Feedback Loops of Attention in Peer Production

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Article: Feedback loops of attention in peer production, Fang Wu, Dennis, M. Wilkinson and Bernardo A. Huberman, 2009/05/12,

URL = [ pdf]


"A significant percentage of online content is now published and consumed via the mechanism of crowdsourcing. While any user can contribute to these forums, a disproportionately large percentage of the content is submitted by very active and devoted users, whose con- tinuing participation is key to the sites' success. As we show, people's propensity to keep participating increases the more they contribute, suggesting motivating factors which increase over time. This paper demonstrates that submitters who stop receiving attention tend to stop contributing, while prolific contributors attract an ever increasing number of followers and their attention in a feedback loop. We demonstrate that this mechanism leads to the observed power law in the number of contributions per user and support our assertions by an analysis of hundreds of millions of contributions to top content sharing websites and"


Compiled by Dante Monson:

page 1 : Getting attention paid to one’s contributions is a form of value; people are willing to forsake financial gain for it.


This paper addresses how attention and followers affect contributions to peer production websites, and in particular how they motivate prolific contributors to remain active for a long time.

page 3 : The evidence presented above suggests a strong correla- tion between popularity (attention received) and productivity (tendency to contribute). It is thus natural to ask whether one could develop a model to predict a user’s productivity from her popularity.

page 6 - from conclusion : Taken together, our findings suggest that the feedback loop of attention is an important ingredient in a successful of a peer production effort because of its role in motivating devoted contributors to persist.