Sustainability of Stack Exchange Q&A communities: the role of trust
Institute of Physics Belgrade, University of Belgrade, Pregrevica 118, Belgrade, Serbia
2 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
3 Two desperados, Belgrade, Serbia
Accepted: 14 February 2023
Published online: 24 February 2023
Knowledge-sharing communities are fundamental elements of a knowledge-based society. Understanding how different factors influence their sustainability is of crucial importance. We explore the role of the social network structure and social trust in their sustainability. We analyze the early evolution of social networks in four pairs of active and closed Stack Exchange communities on topics of physics, astronomy, economics, and literature and use a dynamical reputation model to quantify the evolution of social trust in them. In addition, we study the evolution of two active communities on mathematics topics and two closed communities about startups and compare them with our main results. Active communities have higher local cohesiveness and develop stable, better-connected, trustworthy cores. The early emergence of a stable and trustworthy core may be crucial for sustainable knowledge-sharing communities.
Key words: Networks structure / Dynamic reputation / Knowledge exchange / Stack Exchange / Sustainability of Q&A communities
© The Author(s) 2023
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