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Identifying the Indicators Attracting Users to Online Question and Answer Discussion Forums

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Abstract:

In this study we explored the indicators that attract users to engage in online question and answer (Q&A) discussion forums. Our strategy of recruiting users as a source of information to generate user-centered indicators was a new approach. We conducted in-depth interviews with 41 users to gain a perspective on 2 popular online Q&A discussion forums. To establish a theoretical framework, we employed the personal, environmental, and behavioral components proposed by Bandura (1986). Our findings revealed that 15 indicators are associated with the popularity of online Q&A discussion forums. The indicators identified in this study could be used in future research to guide users in the selection of appropriate online Q&A forums.

Keywords: KNOWLEDGE SHARING; LEARNING RESOURCES; ONLINE QUESTION AND ANSWER DISCUSSION FORUM; SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.2.283

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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