Identifying the indicators attracting users to online question and answer discussion forums

Shan Shan Cheng1, Eric Zhi Feng Liu1, Ruey S. Shieh2
1Graduate Institute of Learning and Instruction, National Central University, Taiwan
2Department of Information Management, Kainan University, Taiwan
Cite this article:  Cheng, S. S., Liu, E. Z. F., & Shieh, R. S. (2012). Identifying the indicators attracting users to online question and answer discussion forums. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 40(2), 283-292.

Volume 40 Issue 2 | e2485 | Published: February 2012 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.2.283

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In this study we explored the indicators that attract users to engage in online question and answer (Q&A) discussion forums. Our strategy of recruiting users as a source of information to generate user-centered indicators was a new approach. We conducted in-depth interviews with 41 users to gain a perspective on 2 popular online Q&A discussion forums. To establish a theoretical framework, we employed the personal, environmental, and behavioral components proposed by Bandura (1986). Our findings revealed that 15 indicators are associated with the popularity of online Q&A discussion forums. The indicators identified in this study could be used in future research to guide users in the selection of appropriate online Q&A forums.
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