Chapter

Ways of Knowing in HCI

pp 95-117

Date:

Study, Build, Repeat: Using Online Communities as a Research Platform

  • Loren TerveenAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Minnesota Email author 
  • , Joseph A. KonstanAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Minnesota
  • , Cliff LampeAffiliated withSchool of Information, University of Michigan

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Abstract

Research on online communities raises a number of challenges. It is difficult to get access to usage data, to users (to interview), and to the system itself to introduce new features (e.g., participation incentive mechanisms). One solution is for researchers to create an online community themselves. Although this provides more control and access, it also requires additional resources (e.g., for staff to maintain the community) and consideration of the needs of the user community after the research is completed.