Date: 13th November 2018, 4PM
Venue: HAS CSS RECENS, Meeting Room (T.140)
Address: H-1097 Budapest Tóth Kálmán street 4. T building 1st Floor Room 40.
Tend to the User Core, Don't Neglect the Casuals: A Recipe for Growth of
Q&A Web Communities
Millions of users on the Internet discuss a variety of topics on
Question-and-Answer (Q&A) instances. However, not all instances and
topics receive the same amount of attention, as some thrive and achieve
self-sustaining levels of activity while others fail to attract users.
It is imperative to not only better understand but also to distill
deciding factors and rules that define and govern sustainable Q&A
To that end, we extract, model and cluster user activity-based time
series from selected Q&A instances from the Stack Exchange network to
characterize user behavior. We find distinct types of user activity
temporal patterns, which vary primarily according to the users' activity
frequency. Moreover, we distill temporal dynamics of community activity
and thereby identify key factors leading to success or failure of
communities. Further, we compare groups of StackExchange communities of
different topical focuses, such as STEM and humanities.
We find that growing communities exhibit both a small core of power
users reacting to the community as a whole, and many casual users
strongly interacting with other casual users, suggesting community
openness towards less active users. Further, we find that communities in
the humanities are centered around power users, whereas in STEM
communities activity is more evenly distributed. With our analysis,we
provide insights for practitioners to quantitatively assess evolution
and the activity potential of Q&A communities.