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An empirical study of the determinants of the intention to participate in user-created contents (UCC) services

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Authors: Saokosal Oum(1) , DongWook Han (2) …

Authors: Saokosal Oum(1) , DongWook Han (2)
(1) oumsaokosal@gmail.com (S. Oum), Tel.: +855 12 252 752
National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia

(2) dwhan@jj.ac.kr (D. Han). Tel.: +82 63 220 2229; fax: +82 63 220 3071.
School of Smart Media, Jeonju University

Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011), page. 15110–15121

Abstract
Up to now UCC services have been dominating the majority of the internet traffic, yet the answers to what motivates people to participate in the UCC services still remain vague and unclear. It is the motivation to find these answers that lead to this study. We adopted technology acceptance model (TAM) to our model and examined the effects of external variables—social identity, telepresence, altruism, perceived playfulness and social trust. Data was collected from undergraduate students in Jeonju University, South Korea, who had experience in UCC. The findings showed that social trust and perceived playfulness play a pivotal role in explaining the individual’s behavioral intention to participate in UCC services. Also, perceived encouragement was found to have significant influence on social trust instead of its direct effect on the intention to participate in UCC services. Additionally, social identity and telepresence were the most important factors of perceived encouragement. This implication can help both researchers and Web practitioners to better understand user behavior in UCC context.

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  • 1. This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attached copy is furnished to the author for internal non-commercial research and education use, including for instruction at the authors institution and sharing with colleagues. Other uses, including reproduction and distribution, or selling or licensing copies, or posting to personal, institutional or third party websites are prohibited. In most cases authors are permitted to post their version of the article (e.g. in Word or Tex form) to their personal website or institutional repository. Authors requiring further information regarding Elsevier’s archiving and manuscript policies are encouraged to visit: http://www.elsevier.com/copyright
  • 2. Author's personal copy Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Expert Systems with Applications journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/eswa An empirical study of the determinants of the intention to participate in user-created contents (UCC) services Saokosal Oum 1, DongWook Han ⇑ School of Smart Media, Jeonju University, 1200 Hyoja-Dong, Wansan-Gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-Do 560-759, South Korea a r t i c l e i n f o Keywords: User-created contents Technology acceptance model Social trust Perceived playfulness Perceived encouragement Telepresence Altruism Social identity a b s t r a c t Up to now UCC services have been dominating the majority of the internet traffic, yet the answers to what motivates people to participate in the UCC services still remain vague and unclear. It is the motivation to find these answers that lead to this study. We adopted technology acceptance model (TAM) to our model and examined the effects of external variables—social identity, telepresence, altruism, perceived playfulness and social trust. Data was collected from undergraduate students in Jeonju University, South Korea, who had experience in UCC. The findings showed that social trust and perceived playfulness play a pivotal role in explaining the individual’s behavioral intention to participate in UCC services. Also, perceived encouragement was found to have significant influence on social trust instead of its direct effect on the intention to participate in UCC services. Additionally, social identity and telepresence were the most important factors of perceived encouragement. This implication can help both researchers and Web practitioners to better understand user behavior in UCC context. Ó 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction The Internet is a communication channel that is contained by neither time nor geography (Ahn, Ryu, & Han, 2007). The Internet has become a part of our daily life (Lee, Cheng, & Chen, 2005), while social network sites (SNS) are becoming a new wave for the new era. Social network sites/services are a recent computermediated communication technology (Sledgianowski & Kulviwat, 2009) and are also the latest technologies and trends in online communication (Pfeil, Arjan, & Zaphiris, 2009). SNS has become a recent buzzword for the personal media market and has emerged as a top web-based business (Kwon & Wen, 2010). Social network and community websites haves changed the way people use the Internet, in creating personal profiles and content, sharing photographs, video, blog and user-generated content (UGC)/user-created content (UCC) in general (Karahasanovic et al., 2009). The increasing popularity of social networking and UCC has attracted the attention of researchers, see e.g., Lee, Cho, Gay, Davidson, and Ingraffea (2003), IP and Wagner (2008), Chow and Chan (2008), Dwyer, Hiltz, and Passerini (2007), Hossain and Silva (2009), Gangadharbatla (2007), Fogel and Nehmad (2009), Kwon and Wen (2010). According to Alexa2 (January, 2010), the top 20 most popular websites are either social network sites or websites that have an embedded social network function, for example, Facebook,3 YouTube,4 Wikipedia,5 Blogger,6 Twitter,7 and MySpace.8 The large companies like Yahoo! and Google are attracted to SNS and UCC as well (Sledgianowski & Kulviwat, 2009). User-generated content (UGC) or user-created contents (UCC) is a general term for any content submitted by the ‘‘digital common’’ rather than web publishers, where the contents are originally created by users or copied from other sources by users (Shim & Lee, 2009) and then, more importantly, are publicly distributed. Today users no longer passively consume media contents; instead, they actively demand their preferred contents and try to create content by themselves, which enables UCC to become the heart of some of the most relevant and fastest-growing applications on the Web (Ryu, Kim, & Lee, 2009). A study of Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) stated that more than 175 million active users had registered on Facebook and every minute, 10 h of content were uploaded to YouTube as January of 2009. Despite the fact that UCC is so popular, answers to a question ‘‘What makes those people participate the UCC sites?’’ still remain unclear. This motivates us to explore the phenomena that make millions of Internet users join in the UCC services and voluntarily 3 4 ⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +82 63 220 2229; fax: +82 63 220 3071. 1 2 E-mail addresses: oumsaokosal@gmail.com (S. Oum), dwhan@jj.ac.kr (D. Han). Tel.: +855 12 252 752. http://www.alexa.com. 0957-4174/$ - see front matter Ó 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2011.05.098 5 6 7 8 http://www.facebook.com. http://www.youtube.com. http://www.wikipedia.com. http://www.blogger.com. http://www.twitter.com. http://www.myspace.com.
  • 3. Author's personal copy S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 create a truly vast amount of content in the services. Similar studies can be found in the research of Kim, Na, and Ryu (2007) and Ryu et al. (2009), where both of them studied ‘‘video’’ UCC, the former work focusing on users of all ages and the latter focusing on elder users. However, this study is willing to explore factors that affect the use of the ‘‘whole’’ types of UCC. The word ‘‘whole’’ indicates all kinds of video, photo, music/audio and text or any other forms that are created by users. Therefore, a model for the whole type of UCC is proposed by extending the original TAM (Davis, 1989a; Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1989b) and adding external variables – ‘social identity’, ‘altruism’, ‘telepresence’, ‘perceived encouragement’, ‘perceived playfulness’ and ‘social trust.’ 2. Research background 2.1. Overview of user-created content (UCC) The original user-created content (UCC) is dates back to the Internet proliferation period around the early 1990s (Ryu et al., 2009), where the Internet started out as nothing more than a giant Bulletin Board System (BBS), that allowed users to exchange software, data, messages, and news with each other (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). User-created contents (UCC) is a general term for any content submitted by ‘‘digital common’’ rather than web publishers, where the contents are originally created by users or copied from other sources by users (Shim & Lee, 2009) and then, most importantly, are publicly distributed. UCC content can be in any form of information including text (discussion boards, blogs etc), photos, videos, music, audios, wikis,9 customer review sites, video games, virtual objects or any other website that offers the opportunity for the user to share their knowledge and familiarity with a product or experience. In order to be called UCC, it needs to fulfill three basic criteria: firstly, it needs to be published either on a publicly accessible website or on a social networking site accessible to a selected group of people; secondly, it needs to exhibit a certain amount of creative effort; and finally it needs to have been created outside of professional routines and practices (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Flickr, and Yahoo! Answers are good examples of UCC. These websites, however, specialize in different types of UCC. MySpace and Facebook, for example, allows users to upload their photos, keep contact with friends and family, and now allows users to play game online with their friends. YouTube, a major UCC site specialized in video content, allows users to upload video contents that are either created as original video content by themselves or copied from elsewhere. TIME magazine announced ‘‘You’’ as the Person of the year, and YouTube had become the best invention of 2006 (Ryu et al., 2009). Another kind of UCC are weblogs, or for short, blogs, typically described a personal diary and kept on the Web, which can be edited by an end user with few web publication skills (IP & Wagner, 2008). Blogger, owned by Google, and another recent major blog called Wordpress10 are the leading weblogs today (Alexa on January 2010). Yahoo! Answers is another kind of UCC service where you can ask questions on any topic, get answers from real people, and share your insights and experience. By the end of 2007, Yahoo! Answers has 120 million users, accumulating 400 million answers to questions (Harper, Raban, Rafaeli, & Konstan, 2008). Shim and Lee (2009) also stated that 9 A wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. (Wikipedia.org, January, 2010). 10 http://www.wordpress.com. 15111 Q&A has become a must-have feature for portals. Another example of UCC site, Flickr, now owned by Yahoo, is a large-scale photo sharing sites, where anyone from end users to professional photographers can search for photos along with sharing their own. In 2007, the number of registered users was about 5 million and the number of photos was approximately 250 million (Ames & Naasman, 2007). Evidently, UCC has changed the way we use the Internet. The power is largely in users’ hands. This leads to the question ‘‘What motivates these people to participate in UCC sites?’’ Similar studies have been done (Kim et al., 2007; Ryu et al., 2009), yet there is no research on the ‘‘whole’’ UCC format that has been intensively explored so far, which provides a significant motivation for this study. 2.2. Technology acceptance model (TAM) TAM, which was originally proposed by Davis (1989a), 1989b), is one of the most prominent theories in Information Systems usage (Ryu et al., 2009). TAM’s development was based on the social psychology theory of reason action (TRA) from Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975. In TAM, two determinants—’perceived usefulness’ and ‘perceived ease of use’—are conceived to explain the individual’s IT acceptance behavior. Davis defined perceived usefulness as ‘‘the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance’’ and perceived ease of use as ‘‘the degree of which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort.’’ TAM is capable of explaining user behavior across a broad range of end-user computing technology and user populations (Lee et al., 2005), and has been widely used in Information System research (Hu, Chau, Sheng, & Tam, 1999; Venkatesh & Davis, 2000a; Venkatesh & Morris, 2000b). Hence, TAM will be adapted as the basic structure for our framework to explain the participants’ behavior in UCC services as well. However, since TAM was designed to specifically explain computer usage behavior, its two variables are not enough to explain Web users’ motivation (Ahn et al., 2007). This is because TAM’s fundamental constructs do not fully reflect the variety of user task environments (Moon & Kim, 2001). Many previous studies have argued that the original TAM could not fully explain the technological acceptance and usage behavior. Even Davis himself modified the original TAM by proposing ‘intrinsic’ and ‘extrinsic’ motivation as the key driving forces of the user’s behavioral intention to accept new technology (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1992). Extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity because it is perceived to be instrumental in achieving valued outcomes that are distinct from the activity itself, such as enhanced job performance, pay, or promotion. Intrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity for no apparent reason other than the act of performing it (Deci, 1975). As shown in Table 1, rather than using the original TAM, those studies have extended the TAM by adding new external variables in many different areas according to the specific characteristics of the technology or systems: individual, task, system or organizational characteristics. In this paper, we also extend TAM by adding new and wider external variables which are described in detail in Section 3. 3. Hypothesis and research model The model of our study adapts the original TAM as the basic concept for our framework. Plus, six external variables‘social identity’, ‘altruism’, ‘telepresence’, and ‘perceived encouragement’, ‘perceived playfulness’ and ‘social trust’ are added. The model is shown in Fig. 1.
  • 4. Author's personal copy 15112 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Table 1 Applications of TAM. Research and authors Constructs Summary Social network service (Kwon & Wen, 2010) Perceived encouragement Social identity Altruism Telepresence Individual characteristics affect user acceptance of SNS Perceived encouragement and perceived orientation are significant Elderly users in video UCC (Ryu et al., 2009) Perceived user resource Prior similar experience The factors affecting elderly users’ acceptance of video UCC Elderly users can change to adopt video UCC. Elderly-specific Computer anxiety variables are good antecedents, while having direct effects on the Perceived physical condition intention construct for some cases Life course event Compatibility Perceived enjoyment Social network sites (Sledgianowski & Kulviwat, 2009) Normative pressure Playfulness Factors influencing user adoption of social network sites All the hypothesized determinants have a significant direct Critical mass effect on intent to use. Intent to use and perceived playfulness have a significant direct effect on actual usage Online retailing (Ahn et al., 2007) System quality Information quality Service quality Playfulness The effect of playfulness in online retailing and the relationship between Web quality factor and use acceptance behavior Playfulness is significant, and Web quality, categorized into system, information, and service quality had a significant impact on the perceived ease of use, playfulness, and usefulness E-learning (Roca, Chiu, & Martinez, 2007) Perceived cognitive absorption Perceived Internet self-efficacy TAM in an e-learning service Users’ continuance intention is determined by satisfaction, Perceived computer self-efficacy which in turn is jointly determined by perceived usefulness, Interpersonal influence information quality, confirmation, service quality, system quality, External influence perceived ease of use and cognitive absorption Information quality Service quality System quality Confirmation Satisfaction Hospital info systems (Tung, Chang, & Chou, 2007) Perceived financial cost Compatibility Trust Web acceptance model (Castaneda, Munozleiva, & Luque, 2007) Internet experience Website experience Internet-based learning (Lee et al., 2005) Perceived enjoyment Attitude Students’ acceptance of an Internet based learning medium Both perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment have impact on intention to use, while perceived ease of use has impact on student attitude or intention to use Online banking (Pikkarainen, Pikkarainen, Karjaluoto, & Pahnila, 2004) Perceived enjoyment Online banking acceptance among private banking customers in Information on online banking Finland Security and privacy Perceived usefulness and information on online banking on Quality of Internet Connection the Web site were the main factors influencing online-banking acceptance Product involvement Web skills TAM, marketing, and psychology in online consumer behavior Both shopping enjoyment and perceived usefulness strongly Challenges predicts intention to return. Product involvement, Web skills, Value-added search mechanisms challenges, and use of value-added search mechanisms all have a Perceived control significant impact on the Web consumer Online consumer behavior (Koufaris, 2002) TAM and examinees nurses’ acceptance of the e-logistics Information system in the medical industry Compatibility, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and trust have positive influence on intention to use, while perceived financial cost has negative influence on intention to use TAM and the users’ experience in Web The novelty of the study consisted in applying TAM to a free-content website while considering the moderating effects of Internet and website experience Shopping enjoyment Concentration World Wide Web (Moon & Kim, 2001) Perceived playfulness Playfulness as a new factor that reflects the user’s intrinsic belief in WWW acceptance. Playfulness is important in an individual’s acceptance of the WWW Cognitive Absorption (Agarwal & Karahana, 2000) Cognitive Absorption Personal innovation Playfulness Self-efficacy A construct labeled cognitive absorption and defined as a state of deep involvement with software The cognitive absorption has influence on TAM, and playfulness and personal innovativeness are important determinants of cognitive absorption Since TAM is used as the baseline model, the following TAM hypothesized relationships will be verified in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 1. Perceived ease of use will have a positive effect on perceived usefulness in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 2. Perceived ease of use will have a positive effect on behavioral intention to participate the UCC services. Hypothesis 3. Perceived usefulness will have a positive effect on behavioral intentions to participate the UCC services. 3.1. Perceived playfulness Playfulness has been conceptualized as an individual disposition that is manifested by the qualities or attributes that individuals bring to their environment (e.g., Csikszentmihalyi, 1975; Lieberman, 1965; Lieberman, 1966; Barnett, 1990, 1991;
  • 5. Author's personal copy S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Bozionelos & Bozionelos, 1999). Webster and Martocchio (1992) defined ‘Micro-computer playfulness’ as a situation-specific individual characteristic that represents intellectual or cognitive playfulness: an individual’s tendency to interact spontaneously, inventively, and imaginatively with computers (Ahn et al., 2007). Playfulness has been employed in many recent Information Systems studies, e.g. Cognitive Absorption (Agarwal & Karahana, 2000). Moon and Kim (2001) then adopted playfulness to explain behavioral intention to use the World Wide Web and named it ‘perceived playfulness’. They defined perceived playfulness as ‘‘The extent to which the individual perceives that his or her attention is focused on the interaction with the World Wide Web; is curious during the interaction; and finds the interaction intrinsically enjoyable or interesting.’’ They also defined three dimensions of perceived playfulness: concentration (the extent to which a user perceived that his or her attention was focused), curiosity (the extent to which the user was inquisitive about the interaction), and enjoyment (the extent to which the user found the interaction fun or interesting). They showed that perceived playfulness is an important factor in encouraging more people to use WWW. Lin, Wu, and Tsai (2005) then employed perceived playfulness to explain the individuals’ intentions to revisit the web portal; as a result, perceived playfulness was found to be a critical variable for investigating the continued use in the web portal context. Therefore, the following hypotheses are proposed in the UCC services participation context: Hypothesis 4. Perceived ease of use will have a positive effect on perceived playfulness in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 5. Perceived playfulness will have a positive effect on behavioral intention to participate the UCC services. 3.2. Social trust Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman (1995) defined trust as ‘‘the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustee, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party.’’ A wide range of studies on trust can be found in numerous fields such as philosophy, sociology, psychology, management, marketing, ergonomics, human–computer interaction (HCI), industrial psychology, and electronic commerce. Social trust, on the other hand, was defined as ‘‘the individuallevel internalization of norms of reciprocity, which facilitates collective action by allowing people to take risks and to trust that fellow citizens will not take advantage of them’’ (Brehm & Rahn, 1997; Putnam, 1993; Putnam, 2000). Social trust has shown its importance in a wide range of economic and political phenomena (Güth, Levati, & Ploner, 2008). Many researchers (Beugelsdijk, de Groot, & van Schaik, 2004; Knack & Keefer, 1997; Zak & Knack, 2001) also agreed that social trust generally plays an important role in economic growth. Also, Oxendine, Borgida, Sullivan, and Jackson (2003) found that social trust is a factor in helping to instigate the development and character of a ‘community electronic network’. Since a UCC service also forms as a community, the latter study leads us to assume that social trust would be as important in helping to improve the UCC service. Recently, Papagapitos and Riley (2009) have demonstrated that there is a positive and significant relationship that runs from trust to secondary education enrollment. From UCC perspective, this can imply that a UCC service that provides greater trust to its members may have more potential for gaining more prospective user’s enrollments as well. Recently, a similar work (Kim et al., 2007) 15113 has shown that there are two relationships related to perceived trust: one from perceived ease of use to perceived trust and another from perceived trust to intention to participate in a video UCC service, where both of the influences were decidedly significant. In this study, rather than perceived trust, social trust is expected to have the same relationships. The following hypotheses are hence proposed: Hypothesis 6. Perceived ease of use will have a positive effect on social trust in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 7. Social trust will have a positive effect on behavioral intention to participate the UCC services. 3.3. Social identity Social Identity was originally developed by Tajfel and John (1979) to better understand the psychological basis of intergroup discrimination. Tajfel and Turner (1979) defined social identity as ‘‘that part of an individual’s self-concept which derives from his membership of a social group (or groups), together with the value and emotional significance attached to this.’’ Hogg and Vaughan (2002) also defined social identity as the individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership of social groups. Another similar social identity theory proposes that the membership of social groups and categories form an important part of their self-perception. Therefore, when an individual is interacting with another person, they will not act as a single individual but as a representative of a whole group or category of people. Clement, Noels, and Doeneault (2001) also stated that people who have a higher social identity tend to perceive their ‘‘in-groups’’ in ways that distinguish themselves positively from ‘‘out-groups’’ and prefer a group which provides them with a positive self-image. Most recently, social identity has been implanted in online social network environments. Song and Kim (2006) first proposed that social identity is a crucial determinant that affects intention to use a specific technology or system in virtual community service settings. Kwon and Wen (2010) consequently utilized the construct to explain users’ perception to use social network service. Unlike Song and Kim’s study where social identity affects directly the intention to use, Kwon and Wen (2010) instead suggested that social identity is a factor that affects perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and perceived encouragement. Since social network and UCC share the same characteristics, these constructs may be still relevant and so can be employed in UCC services usage. Therefore, following hypotheses are proposed: Hypothesis 8. Social Identity will have a positive effect on perceived encouragement in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 9. Social identity will have a positive effect on perceived usefulness in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 10. Social identity will have a positive effect on perceived ease of use in the UCC services participation context. 3.4. Altruism Altruism refers to voluntary beneficial actions where one attempts to improve the welfare of others at one expense (Fang & Chiu, 2010). There are two important forms of altruism which are recognized by ethologists and behavioral ecologists: kin altruism and reciprocal altruism (Krebs and Davies, 1987; McFarland,
  • 6. Author's personal copy 15114 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Social Trust Perceived Encouragement Social Identity Perceived Usefulness Intention to Use Altruism Perceived Ease of Use Telepresence Perceived Playfulness Fig. 1. The research model of UCC service use. 1993; Ashton, Paunonena, Helmesa, & Jacksona, 1998; Kwon & Wen, 2010). Kin altruism involves behaving in such a way as to benefit a genetic relative’s chances of survival or reproduction at some cost to one’s own chances, while reciprocal altruism, in contrast to kin altruism, involves acting in such a way that another individual is benefited at some expense to oneself, with the expectation that the recipient—who may be completely unrelated to the altruist—will return similar assistance in the future (Ashton et al., 1998). Even though the concept is most commonly used in philosophical and ethical studies, altruism has been recently employed as a very good variable in many studies related to human behavior toward technology in regarding to sharing knowledge (Ba, Stallaert, & Whinston, 2001; Davenport & Prusak, 1998). Altruistic behavior is also a motivation that induces members in a peerto-peer community to more willingly contribute knowledge for the sake of others (Kwok & Gao, 2004). In a study of social network service (Kwon & Wen, 2010), instead of using altruism as the direct antecedent to explain the user behavior, altruism is used as an antecedent of perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and perceived encouragement. Their interesting work leads to our hypotheses: Hypothesis 11. Altruism will have a positive effect on perceived ease of use in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 12. Altruism will have a positive effect on perceived usefulness in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 13. Altruism will have a positive effect on perceived encouragement in the UCC services participation context. Kwon & Wen’s (2010) mentioned that in other to illustrate the altruism’s action within a TAM framework, altruism should be supported by an additional perceived construct which turned out to be perceived encouragement since they consider reciprocal altruism. However, they failed to mention another important form of altruism, that being the concept of kin altruism. Ashton et al. (1998) stated kin altruism is related to personality characteristics. It could be assumed that people are doing something because they themselves may enjoy doing it. This behavior appears to be largely altruistic based on kin altruism. Wasko and Faraj (2000) agreed that people participates in electronic community and help others because participation is fun and helping others is enjoyable and brings satisfaction. Another study from Wasko and Faraj (2005) also found the mean level of enjoyment creating by helping was very high. Therefore, the following hypothesis is proposed: Hypothesis 14. Altruism will have a positive effect on perceived playfulness in the UCC services participation context. 3.5. Telepresence Telepresence is defined as ‘‘the experience of presence in an environment by means of a communication medium’’ (Steuer, 1992). Another similar telepresence definition from Walker and Sheppard (1997) stated ‘‘Telepresence is enabling human interaction at a distance, creating a sense of being present at remote location.’’ Telepresence has been long used as a typical construct in virtual environment, e.g. (Held & Durlach, 1992; Sheridan, 1992; Steuer, 1995). Mahfouz, Philaretou, and Theocharous (2008) mentioned that while browsing the Internet, there are also sensations of time distortion, enjoyment, and heightened telepresence. Recently, telepresence has been thought to be a variable which also contributes to social network service users to provide a consistent and natural interface, and it can be as a functionality which leads a user to perceive that she/he is getting in touch simultaneously with a multiple space, which may decrease the efforts involved in psychological transportation (Kwon & Wen, 2010). Suh and Chang (2006) also pointed that telepresence lead to consumers perceiving that they are informed about a product, therefore, feel more positively about it. From this point of view, telepresence could be employed to explain users’ behavior toward UCC services. Mollen and Wilson (2009) stated that the experience of telepresence is, however, not in itself enough to generate a relationship with a brand sufficient to induce usage intention. Also, Suh and Chang (2006) found no direct correlation between telepresence and purchase intention. Lastly, Kwon and Wen (2010) discovered that the increase of telepresence through a social network service positively affects perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and perceived encouragement. The following hypotheses are hence proposed: Hypothesis 15. Telepresence will have a positive effect on perceived ease of use in the UCC services participation context. Hypothesis 16. Telepresence will have a positive effect on perceived usefulness in the UCC services participation context.
  • 7. Author's personal copy 15115 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Hypothesis 17. Telepresence will have a positive effect on perceived encouragement in the UCC services participation context. However, one fascinating and important aspect of telepresence that was not mentioned in Kwon & Wen’s model is the relationship between telepresence and perceived playfulness. Pace’s (2004) study showed that when a user feels telepresence whilst browsing a 3D virtual world, they forget previous plans, and has a heightened sense of curiosity. In a computer-mediated environment, telepresence is an essential factor for enabling a person to maintain concentration on the computer-based task (Finneran & Zhang, 2003). According to Moon and Kim (2001), concentration, curiosity, and enjoyment are the three dimensions of perceived playfulness. Hence, telepresence may be related to increase the perceived playfulness in the context of UCC use. These lead to a further hypothesis: Hypothesis 18. Telepresence will have a positive effect on perceived playfulness in the UCC services participation context. 3.6. Perceived encouragement (Greenberg, Greenberg, & Antonucci, 2007), encouragement was revealed to be a determinant of trust as well. He mentioned that encouragement from team members, even just an encouraging email or short ‘thank you’ memo to express their appreciation to a member’s performance can promote trust within their teams. A similar example of encouragement can also be found in most of UCC sites and many other websites: the ‘‘first welcome e-mail’’. A user receives it right after completing a new sign up. Another case is evident, for example, in YouTube, which allows their members to post comments on a video, rate the video, and even rate other members’ comments. Facebook quickly suggests a bunch of known/unknown friends and friends of friends once you become a member. Through this encouraging functionality, a user can perceive that her/his existence is being considered by other members and starts to exhibit feelings as a member of the community. In a similar study about trust in virtual community, Ridings, Gefen, and Arinze (2002) stated that decisions to trust others are based Table 2 Respondent’s demographic information. Hypothesis 19. Perceived encouragement will have a positive effect on perceived usefulness in the UCC services participation context. Items (n = 186) Frequency Percent Gender Male Female 71 115 38.17 61.83 Age 18–20 21–23 24–26 27–29 115 55 15 1 61.83 29.57 8.06 0.54 Internet use experience <1 year 1–2 years 2–3 years >3 years 6 0 3 117 3.23 0.00 1.61 95.16 Internet use (Hours per day) <1 h 1–3 h 3–6 h >6 h 37 110 36 3 19.89 59.14 19.35 1.61 Internet use (days per week) 1–2 days 3–4 days 5–6 days Everyday 32 30 35 89 17.20 16.13 18.82 47.85 Places of Internet use (multi choices) Home University Internet Cafe Others 156 38 17 7 83.87 20.43 9.14 3.76 Purpose of Internet use (multi choices) Entertaining Study Int’ shopping Others 80 123 89 25 43.01 66.13 47.85 13.44 Web browser (multi choices) Internet explorer Firefox Safari Others 183 74.19 1 2 3 0.54 1.08 1.61 UCC knowledge Quite well So so Little Don’t know 15 53 115 3 8.06 28.49 61.83 1.61 Type of UCC use Video Music Photos SNS/friends Blogs 65 75 31 13 72 34.95 40.32 16.67 6.99 38.71 UCC use experience <3 months 3–6 months 6–12 months >1 year 22 27 34 103 11.83 14.52 18.28 55.38 UCC use (hours each time) One of the most powerful forces in our lives is encouragement. Moffatt, Chitwood, and Bigger (1994) pointed out that a person who gets encouragement tends to make fewer mistakes than those who do not get any encouragement. In a study of counseling psychology, failed students who get high motivation are found to get significant improvement on their GPA score and have fewer ‘‘F’’ grade than those who get low motivation (McGuire & Noble, 1973). The significant impact of the use of encouragement was from Campos’s (1929) experiment on training dogs where he found that verbal encouragement improved their performance. While encouragement is usually employed in psychology (Daniel, 1956; Howard, 1966), it is not commonly used in the context of information technology. However, Kwon and Wen (2010) have recently found that encouragement (literal encouragement rather than verbal encouragement), which they named ‘perceived encouragement’, is also a variable involved in a user’s behavior in social network use. It is so named because it shows how a person perceives another’s encouraging expression rather than how the person express her/his willingness to encourage different people. In their study, perceived encouragement was curiously found to be a factor that had significant impacts directly on perceived usefulness as well as the actual use of social network service. This determinant may explain users’ behavior in the context of UCC use as well. As is evident, unlike other technologies where usage intention can usually occur because users see the necessity and benefits of the technologies, a user who participates in a UCC service does not only receive benefits from others, but she/he usually gives feedbacks and/or share the benefits with others as well; therefore they need a lot of encouragement in order to make them keep sharing. In Kwon & Wen’s (2010) study, perceived encouragement had influence on perceived usefulness and on intention to use. Based on their work, the hypotheses were proposed in the context of UCC use as followed: Measure <1 h 1–3 h 167 19 89.78 10.22 UCC use (hours per week) <10 h 10–19 h 181 5 97.31 2.69 Hypothesis 20. Perceived encouragement will have a positive effect on behavioral intention to participate the UCC services. A further and arguably important point that was not mentioned in the above study is the impact of perceived encouragement on social trust. In a recent study about trust in virtual teams
  • 8. Author's personal copy 15116 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Table 3 Model fit summary. Construct Members Model fits (before) Model fits (modified) Cronbach’s alpha if item deleted Perceived usefulness PU1 PU2 PU3 PU4 CMIN/DF(2): 2.253 RMR: 0.008 GFI: 0.988 AGFI: 0.939 NFI: 0.987 IFI: 0.993 CFI: 0.992 CMIN/DF(2): 2.253 RMR: 0.008 GFI: 0.988 AGFI: 0.939 NFI: 0.987 IFI: 0.993 CFI: 0.992 0.840 0.777 0.809 0.827 Perceived ease of use PEU1 PEU2 PEU3 SI1 SI2 SI3 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.508 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.476 0.676 0.720 0.678 Social identity CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.508 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.476 Telepresence TE1 TE2 TE3 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.387 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.387 0.555 0.528 0.645 Altruism AL1 (x) AL2 (x) AL3 (x) CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.257 (No data since this construct is eliminated) 0.407 (x) 0.410 (x) 0.484 (x) Perceived encouragement PE1 PE2 PE3 PE4 CMIN/DF (0): 2.027 RMR: 0.018 GFI: 0.990 AGFI: 0.948 NFI: 0.987 IFI: 0.994 CFI: 0.993 RMSEA: 0.074 CMIN/DF (0): 2.027 RMR: 0.018 GFI: 0.990 AGFI: 0.948 NFI: 0.987 IFI: 0.994 CFI: 0.993 RMSEA: 0.074 0.800 0.765 0.793 0.843 Social trust ST1 ST2 ST3 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.411 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.411 0.611 0.600 0.615 Perceived playfulness PP1 (x) PP2 (x) PP3 PP4 PP5 CMIN/DF (0):10.519 RMR: GFI: AGFI: NFI: 0.848 IFI: 0.860 CFI: 0.858 RMSEA: 0.227 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: GFI: AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.601 0.797 (x) 0.763 (x) 0.782 0.728 0.759 Intention to use IU1 IU2 IU3 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.544 CMIN/DF (0): RMR: 0.000 GFI: 1.000 AGFI: NFI: 1.000 IFI: 1.000 CFI: 1.000 RMSEA: 0.544 0.706 0.678 0.749 X indicates ‘‘deleted item’’. 0.669 0.561 0.720
  • 9. Author's personal copy 15117 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 on knowledge of the other people. Based on these empirical studies, perceived encouragement may have an impact on social trust in the context of UCC services, and thus the following hypothesis is proposed: For the altruism construct, its Cronbach’s alpha was less than 0.7, and each item also had less than 0.7 of Cronbach’s alpha and had less than 0.4 of SMC. Thus, the altruism construct was eliminated from our model. Hypothesis 21. Perceived encouragement will have a positive effect on social trust in the UCC services participation context. Reliability and convergent validity of the constructs were estimated by Cronbach’s alpha (Table 4). Cronbach’s alphas for most constructs were above 0.70 except telepresence (0.671). 4. Research methods 4.1. Data collection The body of work aimed at empirically studying the determinants of the intention to participate in user-created contents (UCCs) services. A survey technique was used to collect data. First, a pilot study on UCC users was run to find out any ambiguous items. And then the pre-test included five undergraduate students and two graduate students who were experienced in UCC and had good knowledge concerning UCC. The subjects were selected from Korean undergraduate students from various departments (Computer Science, Information Systems, Management, Business, Economics, Marketing, Social Science, etc.) in Jeonju University, South Korea. Note that the survey was first made in English and then translated to Korean. The survey was conducted in four different classrooms by directly handing each of them a survey form in the Korean language, held from the 3rd to 14th of December 2009. Of the total 225 distributed samples, 186 usable survey responses (82.66%) were obtained. The subjects consisted of 61.83% females and 38.17% males, over 95% using the Internet for more than 3 years, and 98% acknowledging UCC. Respondents’ demographic information relating to the respondents’ characteristics is shown in Table 2. 4.2. Measurement Measurement items were developed by adopting measures that had been validated in prior studies and modifying them to the context of UCC service use. The list of these items is shown Appendix A. Measurements for perceived ease of use (PEU), perceived usefulness (PU), and intention to use (IU) were developed from the study of Ryu et al. (2009), based on Davis’ prior studies. Measurements for social identity (IS), altruism (AL), telepresence (TE), and perceived encouragement were developed from Kwon Wen’s (2010) study, with modifications to fit the specific context of the UCC use. The measurement of perceived playfulness (PP) was from Moon Kim’s (2001) study while only five out of nine measurements were selected from the original study which best fitted our context study. Finally the measurements for social trust (ST) were modified from Chow Chan’s (2008) study. Each item was measured on a five-point Likert scale, ranging from ‘‘strongly disagree’’ (1) to ‘‘strongly agree’’ (5). 5. Results 5.2. The structural model The research model was analyzed using structural equation model (SEM) using AMOS 17. The fitness measures for the measurement models are shown in Table 5. The value of v2 to degree of freedom (345) was 1.397 less than 2.00 which indicate a good fit of the model. The value of goodness-of-fit index (GFI) was 0.863, adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI) was 0.824, normalized fit index (NFI) was 0.841, incremental Fit index (IFI) was 0.949, comparative fit index (CFI) was 0.948, root mean square residual (RMR) was 0.045, and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) was 0.046. Almost of them are greater than the recommended threshold value. Therefore, the results show a good fit of the model. Table 6 describes the hypothesis-testing results. Also, Fig. 2 explains each model’s proven hypothesis, where bold lines indicate significant and dotted lines indicate not supported. Note that altruism was removed from our model. The results unexpectedly showed that in the TAM constructs, except a relationship from perceived ease of use to perceived usefulness (H1, b = 0.175, p 0.05), the other two relationships, one from perceived ease of use to intention to use (H2) and another from perceived usefulness to intention to use (H3), were not significant (b = À0.256, p 0.05; b = 0.159, p 0.05), hence were not supported. Also, perceived ease of use had no influence on perceived playfulness (H4, b = 0.042, p 0.05); instead, perceived playfulness itself had total effect on intention to use (H5, b = 0.517, p 0.001). Similarly, social trust had impact on intention to use (H7, b = 0.634, p 0.05) while it got no influence from perceived ease of use (H6, Table 4 Cronbach’s alpha of constructs. Constructs Items Cronbach’s alpha Perceived usefulness (PU) Perceived ease of use (PEU) Social identity (SI) Telepresence (TE) Altruism (AL) Perceived encouragement (PE) Social trust (ST) Perceived playfulness (PP) Intention to use UCC services (IU) PU 1, 2, 3, 4 PEU 1, 2, 3 SI 1, 2, 3 TE 1, 2, 3 AL 1, 2, 3 PE 1, 2, 3, 4 ST 1, 2, 3 PP 1, 2 IU 1, 2, 3 0.853 0.771 0.738 0.671 0.535 0.843 0.700 0.804 0.789 Table 5 Fit indices for measurement and structural model. 5.1. Validation Goodness-of-fit measure Recommended value Cronbach’s alpha Factor analysis was used to reduce the number for items of each construct to maintain its reliability and validity (see Table 3). As a result: v2/degree of freedom (CMIN/DF) Root mean square residual (RMR) Goodness-of-fit index (GFI) Adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI) Normalized fit index (NFI) Incremental fit Index (IFI) Comparative fit index (CFI) Root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) 62.00 60.05 P0.80 P0.80 P0.90 P0.90 P0.90 60.05 1.397 0.045 0.863 0.824 0.841 0.949 0.948 0.046 Three items were eliminated from perceived playfulness because their SMC (Squared Multiple Correlations) less than 0.4. – ‘‘When using UCC, I do not realize the time elapsed.’’ – ‘‘When using UCC, I often forget the work I do.’’
  • 10. Author's personal copy 15118 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Significant path (p0.05) Non-significant path Social Trust * p0.05, ** p0.01, *** p0.001 0.533*** Perceived Encouragement 0.231* 0.634* Social Identity 0.416** Perceived Usefulness 0.175* 0.759*** Telepresence Intention to Use 0.395* Perceived Ease of Use 1.092*** 0.517*** Perceived Playfulness Fig. 2. The results of the research model. Table 6 Hypothesis-testing results. Hypothesis Effects H1 Perceived ease of use ? perceived usefulness Perceived ease of use ? intention to use Perceived usefulness ? intention to use Perceived ease of use ? perceived Playfulness Perceived playfulness ? intention to use Perceived ease of use ? social trust Social trust ? intention to use Social identity ? perceived encouragement Social identity ? perceived usefulness Social identity ? perceived ease of use Telepresence ? perceived ease of use Telepresence ? perceived usefulness Telepresence ? perceived encouragement Telepresence ? perceived playfulness Perceived encouragement ? perceived usefulness Perceived encouragement ? intention to use Perceived encouragement ? social trust H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8 H9 H10 H15 H16 H17 H18 H19 H20 H21 Standard Path Coefficient pValue p 0.05); instead, perceived encouragement showed significant impact on social trust (H21, b = 0.533, p 0.001). Overall, amongst 21 hypotheses, nine hypotheses (H5, H7, H8, H10, H16, H17, H18, and H21) were supported. 0.175 0.025 À0.256 0.021 6. Conclusion 0.159 0.219 0.042 0.704 0.517 0.000 0.044 0.429 0.634 0.231 0.040 0.030 À0.063 0.548 0.416 0.003 0.084 0.577 0.395 0.027 0.759 0.000 1.092 0.000 À0.016 0.910 0.197 0.383 0.533 0.000 The goal of this study was developed to investigate what determinants would affect the user acceptance of a UCC service, by empirically studying TAM model and other six external variables – social identity, altruism, telepresence, perceived encouragement, perceived playfulness and social trust. As mentioned previously, the findings of our study unexpectedly showed that the impact of perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness on intention to use UCC was not supported although there was an impact of perceived ease of use on perceived usefulness. As a matter of fact, many researchers, even Davis himself, have already argued that TAM model was not necessarily suitable to explain human behavior toward new technologies since the model was designed to specifically explain computer usage behavior. Evidently today’s computer software is certainly powerful and the Internet speed is especially fast. Also, Table 1 shows that every survey respondent has been using computers, and more than 95% of them have used the Internet for more than three years. People get used to the usefulness and simplicity of technology, and so the reason for their desire to use UCC perhaps stems from them wanting to find something greater. From this perspective, one can conclude that TAM is not an appropriate model to explain the UCC usage. It also suggests that people today expect this type of technology to be more than just a useful and user-friendly tool. In fact, the affect of perceived playfulness on intention to use was shown to be highly significant, which suggests users need something else: playfulness. Actually, the relationship has already been hypothesized and also supported in Moon Kim’s (2001) literature. By combining their results with our experiments, a hypothesis of ours which states that ‘‘a UCC service that can offer higher enjoyment is most likely to gain more members’’ is confirmed. On the other hand, the experiments showed that perceived playfulness did not draw influence from perceived ease of use which is opposite to Kim and Moon’s study. Instead, perceived playfulness received a significant impact from telepresence, the relationship of which is one of our new supposed hypotheses. The relationship between telepresence, perceived playfulness and b = 0.044, p 0.05). Social identity had significant influence on perceived encouragement (H8, b = 0.231, p 0.05) and on perceived ease of use (H10, b = 0.416, p 0.001) but not on perceived usefulness (H9, b = À0.063, p 0.05). Telepresence was found to have an impact on perceived usefulness (H16, b = 0.395, p 0.05), on perceived encouragement (H17, b = 0.759, p 0.001) and on perceived playfulness (H18, b = 1.092, p 0.001) while it did not show any effect on perceived ease of use (H15, b = 0.084, p 0.05). Perceived encouragement had no influence on perceived usefulness (H19, b = À0.016, p 0.05) and on intention to use (H20, b = 0.197,
  • 11. Author's personal copy S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 the intention to use, indicates that the higher a UCC service stimulates users’ emotions, the higher playfulness they can perceive, resulting in a lot more of them participating in the service. Actually, telepresence did not only exhibit influence on perceived playfulness but it also influenced other constructs including perceived encouragement and perceived usefulness, although it did not show any effect on perceived ease of use, which is contradictory to a finding in Kwon Wen’s (2010) study. The impact of telepresence on perceived encouragement implies that the higher a UCC service stimulates users’ feeling, the more useful the service is regarded, and the higher the possibility the users will encourage others to join the service. As mentioned, there is another influence of telepresence on perceived usefulness; though since perceived usefulness had no impact on intention to use, this influence seems to be unnecessary. As for social identity, the results showed that while it had no influence on perceived usefulness, social identity still had a significant impact on perceived encouragement and on perceived ease of use. These relationships have already hypothesized in Mazman Usluel’s (2009) study and confirmed in Kwon Wen’s (2010) study. Therefore, concerning the relationship between social identity to perceived encouragement, we reconfirm that individuals who have a higher social identity and hence relatively more pride tend to expect more encouraging messages and are more like to express pride to their in-groups (Clement et al., 2001; Kwon Wen, 2010). Again, since perceived ease of use had no influence on intention to use, the impact of social identity on perceived ease of use will not be mentioned. Another new relationship that has been discovered was causality from perceived encouragement to social trust. The results indicated that perceived encouragement had highly significant influence on social trust. Thus, the hypothesis—one who perceives higher encouragement from a social tends to gain more trust in the social—is confirmed. Moreover, the aforementioned effect then caused social trust to also have significant impact on intention to use, which showed a contrast to the result of Chow Chan’s (2008) study where social trust was found to have no relationships at all in their model. By looking at the results a bit closer, it is shown that instead of a direct influence of perceived encouragement on intention to use, it firstly affects social trust and in turn social trust affects intention to use. A relationship between social identity and intention to use indicates that users may not readily participate in a service soon after receiving encouragement from the service and/or members in the service, even though they have very high social identity, until they fully trust in the service and/or members in the service. In summary, this study contributes the following. Firstly, three new relationships were discovered: (1) an influence of telepresence on perceived playfulness, (2) an influence of perceived encouragement on social trust and (3) an influence of social trust on intention to participate in UCC services. Additionally, we successfully adopted perceived playfulness and perceived encouragement to this model. Last but not least, the findings showed that social identity was an important factor of perceived encouragement, and telepresence was an important factor of perceived encouragement as well as perceived playfulness in UCC usage context. 6.1. Implications for practitioners This study pointed out the importance of understanding human behavior toward popular technologies such as UCC so that practitioners can gain greater advantage from UCC by paying more attention to the value of the five variables: social identity, telepresence, perceived encouragement, social trust, perceived playfulness. Our findings have shown that individuals who have higher social identity and telepresence tend to receive more encouragement. A 15119 welcome message, birthday congratulation card, well done message, etc, are good examples of encouragement that a UCC service should not forget. The service should actively continue introducing users to friends, both old and new, so that they will become more comfortable in knowing they are not alone in the service. Plus, there must be a provision of a functionality that allows them to encourage each other. Also, do not forget to persuade them to engage more in a community so that individuals who have a high social identity may join the activity. Providing realistic content is also an important means encourage them as it provides adequate levels of telepresence. Conversely, encouragement can easily be confused as spam, scam or phishing11 if not carefully considered. For example, instead of being encouraged, a lot of emails sent would only serve to annoy and lead to being marked as spam. Too much persuading could make them suspicious about the service activity. Too much encouragement from other members may be confused as phishing. As is evident from the experiment results, perceived encouragement never had direct influence on intention to use. Instead, it had influence first on social trust and then from social trust to intention use. Therefore, the service needs to carefully give encouragement in the degree to which a person perceives that the service is trustful. Moreover, the site should keep users’ confidential information and provide, for example, trustful information with trustful sources, clear mission, and fact sheets, in order to build and strengthen trust in the service. Another strong factor which directly affects intention to use is perceived playfulness. In terms of perceived playfulness, the service provider should create more activities or games or even online games that could keep members joyfully busy in a website. Those activities should be frequently updated and made more challenging so that members would find them refreshingly enjoyable. Moreover, a new impact of telepresence on perceived playfulness indicates that in order for a UCC service to be perceived more as a playful place, users need to be provided higher telepresence— the feeling of being ‘‘there.’’ Also, a website should be strategically transformed to be more like a new society and should also provide users the functionality to create their own societies. 6.2. Limitations Although our study provided meaningful implication for UCC, it had a few inherent limitations. Firstly, the survey data was less than 200 which could bias the result. Secondly, the survey respondents were all in their 20’s; hence, our findings may not be applied to all age UCC users. Finally, all survey participants were Korean. Their culture, life style and background may differ from other countries. Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge Francois Kotze for providing language assistance. Appendix A. List of items by construct Perceived usefulness (PU) PU1 Using UCC is advantageous PU2 Using UCC is valuable PU3 Using UCC is beneficial PU4 Using UCC is useful (continued on next page) 11 Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication (Wikipedia.org).
  • 12. Author's personal copy 15120 S. Oum, D. Han / Expert Systems with Applications 38 (2011) 15110–15121 Perceived ease of use (PEU) PEU1 UCC tool is clear and understandable PEU2 I find UCC easy to use PEU3 Learning to use UCC is easy for me Social identity (SI) SI1 As a member of the community, my position in community is very important SI2 As a member of the community, I am the type of person who likes to engage in my community SI3 Activities in my community is the important part of my life Telepresence (TE) TE1 While engaging with the UCC, I feel I am in a different society TE2 I feel that UCC create a new society TE3 When using UCC, I feel like other people and I talk to each other Altruism (AL) AL1 I like helping other people AL2 Creating UCC content can help others with similar problems AL3 I enjoy helping others through UCC Perceived encouragement (PE) PE1 Members in UCC services tend to give me affirmative evaluation PE2 Members in UCC services tend to be satisfied with me PE3 Members in UCC services give me great encouragement PE4 Members in UCC services tend to be aware of my existence Social trust (ST) ST1 I trust other UCC members to help me out if I get into difficulties ST2 I trust UCC services’ information to be true ST3 I would trust UCC services to do the work right Perceived playfulness (PP) PP1 When using UCC, I do not realize the time elapsed PP2 When using UCC, I often forget the work I must do PP3 Using UCC gives enjoyment to me for my task PP4 Using UCC stimulates my curiosity PP5 Using UCC arouses my imagination Intention to use UCC services (IU) IU1 I will create UCC contents and share these with others, if possible IU2 I will participate in UCC services in the near future IU3 It is worth to participate in UCC services References Agarwal, R., Karahana, E. 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