Motivational, Structural and Tenure Factors that Impact Online Community Photo Sharing
Keywords:Photo sharing, motivations, Flickr, online community, extrinsic, intrinsic
In recent years, we have witnessed a significant growth of "social computing" services, or online communities where users contribute content in various forms, including images, text or video. Content contribution from members is critical to the viability of these online communities. It is therefore important to understand what drives users to share content with others in such settings. We extend previous literature on user contribution by studying the factors that are associated with users' photo sharing in an online community, drawing on motivation theories as well as on analysis of basic structural properties. Our results indicate that photo sharing declines in respect to the users' tenure in the community. We also show that users with higher commitment to the community and greater "structural embeddedness" tend to share more content. We demonstrate that the motivation of self-development is negatively related to photo sharing, and that tenure in the community moderates the effect of self-development on photo sharing. Directions for future research, as well as implications for theory and practice are discussed.