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Title:Online Knowledge Crowds and Communities
Author(s):Haythornthwaite, Caroline A.
Subject(s):knowledge communities
online community
Abstract:While much has been written about virtual knowledge communities, particularly in how to create and sustain long-term, strong-tie relationships, the connection has not been made to newer forms of online organizing such as crowdsourcing. This paper addresses the way knowledge collectives are organized online, considering the organizational and motivational structures that support these new knowledge collectives, and contrasting the social mechanisms that support crowdsourced knowledge from those that support community-based knowledge. Examination of the literature and cases of crowds and virtual communities suggest a number of important dimensions that distinguish these two forms of organizing, including contribution type and size, personal coorientation and commitment to the knowledge topic, interpersonal ties among contributors, authority and control of contributory practices, and recognition and reward systems. Exploring these different models of organizing knowledge provides insight into the ways to establish and maintain crowd- and community-based knowledge collectives, and also show why strong knowledge communities such as those found in academia come to change their knowledge distribution practices, notably from print to online publication.
Issue Date:2009-05-31
Publisher:Center for Basque Studies, Reno, NV
Citation Info:Haythornthwaite, C. (forthcoming). Online knowledge crowds and communities. In Knowledge Communities. Reno, NV: Center for Basque Studies.
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-11-10

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