Beyond knowledge sharing : interactions in online discussion communities
Chua, Alton Yeow Kuan
Balkunje, Radhika Shenoy
Date of Issue2013
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
This study attempts to investigate different types of interactions in online discussion communities (ODCs). Content analysis was performed on a sample of 1,800 messages from six ODCs. The findings suggest that ODC users seemed to be engaged in a combination of online interactions to satisfy human sharing needs such as to share or acquire knowledge, establish a social presence and convey emotions. Moreover, differences could be noted in the extent to which online interactions were observed between support and technical ODCs. Support ODCs refer to relationship communities in which users receive emotional and informational support through expressions of compassion, advice and feedback for better decision making while technical ODCs refers to interest communities whose members are bound together by common interests to share insights and solutions to problems. This study serves as a springboard for researchers to study ODCs from a socio-psychological perspective with a thrust on the social and emotional needs of users and their influence on knowledge sharing. As for practitioners, they can look into creating environments for online communities to meet different sharing needs of users including domain knowledge sharing, social expression and emotional disclosure.
Communication and Information
International journal of web based communities
© 2013 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by International Journal of Web Based Communities, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2013.051295].