Social and Economic Incentives in Google Answers

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


What are the antecedents, inhibitors and catalysts to providing information and
participating in mixed fee-based and free online contexts? This paper is a work in progress on the participation of about 500 “Researchers” in the Google Answers online service. We describe the behaviour of participants in this system over a 29 month period. Even though this is a fee-based environment, and answers are “worth” over $20 (including tips) on average, labor economics of response to price and tip alone do not paint the full picture. Non-monetary
incentives, such as “star” ratings from recipients and feedback in the form of comments account for some of the variance in participation. Descriptive and correlational findings are based on many thousands of answers. We thus corroborate some of the theories of hybrid explanation presented to date mostly in laboratory settings. The participation of experts in Google answers is associated with a hybrid of material (economic) and social motivators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Computing Machinery – SIGGROUP Annual Conference
Place of PublicationSanibel Island, FL
StatePublished - 2005


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