The social impact of the internet is decided in part by the results of interaction in online groups and communities. The outcomes of interaction in online groups depend to a large extent on finding solutions to typical problems of interaction, such as free-rider problems and problems of trust. The paper presents a theory of online interaction which argues that a group member\'s online behavior sends signals about how he regards his relationship to other members and to the group. Under specific conditions members take the sending of the signals into account when they decide whether to contribute to group discussions and to participate in other online activities. Administrators of online groups can use the insights to influence members\' behavior by using different tools of interaction management. The theory distinguishes three types of tools. Group conditions influence which type of tool is more adequate for diminishing free-rider problems and problems of trust. The predictions of the theory are used to derive a typology of online groups that shows what type of online group is more likely to suffer from problems of interaction and which effects the application of a management tool has for what kind of online group.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 100th meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 13-16, 2005, Philadelphia, USA,|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Event||conference; 100th meeting of the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, USA - |
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …
|Conference||conference; 100th meeting of the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, USA|
|Period||1/01/05 → …|
|Other||100th meeting of the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, USA|