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Indebtedness and Reciprocity   in Local Online Exchange        CSCW 2013, February 23     Airi Lampinen, Vilma Lehtinen,  ...
Why are reciprocity and feelings ofindebtedness important for CSCW? • Many popular and emerging online sharing and   colla...
Social Exchange in Online CommunitiesIndirect Exchange:           A               B         HigherGeneralized Exchange    ...
Social exchange is vital to socialinteraction, community, and solidarityThe norm of reciprocity   “reciprocity can increas...
Interpreting and responding tonorms of indirect social exchangein a local geographic community  – How do individuals make ...
KassiA Local Online Exchange System              Suhonen, E., Lampinen, A., Cheshire, C. & Antin, J. (2010)              E...
Case Study ofIndirect Non-Monetary Exchanges  Individual interviews with  active participants in the  Kassi community at a...
Primary Themes From User Descriptionsof Exchange Experiences                             So…how do                        ...
Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Offering small tokens of appreciation“I gave him a little cash for coffee so tha...
Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Understanding & accepting the indirectnature of generalized exchange            ...
Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Managing expectationsFraming offers and requests carefully                    “M...
Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Minimizing efforts neededin exchange processes               “Yeah, there was th...
Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Bartering and Exchangingfor a Third Party             “I just said that I can ke...
Implications I:Matching Similarity and StatusCharacteristics                  Individuals tend to accept support from thos...
Implications II:Highlighting the Value of Being aRecipientPrior work shows that individuals contribute more whenthey know ...
Implications III: Highlighting Exchange Processes, Not Just OutcomesShowcasing successful and less successfulexamples of e...
Conclusions  • Encouraging and sustaining participation is a central    challenge for different systems, regardless of whe...
Future Directions • Investigating paths of participation in local online exchange   through log data analysis • Kassi is n...
Photo credits:  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandoncwarren/4164759025    /sizes/l/in/photostream/  • http://www.flickr....
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Indebtedness and Reciprocity in Local Online Exchange

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Paper presentation at CSCW 2013 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Collaborative research by Airi Lampinen, Vilma Lehtinen, Coye Cheshire & Emmi Suhonen. View full paper at: http://www.hiit.fi/u/lampinen/cscw2013_lampinen_lehtinen_cheshire_Suhonen.pdf

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Indebtedness and Reciprocity in Local Online Exchange

  1. 1. Indebtedness and Reciprocity in Local Online Exchange CSCW 2013, February 23 Airi Lampinen, Vilma Lehtinen, Coye Cheshire, & Emmi Suhonen @airi_
  2. 2. Why are reciprocity and feelings ofindebtedness important for CSCW? • Many popular and emerging online sharing and collaborative consumption systems allow people to engage in the social exchange of goods and services in local geographic settings. • Issues of reciprocity & indebtedness are core to social exchange – especially in indirect exchange where receiving is not contingent on giving. • We seek to understand how individuals interpret and respond to norms of indirect social exchange in order to better encourage and sustain participation.
  3. 3. Social Exchange in Online CommunitiesIndirect Exchange: A B HigherGeneralized Exchange Uncertainty(indirect reciprocity) CDirect Exchange: A BNegotiated Exchange Lower(direct reciprocity) 3rd Party Uncertainty
  4. 4. Social exchange is vital to socialinteraction, community, and solidarityThe norm of reciprocity “reciprocity can increase solidarity between exchange partners through either symbolic or communicative value over and above the instrumental value of the benefits provided” (Molm et al. 2007)Sense of Indebtedness “a state of tension having motivational properties such that the greater its magnitude, the greater will be the efforts to reduce it” (Greenberg and Shapiro, 1971)
  5. 5. Interpreting and responding tonorms of indirect social exchangein a local geographic community – How do individuals make sense of indirect reciprocity? – How do they understand how to make use of a novel system of online exchange? – What can we do as researchers, designers and practitioners to alleviate and address feelings of discomfort while facilitating ongoing exchange?
  6. 6. KassiA Local Online Exchange System Suhonen, E., Lampinen, A., Cheshire, C. & Antin, J. (2010) Everyday favors: a case study of a local online gift exchange system. GROUP 10
  7. 7. Case Study ofIndirect Non-Monetary Exchanges Individual interviews with active participants in the Kassi community at a large Finnish university Snapshot of Kassi Primary focal points for analysis: during the research period 1. Experiences and 4464 members perceptions of reciprocity 2243 weekly visits to site and indebtedness 2833 listings for offers and requests 2. User behaviors to lessen uneasy feelings of 11 semi-structured interviews indebtedness 49 focal accounts of indirect exchange
  8. 8. Primary Themes From User Descriptionsof Exchange Experiences So…how do users respond to feelings of indebtedness?
  9. 9. Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Offering small tokens of appreciation“I gave him a little cash for coffee so that alsomade me feel good that I at least somehow paidthe favor back to him. So then; I did not feel atall that I would have been a burden.”
  10. 10. Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Understanding & accepting the indirectnature of generalized exchange ”It feels like ‘okay, I can borrow this’. And then if someone needs, for instance, a hammer from me, I’ll lend it. That way we’ll be okay with the community.”
  11. 11. Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Managing expectationsFraming offers and requests carefully “Maybe it could have been even smoother if in the offer there would have been a mention of sharing the costs of gas”
  12. 12. Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Minimizing efforts neededin exchange processes “Yeah, there was then a little bit of a hassle, I had a lot of work and he was always busy in the evenings. But then, I took the attitude that he has to come and pick it up from me from here if he wants to borrow it”
  13. 13. Lessening the Discomforts of Indebtedness:Bartering and Exchangingfor a Third Party “I just said that I can keep an eye out for skates of his size and then there happened to be a pair [on offer].”
  14. 14. Implications I:Matching Similarity and StatusCharacteristics Individuals tend to accept support from those “of a kind they could themselves return on occasion.” (Homans, 1958)
  15. 15. Implications II:Highlighting the Value of Being aRecipientPrior work shows that individuals contribute more whenthey know the unique value of their contribution. However,recipients often do not recognize that they provide otherswith rewarding experiences by allowing contributors to behelpful, needed community members.
  16. 16. Implications III: Highlighting Exchange Processes, Not Just OutcomesShowcasing successful and less successfulexamples of exchange processes can helpdiffuse community norms in an organic way.
  17. 17. Conclusions • Encouraging and sustaining participation is a central challenge for different systems, regardless of whether they function online, offline, or in online-offline hybrid forms • The concepts of reciprocity and indebtedness can help us understand what makes participation challenging at times • The key is to redirect feelings of indebtedness towards positive, participatory outcomes rather than frustration, hesitation, and non-participation
  18. 18. Future Directions • Investigating paths of participation in local online exchange through log data analysis • Kassi is now known as Sharetribe, and the service is spreading out to neighborhoods, companies, and other types of communities – in various countriesAcknowledgementsThis work has been supported by the OtaSizzle and Possi research projects.We thank our colleagues Antti Oulasvirta, Suvi Silfverberg, and Eeva Raita,CSCW reviewers, as well as Juho Makkonen and Antti Virolainen from Sharetribe.
  19. 19. Photo credits: • http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandoncwarren/4164759025 /sizes/l/in/photostream/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/virtualfarmboy/80878746/size s/l/in/photostream/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgold/8446028761/sizes/l/ in/photostream/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/5601019859/sizes/l/in/ photostream/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/p_d_gibson/16820293/sizes/o /in/photostream/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/demiller/142176230/sizes/z/in /photostream/

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