore how social Q&A systems influence…

278

Abstract

Purpose

Social question and answer (Q&A) systems have been rapidly developed on many e-commerce websites. The purpose of this paper is to explore how social Q&A systems influence consumers' information processing and purchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors design this research based on the information adoption model (IAM). First, the auhors consider the impacts of the central route (information factor) and peripheral route (social factor) on consumers' perception of information usefulness in Q&A systems. Then, the authors verify the influence of information and social aspects on purchase intention and empirically test the model with structural equation modelling (SEM) using 428 effective data samples.

Findings

On the whole, the authors prove that purchase intention is influenced by information and social aspects, which are two paths in Q&A systems. Specifically, both answer quality and social presence positively influence information usefulness. Interestingly, respondent credibility and answer consistency do not significantly impact information usefulness. Moreover, information usefulness positively affects information adoption, which positively affects consumer purchase intention.

Practical implications

This paper provides insights on social Q&A system mechanism design.

Originality/value

First, this paper is a useful complement to the research on social Q&A systems on e-commerce websites. Second, the authors provide a new theoretical lens through which the impacts of social Q&A systems on e-commerce websites are understood by extending the IAM. Third, the authors add answer consistency into original information process routes, which obtains a finding that is different from those of prior research.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 November 2021

Lei Li, Anrunze Li, Xue Song, Xinran Li, Kun Huang and Edwin Mouda Ye

As academic social Q&A networking websites become more popular, scholars are increasingly using them to meet their information needs by asking academic questions. However…

Abstract

Purpose

As academic social Q&A networking websites become more popular, scholars are increasingly using them to meet their information needs by asking academic questions. However, compared with other types of social media, scholars are less active on these sites, resulting in a lower response quantity for some questions. This paper explores the factors that help explain how to ask questions that generate more responses and examines the impact of different disciplines on response quantity.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examines 1,968 questions in five disciplines on the academic social Q&A platform ResearchGate Q&A and explores how the linguistic characteristics of these questions affect the number of responses. It uses a range of methods to statistically analyze the relationship between these linguistic characteristics and the number of responses, and conducts comparisons between disciplines.

Findings

The findings indicate that some linguistic characteristics, such as sadness, positive emotion and second-person pronouns, have a positive effect on response quantity; conversely, a high level of function words and first-person pronouns has a negative effect. However, the impacts of these linguistic characteristics vary across disciplines.

Originality/value

This study provides support for academic social Q&A platforms to assist scholars in asking richer questions that are likely to generate more answers across disciplines, thereby promoting improved academic communication among scholars.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2018

Xiaoyu Chen, Alton Y.K. Chua and Shengli Deng

As an increasing number of users have acquired information across the web and mobile platforms for social question and answering (Q&A), it is of interest to explore…

Abstract

Purpose

As an increasing number of users have acquired information across the web and mobile platforms for social question and answering (Q&A), it is of interest to explore whether there are differences in social Q&A usages between the two platforms. The purpose of this paper is to compare web and mobile platforms of a social Q&A service from the user’s perspective in terms of three dimensions, namely, demographics, individual-based constructs, and information-based constructs.

Design/methodology/approach

Because Zhihu.com is one of the most popular social Q&A sites in China, the authors used online questionnaires to investigate its users’ perceptions of these three dimensions. From January to March 2016, the authors obtained 278 valid responses in total through snowball and convenient sampling. Collected data are analyzed through descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

Findings

The results indicate that there exist significant differences between web users and mobile users on Zhihu.com in terms of gender, affinity, and information seeking. More specifically, compared to the male users, more female users rely on the mobile platform to access the information service; mobile users perceive higher affinity with Zhihu.com than web users; and mobile users perceive higher information-seeking intention than web users do.

Originality/value

Regarding the theoretical aspect, this study proposes a conceptual framework for comparison between the web and mobile platforms of social Q&A from the user’s perspective. Regarding the practical aspect, the comparative results of this study could give social Q&A service providers useful information about users’ differences between web and mobile platforms of social Q&A services.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 70 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Namjoo Choi and Kwan Yi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the general public’s information needs concerning open source software (OSS) and OSS answerers’ motivations for sharing their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the general public’s information needs concerning open source software (OSS) and OSS answerers’ motivations for sharing their knowledge of OSS in social Q&A.

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies were carried out. In Study 1, a content analysis classifying OSS-related questions posted during December 2005-December 2012 in Yahoo! Answers was employed to investigate the general public’s information needs regarding OSS. In Study 2, an online survey was conducted with OSS answerers in Yahoo! Answers in order to examine what motivates them to share and continue to share their knowledge of OSS in social Q&A. In total, 1,463 invitations were sent out via Yahoo! Answers’ internal e-mail function to those who provided answers to OSS-related questions during September 2009-September 2012. In total, 150 usable surveys were returned and used for data analysis.

Findings

The findings from Study 1 indicate that the general public is most interested in finding out if there is OSS that meets their software need in a certain category (51.4 percent). Other popular question categories include the general description of OSS (15.6 percent), technical issues that they have with OSS (9.8 percent), and the advantages/disadvantages of using OSS (7.0 percent). Results on OSS answerers’ motivations from Study 2 support that all seven motivations identified (i.e. altruism, enjoyment, ideology, learning, reputation, reciprocity, and self-efficacy) are important, with the smallest mean value being 4.42 out of seven (i.e. reciprocity). However, only altruism, ideology, self-efficacy, and enjoyment were found to significantly influence contribution continuance intention.

Practical implications

With social Q&A growing in popularity, OSS communities that look for ways to draw in more users from the general public are recommended to increase their presence in social Q&A. The findings with regard to OSS answerers’ motivations can also help OSS community leaders attract and guide more members who are interested in sharing their OSS knowledge in social Q&A.

Originality/value

By classifying OSS-related questions that are publicly available in Yahoo! Answers, this study offers a breakdown of the general public’s information needs regarding OSS. In addition, results on OSS answerers’ motivations suggest that in order to sustain their member contributions in social Q&A, OSS community leaders should pay more attention to nurturing the motivations that are intrinsic (i.e. altruism, self-efficacy, enjoyment) and integrated (i.e. ideology).

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Xiabing Zheng, Xiao Shi and Feng Yang

This study aims at exploring users' motives to form attachments within the social Q&A community context and identifying the differences between active users and lurkers…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at exploring users' motives to form attachments within the social Q&A community context and identifying the differences between active users and lurkers when building emotional attachments. By utilizing the media system dependency (MSD) theory, this study investigates into the driving factors of dependency relations (understanding, orientation and play) to user attachments (i.e. attachment to the social Q&A community, attachment to content creators).

Design/methodology/approach

The research model is empirically validated by an online questionnaire among users of a social Q&A community. Deriving from the actual behavioral data, the authors divide 262 valid responses into 157 active users and 105 lurkers according to whether they post or not. The partial least squares (PLS) method is exploited to analyze the relationships in the model. In addition, the PLS-based multi-group analysis is conducted for comparing active users and lurkers.

Findings

The empirical results confirm that dependency relations (understanding, orientation and play) significantly influence user attachments. Multi-group analysis suggests that the effect of understanding dependency relations on attachment to content creators is stronger for active users than for lurkers. However, the effect of orientation dependency relations on user attachment is significant for lurkers but not significant for active users.

Originality/value

This study enriches the knowledge of the MSD theory by extending it to the social Q&A community setting. Based on the MSD theory, the relationships between three sides of dependency relations and two types of user attachments are hypothesized in the research model. Besides, the impact of user heterogeneity in building user emotional attachment still lacks consideration. This study is one of the first in the field of comparison studies to compare active users and lurkers in such context, providing a novel contribution in understanding the motivations and emotional responses of different users.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Xing Zhang, Shan Liu, Xing Chen and Yeming (Yale) Gong

Although health question-and-answer (Q&A) communities have become popular in recent years, only a few communities have successfully retained and motivated their members to…

2288

Abstract

Purpose

Although health question-and-answer (Q&A) communities have become popular in recent years, only a few communities have successfully retained and motivated their members to share knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the ways by which social capital and motivation influence knowledge sharing intention from the perspectives of health professionals and normal users in health Q&A communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed theoretical model integrates individual motivation and social capital theories. On the basis of a sample comprising 363 members from health Q&A communities in China, the authors tested the hypotheses by using structural equation modeling.

Findings

This study empirically finds that social capital positively affects intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, which then positively influence the intention of health professionals and normal users to share knowledge. Motivations of members fully mediate the effects of social capital on knowledge sharing intention. Specifically, intrinsic motivation influences knowledge sharing intention more for health professionals than for normal users, whereas extrinsic motivation influences knowledge sharing intention more for normal users than for health professionals.

Originality/value

This study explores the factors that affect the intentions of sharing knowledge in health Q&A communities by integrating social capital and motivation theories. Individual motivations can then bridge social capital and knowledge sharing intention. The effects of the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of two user types were further examined and compared. These findings can extend the understanding of the underlying drivers of intention to share knowledge in the context of e-health.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 55 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Zheshi Bao and Zhiyong Han

The purpose of this paper is to examine some drivers of users’ participation in online social question-and-answer (Q&A) communities based on social cognitive theory and…

1184

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine some drivers of users’ participation in online social question-and-answer (Q&A) communities based on social cognitive theory and then identify the underlying mechanism of this process.

Design/methodology/approach

This study developed a research model to test the proposed hypotheses, and an online survey was employed to collected data. Totally, 313 valid responses were collected, and partial least squares structural equation modeling was adopted to analyze these data.

Findings

This study empirically finds that the outcome expectations (personal outcome expectations and knowledge self-management outcome expectations) are positively related to participation in online social Q&A communities. At the same time, users’ self-efficacy positively influences their participation behaviors. It can not only directly motivate users’ participation, but also indirectly promote participation behaviors through the two dimensions of outcome expectations. Besides, perceived expertise and perceived similarity are two positive and significant environmental elements affecting users’ participation.

Originality/value

This study extends the understanding about how participation behaviors will be motivated in the context of online social Q&A communities. Drawing on the social cognitive theory, constructs were established based on the features of these communities. Meanwhile, some mediating effects in the motivating process were also discussed.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2022

Yung-Ting Chuang and Ching-Hsien Wang

The purpose of this paper is to propose a mobile and social-based question-and-answer (Q&A) system that analyzes users' social relationships and past answering behavior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a mobile and social-based question-and-answer (Q&A) system that analyzes users' social relationships and past answering behavior, considers users' interest similarity and answer quality to infer suitable respondents and forwards the questions to users that are willing to give high quality answers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research applies first-order logic (FOL) inference calculation to generate question/interest ID that combines a users' social information, interests and social network intimacy to choose the nodes that can provide high-quality answers. After receiving a question, a friend can answer it, forward it to their friends according to the number of TTL (Time-to-Live) hops, or send the answer directly to the server. This research collected data from the TripAdvisor.com website and uses it for the experiment. The authors also collected previously answered questions from TripAdvisor.com; thus, subsequent answers could be forwarded to a centralized server to improve the overall performance.

Findings

The authors have first noticed that even though the proposed system is decentralized, it can still accurately identify the appropriate respondents to provide high-quality answers. In addition, since this system can easily identify the best answerers, there is no need to implement broadcasting, thus reducing the overall execution time and network bandwidth required. Moreover, this system allows users to accurately and quickly obtain high-quality answers after comparing and calculating interest IDs. The system also encourages frequent communication and interaction among users. Lastly, the experiments demonstrate that this system achieves high accuracy, high recall rate, low overhead, low forwarding cost and low response rate in all scenarios.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a mobile and social-based Q&A system that applies FOL inference calculation to analyze users' social relationships and past answering behavior, considers users' interest similarity and answer quality to infer suitable respondents and forwards the questions to users that are willing to give high quality answers. The experiments demonstrate that this system achieves high accuracy, high recall rate, low overhead, low forwarding cost and low response rate in all scenarios.

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2022

Lin Jia, Chen Lin, Yiran Qin, Xiaowen Pan and Zhongyun Zhou

With the rapid development of paid online social question and answer (Q&A) communities, monetary social functions have been introduced and have potential benefits for both…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid development of paid online social question and answer (Q&A) communities, monetary social functions have been introduced and have potential benefits for both platforms and users. However, these functions' impact on knowledge contribution remains uncertain. This study proposes a conceptual model based on the stimulus–organism–response framework, according to which monetary and non-monetary social functions can help nurture short-term and long-term relationships among community users, and thereafter improves social identity and knowledge-sharing intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study selects Zhihu, a famous online social Q&A community in China, and conducts an online survey to collect data from its frequent users. A sample of 286 valid questionnaires was collected to test our research model by using a structural equation modeling method. In addition, a bootstrapping approach is used to test the mediation effect.

Findings

Results indicate that monetary social functions help nurture short-term and long-term relationships among community users. However, non-monetary social functions only affect short-term relationships directly. Short-term and long-term relationships both have a positive relationship with social identity and thereafter improve users' knowledge-sharing intentions.

Originality/value

This study focuses on users' knowledge-sharing intentions in Q&A communities from the perspective of social. Specifically, we separated social functions in Q&A platforms into monetary and non-monetary ones and explored their impact on the development of short-term and long-term relationships. Results demonstrate the importance of monetary social functions and explain how monetary and non-monetary social functions affect users' knowledge-sharing intentions in different approaches.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 53000