The motivational arc of massive virtual collaboration

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Proceedings of the IFIP WG 9.5 Working Conference on Virtuality and Society: Massive Virtual Communities, L√ľneberg, Germany (2008)


Massive virtual collaborations (MVC) involve large numbers of mostly unpaid contributors collectively creating new content. Wikipedia is the most dramatic example of MVC; smaller-scale examples include blogs and discussion groups and free/libre open source software (FLOSS) projects. In this paper, we propose a model of motivations for contribution to MVC that integrates various theoretical perspectives to extend prior work. Specifically, we distinguish three different levels of contribution to projects (initial, sustained and meta) and capture the dynamic and recursive effects of contributions on emergent individual and project states.


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