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Dave Harris wrote:
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> The comments you make about SOCNET made me think of the old days and 'want ads' in newspapers. When someone sends a request to a group similar to SOCNET, I would think they are aware that some members of the group may be very interested in the topic while others will read it and delete the email.
> The concept seems similar to newspaper want ads. There is a defined population (subscribers to the newspaper or members of the NET) and the email queries are similar to the ads. A person sends the email to the defined population and then waits for interested users to respond.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Shannon Clark <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 1:58 pm
> Subject: Re: people's information-seeking-behavior -- libraries versus friends
I did a study with Eric von Hippel on problem solving in an Apache Web Server user help community. We had information seekers and information providers. Seekers would broadcast their problems to the Usenet group and information providers would then broadcast their answers to the group. For your question - our sample did engage in personal search prior to posting the problem - looking up FAQ's, books etc and then upon not finding an answer to their problem - posted a question. Interestingly there were asymmetric cost and benefits for participation. Information providers were spending less than five minutes answering the question - however information seekers were reporting saving about 180 minutes from the answer. Interestingly - providers were not doing any original problem solving - rather they were just transferring information they already had.
Here is the link to the paper if you are interested:
Karim R. Lakhani
MIT Sloan | The Boston Consulting Group
Mobile: +1 (617) 851-1224
http://web.mit.edu/lakhani/www | http://opensource.mit.edu
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