Why blog? Certainly a small part of the fun is hoping for admiration and affirmation. I check my blog stats and google analytics regularly and a peak in readers certainly is another boost for writing more posts. Eventually you get to “know” your colleague bloggers, and human contact grows. The most important reason for me to blog is to keep up with developments in my field and make ideas and these developments known and published. A growing number of professionals have started weblogging to share their personal knowledge.
What factors influence this knowledge sharing with bloggers? A recent study published the results of their test of a behavior model in terms of why people share knowledge with others within online communities. They conducted surveys in three online communities. Important factors for sharing knowledge is fairness or a trusting climate within the online community, and openness or a climate in which information flows freely. The culture of the community is of importance, identification is not. The feelings of affiliation are based on the shared culture and interests not on identification.
They also found that individuals who enjoy helping others provide more helpful knowledge. The enjoyment related to helping others significantly influenced the sharing of information and knowledge. The climate of sharing information and knowledge itself also increases this climate. The climate can be seen as a motivator for knowledge sharing.
The more valuable the information is the more likely an individual will share it. The perceived need for the information was a strong motivator to provide the information.
This knowledge sharing behavior is linked in important ways to members’ desire to receive feedback from a virtual community that creates, maintains, and enhances an effective knowledge sharing platform.
Limitations of this study Only three online communities in Taiwan were surveyed. This may introduce a selection bias and limited external validation of the results. In short are these results also applicable to other communities in other countries? What do you think?
Yu, T., Lu, L., & Liu, T. (2009). Exploring factors that influence knowledge sharing behavior via weblogs Computers in Human Behavior DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2009.08.002