Crafting the initial user experience to achieve community goals

Sara Drenner, Shilad Sen, Loren Terveen
<span title="">2008</span> <i title="ACM Press"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/vxvef3lblbcxbliuugiju5sify" style="color: black;">Proceedings of the 2008 ACM conference on Recommender systems - RecSys &#39;08</a> </i> &nbsp;
Recommender systems try to address the "new user problem" by quickly and painlessly learning user preferences so that users can begin receiving recommendations as soon as possible. We take an expanded perspective on the new user experience, seeing it as an opportunity to elicit valuable contributions to the community and shape subsequent user behavior. We conducted a field experiment in MovieLens where we imposed additional work on new users: not only did they have to rate movies, they also had
more &raquo; ... to enter varying numbers of tags. While requiring more work led to fewer users completing the entry process, the benefits were significant: the remaining users produced a large volume of tags initially, and continued to enter tags at a much higher rate than a control group. Further, their rating behavior was not depressed. Our results suggest that careful design of the initial user experience can lead to significant benefits for an online community.
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