The Value of Questions in Organizing: Reconceptualizing Contributions to Online Public Information Goods

Leila Bighash, Poong Oh, Janet Fulk, Peter Monge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In contrast to previous research that treats question-Paskers as free-�riders, this article conceptualizes questions and information requests as important forms of contribution to generating online public information goods. By requesting information, individuals make visible an informational need, calling for attention from those who may be able to fulfill that need and alerting those who share that need. Communicating questions can result in groups forming around particular shared interests, giving rise to permeable group boundaries that distinguish the interested from others. Such groups continue or even grow if new information needs are introduced. Once all information needs are fulfilled, the group will eventually dissolve, leaving their informational assets as public goods for the whole community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ICTs
  • Knowledge-Sharing
  • Online Communities
  • Public Goods
  • Questions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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