Review

WTA mnemonic

  1. payoffs are determined by relative rank (zero-sum) rather than absolute performance
  2. disproportionate rewards concentrated in the hands of a few top performers
  3. overcrowding (overconfidence; thrill-seeking; status-seeking; or intrinsic joy)
  4. network effects (something is more valuable the more people use it) (FrankCook1995wta, “The Winner-Take-All Society”, p. 24)

Bootstrapping & lock-in

Concepts

“innovation-need paradox” (Rogers 1955)
those who most need the benefits of a new idea (e.g., the poorer are less educated) are among the last to adopt it [pp. 254-256]
two-sided networks
two constituencies benefit one another (e.g., writers and reviewers on LiveJournal; men and women on a dating site) [p. 256]

Metcalfe’s law

The value of (telecommunications) networks is proportional to the number of potential transactions: N2.

Robert metcalfes law

Design principles

ex. Analysis

Break into four groups, and consider examples of sites (e.g., Uber, Ello, FB, WP, Amazon) that implement the design criteria or could if they do not.

  1. Leveraging Early Members to Get More Members (18-24)
  2. Increase Stage 1 Value of the Community (25-31)
  3. Early Adopter Benefits & Signals of Convener Quality and Commitment (32-38)
  4. Signals of Positive Member Response (39-46)
  5. (I will do 47 & 48!)

(1) Leveraging Early Members

  1. incentives for early members to generate content can increase bootstrapping.
  2. User-generated primary content will do more to bootstrap additional membership than will user-generated metadata, in the community startup stage.
  3. services that enable displays of membership that are visible to non-members will lead to bootstrapping.
  4. services that make members’ actions in the community visible to their acquaintances outside the community will lead early participants to attract later participants.

 

  1. services that allow members to forward content from the community to their acquaintances outside the community will lead early participants to attract later participants.
  2. services that allow members to invite acquaintances outside the community to join will lead early participants to attract later participants.
  3. pay-for-referral and revenue-sharing from referrals increase bootstrapping

(2)Increase Stage 1 Value

  1. single-user and small-group productivity, entertainment, or commerce tools can attract people to an online space before the community features are successful.
  2. providing access to professionally generated content can help attract people to an online space before the community features are successful.
  3. providing access to syndicated data can help attract people to an online space before the community features are successful, if the syndicated data is not otherwise easily accessible or if it is presented in a novel way that adds value.

 

  1. participation by professional staff can help attract people to an online space before the community features are successful.
  2. starting with a limited scope and expanding later allows focusing of staff resources toward getting to critical mass in the limited scope.
  3. If professionals act as contributors of last resort, they will be needed less and less as the community achieves critical mass.
  4. bots that simulate other participants can help attract people to an online space before the community features are successful.

(3) Early Adopter Benefits

  1. Promising permanent discounts to early adopters can attract early adopters to the community.
  2. Promoting the status or readiness benefits of being early to an online community can attract early adopters to the community.
  3. Promoting a site as cool but undiscovered can attract early adopters.
  4. Creating scarce, claimable resources can induce prospective members to join earlier.
  5. Contribution minima for maintaining scarce status can lead to greater contribution by status-holding members.

(3) Signals of Quality & Commitment

  1. Professional site design increases expectations about the probability of success.
  2. visible expenditures can be a credible signal of commitment to future investment in a community, and thus help to increase expectations about the probability that the community will eventually succeed.

(4) Signals of Positive Engagement

  1. Images of members will convey the presence of other people, and thus expectations of future success.
  2. Prominent display of user-contributed content will convey activity, and thus expectations of future success, as long as there is new user-contributed content.
  3. Indicators of participation levels will convey activity, and thus expectations of future success, as long as there actually is activity.
  4. Indicators of membership and content growth signal a higher probability that the community will eventually reach critical mass, provided there really is growth.

 

  1. When a community is small and slow growing, acknowledging each new member or contribution creates a more favorable signal of growth than showing total numbers or percentage change.
  2. When a community is small and fast growing, displaying percentage growth creates a more favorable signal of growth than displaying absolute numbers.
  3. When a community has reached critical mass, displaying absolute numbers conveys a signal that the community is already successful.
  4. Conditional participation commitments can draw people to join communities that they would not join if they had to do so without knowledge that others were also joining.

(Me!) External signals

  1. Drawing analogies to successful communities can raise expectations that a new community will be similarly successful.
  2. Drawing attention to external publicity and endorsements can raise expectations about future success.

Conclusion

Wrap up