From a link on boing boing I came across an article on citimedia's blog. The post covers a recent study from Harvard University called "The Hype vs. Reality vs. What People Value: Emerging Collaborative News Models and the Future of News". Even though the study itself is not a short blog post it is really interesting and worth reading if you have the time.
Some interesting trends that are documented about participants :
- The will to share, is a big motivator, few wish to become journalists
- A community to plug into, where trying things as a group means things can be tried and tested far quicker
- More women than men vocalised the desire to find people with similar interests
- A feel good factor and giving back factor is often cited
These five elements are cited in Citimedia's blog by particpants as reasons why they do not participate in online communities :
- Busy, haven't got the time
- Not perfect communities with low value exchanges
- Often confronted with technical issues
- User interfaces are hard to understand/use
- Lurkers that only want to 'listen' that don't feel they can contribute
There are some interesting Technorati graphs used in the survey that illustrate the evolution of the blog phenomenon. Other graphs illustrate the impact of world events on the quantity of posts/articles at these specific dates.