Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 9:40 PM
Subject: Clarification of Comparative Analysis assignment
Some students asked for more detail on the Comparative Assignment, which
will the basis for class discussion Friday. This note attempts to clarify
the assignment and provides details for turning it in. I'm sorry for the
delay in providing this info.
Readings so far in this class have tried to give you background so that you
can derive hypotheses about contributing to online communities from
relevant theories in the social sciences. This is theory-driven,top-down
The comparative analysis paper is designed to have you think bottom up, by
examining what various online communities do to encourage contribution,
participation, or commitment. Select two online communities that would make
an interesting comparison. How do they different on the way they try to
elicit contribution, participation, or commitment or in the success of the
methods they use? You can select two online communities that differ in the
technical or social methods they use to elicit contribution and hypothesize
about effects these methods have. Alternately, you can select two
communities that differ on how successful they are and hypothesize about
the methods that led to this difference in success.
We expect to spend at least 90 minutes in class on Friday going over your
analyses. We'll probably have time to go over only 3 or 4 of them. So
that we can plan which analyses to use as the basis for class discussion
(and so that you know before hand how much to prepare), please post an
announcement in the blackboard/cscw/communication/discussion
board/comparative analysis forum, with the names and pointers to the
communities you will compare. If you known the main point you'll be
emphasizing, include this as a sentence in your post. Please post this
announcement by 6PM on Thursday, and we'll let you know by 9PM if we will
use your analysis for class discussion.
Post your full analysis in the comparative analysis forum before class.
Unless you need special formatting for tables or figures, please post your
analysis as plain ASCII text rather than as *.doc or *.pdf files. The posts
will be easier for everyone to read if we download attachments.
Summary: Compare 2 online communities in terms of the methods they use to
encourage contribution, participation, or commitment.
Post an announcement of what communities you will compare by
6PM on Thursday.
Post the assignment by class on Friday.
Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human Computer Interaction
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(o) 412 268-7694 (f) 412 268-1266