Building Successful Online Communities
Evidence-Based Social Design
How insights from the social sciences, including social psychology and economics, can improve the design of online communities.
Online communities are among the most popular destinations on the Internet, but not all online communities are equally successful. For every flourishing Facebook, there is a moribund Friendster—not to mention the scores of smaller social networking sites that never attracted enough members to be viable. This book offers lessons from theory and empirical research in the social sciences that can help improve the design of online communities.
The authors draw on the literature in psychology, economics, and other social sciences, as well as their own research, translating general findings into useful design claims. They explain, for example, how to encourage information contributions based on the theory of public goods, and how to build members' commitment based on theories of interpersonal bond formation. For each design claim, they offer supporting evidence from theory, experiments, or observational studies.
HardcoverOut of Print ISBN: 9780262016575 328 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 62 b&w illus.
Paperback$35.00 X | £28.00 ISBN: 9780262528917 328 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 62 b&w illus.
Building Successful Online Communities is the book we've all been waiting for. Students, faculty, and professional developers will learn how online communities function. There's something for everyone—empirical findings framed in theory, and gems of advice. The authors are remarkable researchers, teachers, and leaders in the field.
Jennifer J. Preece
Professor and Dean, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland's iSchool
While many books have described the patterns and building blocks of successful social spaces from an architectural perspective, Building Successful Online Communities moves beyond the tangible and derives critical features and design claims for thriving communities in the more malleable online world. The authors provide real world examples and observations to help practitioners design an online community. In the process, they create a vocabulary and environment that engages the reader to want to design an online social space.
Kyratso George Karahalios
Associate Professor, University of Illinois
This work provides the science behind the observations we made in Building Web Reputation Systems. Its format of design claims, thoroughly supported by research and examples, is a must-have resource for anyone thinking of deploying successful online communities.
F. Randall Farmer
online communities pioneer, and coauthor of Building Web Reputation Systems