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Dr. Roberta Cuel

Web 2.0: incentives for human-driven contributions


The Web 2.0 is increasingly considered as a phenomenon that affects the way people interact, search, post and share information on the Internet. One of the dominant traits of Web 2.0 applications is the capability of co-opting end-users in endeavours which traditionally have been considered as top down activities and exploiting user-based networks. Apart from some of the most well-known applications (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the like), many Web 2.0 tools are not good at attracting a critical mass of individuals. Many studies have shown that a common outcome for online communities is an ’onion’ structure were only a few core individuals actively participate discussing and contributing to the common content, whereas others are considered as peripheral users who observe the community and simply use the content. Participation and willingness to contribute, thus, become two of the critical issues that companies and software developers should take into account when creating Web 2.0 applications.
As a consequence, I will introduce some theories and techniques (that are well known and used in economics and management studies) that allow designers to understand and design appropriate sets of incentives that might motivate users to contribute. Specifically, I will provide an example of an application of mechanism design and applied experimental economics in the development of an annotation tool.

Zur Person

Dr. Roberta Cuel Roberta Cuel holds a Ph.D. in “Organization and Management of the Firms” (2003). Currently, she is assistant professor at the Department of Computer and Management Studies (Faculty of Economics). She teaches “Organizational behaviour and human resources management” and “Knowledge Management and Learning Organization”. Her research interests include the study of knowledge management and knowledge representation systems (such as ontologies, classifications) as means for knowledge reification processes, and the impact (or non impacts) of innovative technologies on teams, communities, and organizational models. For further information, please see http://fandango.cs.unitn.it/~rcuel/