Questions in, Knowledge iN? A study of Naver’s Question Answering Community

TitleQuestions in, Knowledge iN? A study of Naver’s Question Answering Community
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsNam, KK, Ackerman, MS, Adamic, LA
Conference NameACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’09)
Keywordscollective help, expertise finding, information access, online communities, Q&A communities, QA, question-answering, social computing

Large general-purposed community question-answering sites are becoming popular as a new venue for generating knowledge and helping users in their information needs. In this paper we analyze the characteristics of knowledge generation and user participation behavior in the largest question-answering online community in South Korea, Naver Knowledge-iN. We collected and analyzed over 2.6 million question/answer pairs from fifteen categories between 2002 and 2007, and have interviewed twenty six users to gain insights into their motivations,roles, usage and expertise. We find altruism, learning, and competency are frequent motivations for top answerers to participate, but that participation is often highly intermittent. Using a simple measure of user performance, we find that higher levels of participation correlate with better performance. We also observe that users are motivated in part through a point system to build a comprehensive knowledge database. These and other insights have significant implications for future knowledge generating online communities.