Can badges foster a more welcoming culture on Q&A boards?

Tiago Santos, Keith Burghardt, Kristina Lerman, Denis Helic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Thriving online communities rely on a steady stream of newcomers to contribute new content. However, retaining newcomers has proven challenging. In this paper, we measure the success of an intervention used by Stack Exchange questionanswering communities to create a more welcoming environment for newcomers. That intervention consisted in highlighting contributions by new users with a special indicator. We hypothesize that Stack Exchange's new policy would reduce negative reactions to new users and, ultimately, increase new user retention. We leverage causal modeling to assess the introduction of the so-called "new contributor indicator", and we find it did not counter user retention decline in the shortand long-terms. However, our results indicate it did reduce unwelcoming reactions towards newcomers in the short-term. Our work has practical implications for online community managers aiming to improve their onboarding processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020
PublisherAAAI Press
Pages969-973
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357889
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020 - Atlanta, Virtual, United States
Duration: 8 Jun 202011 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020

Conference

Conference14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, Virtual
Period8/06/2011/06/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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