Friday, January 01, 2010

Exploring Web Science – Part 1

The web is indeed shaped by human interaction, so understanding of human behavior will help us design better systems, and the web has become a dynamic environment, forming a virtual world of its own. People use the Internet every day. People trust each other and engage in activities based on this trust. By understanding the real motivations behind people’s behavior online we can design better systems. If the web is connecting people then we should understand people to better design the system.

Behaviors of people online are similar to their behavior offline world?

For example…
First, In P2P network where uploaders upload to downloaders, but many of them are free riders (i.e. they do not upload anything back). If no one uploads then the system do not function.

Second, In online world, we trust strangers most of the time, when buying books we tend to trust user reviews when making choices. Why few people write reviews? (Trust is the one differs from offline world, usually we don’t trust strangers in offline world)

Third, We also cooperate online variety of ways to build projects like Wikipedia (Even though, 2% users are contributors), Why do we do this, and what are the motives behind and effort maintaining Wikipedia as a huge team effort?

In All three examples, Do contributors want benefits for others? Do they do it for personal interest? Do they do it to gain recognition? In Offline world, don’t we do the same?

So to design better effective systems, we should understand offline world, how people live, their everyday activities and life style, their emotions, etc etc.

Comments are welcome...

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