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Why Bother? Examining the motivations of users in large-scale crowd-powered online initiatives

  • Author / Creator
    Organisciak, Piotr
  • This study examines the motivations of participants in networked, large-scale content production and research – a paradigm of distributed work magnified by the Internet. This has come to be called crowdsourcing. The approach taken in examining the crowdsourcing paradigm is of retrospection, with a study focused on observed examples and existing theories. Thirteen cases of existing crowdsourcing sites were selected for study, from a larger sample of 300. These cases were coded by their site properties and analyzed, identifying possible motivational mechanisms. Subsequent interviews with eight medium to heavy Internet users further explored these features, with an emphasis on ranking relative importance of various motivators. This study concludes with a series of recommendations on motivating crowds in such projects, emphasizing among others the importance of topical interest, ease of participation, and appeals to the individuals’ knowledge. In addition to base motivators, a number of support, or secondary, motivators are outlined.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3NX36
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Humanities Computing - Library and Information Studies
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Given, Lisa M. (School of Library and Information Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Rockwell, Geoffrey (Department of Philosophy)
    • Given, Lisa M. (School of Library and Information Studies)
    • Ruecker, Stan (Department of English and Film Studies)