Socialization tactics in wikipedia and their effects

Boreum Choi, Kira Alexander, Robert E. Kraut, John M. Levine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Socialization of newcomers is critical both for conventional groups. It helps groups perform effectively and the newcomers develop commitment. However, little empirical research has investigated the impact of specific socialization tactics on newcomers' commitment to online groups. We examined WikiProjects, subgroups in Wikipedia organized around working on common topics or tasks. In study 1, we identified the seven socialization tactics used most frequently: invitations to join, welcome messages, requests to work on project-related tasks, offers of assistance, positive feedback on a new member's work, constructive criticism, and personal-related comments. In study 2, we examined their impact on newcomers' commitment to the project. Whereas most newcomers contributed fewer edits over time, the declines were slowed or reversed for those socialized with welcome messages, assistance, and constructive criticism. In contrast, invitations led to steeper declines in edits. These results suggest that different socialization tactics play different roles in socializing new members in online groups compared to offline ones.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2010
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2010 - Savannah, GA, United States
Duration: 6 Feb 201010 Feb 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW


Conference2010 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySavannah, GA


  • Socialization
  • WikiProject
  • Wikipedia


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