Crowdsourcing and Knowledge Sharing: Strategic User Behavior on Taskcn

TitleCrowdsourcing and Knowledge Sharing: Strategic User Behavior on Taskcn
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsYang, J, Adamic, LA, Ackerman, MS
Conference NameProceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce
Date Published08/2008
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-60558-169-9
Keywordscontests, crowdsourcing, e-commerce, knowledge market, learning, online communities, question-answer sites, virtual communities, witkey

Witkeys are a thriving type of web-based knowledge sharing market in China, supporting a form of crowdsourcing. In a Witkey site, users offer a small award for a solution to a task, and other users compete to have their solution selected.In this paper, we examine the behavior of users on one of the biggest Witkey websites in China, On Taskcn, we observed several characteristics in users' activity over time. Most users become inactive after only a few submissions. Others keep attempting tasks. Over time, users tend to select tasks where they are competing against fewer opponents to increase their chances of winning. They will also, perhaps counterproductively, select tasks with higher expected rewards. Yet, on average, they do not increase their chances of winning, and in some categories of tasks, their chances actually decrease. This does not paint the full picture, however, because there is a very small core of successful users who manage not only to win multiple tasks, but to increase their win-to-submission ratio over time. This core group proposes nearly 20% of the winning solutions on the site. The patterns we observe on Taskcn, we believe, hold clues to the future of crowdsourcing and freelance marketplaces, and raise interesting design implications for such sites.