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An Invisible Leverage in the Adoption of Online Social Support Community
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community 15 how long the major contributor has stayed in the OSSC. It is measured by dividing the duration of the major contributor by the average duration of adopters excluding the major contributor. The present study also hypothesizes a curvilinear relationship between the participation of the major contributor and adoption. The major contributor’s participation is crucial for an OSSC to take off. If the major contributor dominates the communication too much, however, potential participants may perceive that the community exists for the major contributor only. H4: There will be a curvilinear relationship between the participation of the major contributor and adoption. H4-1: There will be a curvilinear relationship between the major contributor’s frequency activity and each measure of adoption. H4-2: There will be a curvilinear relationship between the major contributor’s duration activity and each measure of adoption. Methods A content analysis was executed on the posting lists of 190 OSSCs to measure each OSSC’s network size, level of adoption, and the major contributor’s level of participation. Sampling The study population list comes from Yahoo’s newsgroup list. Yahoo provides a list of 10, 333 online discussion groups housed in the illness subcategory. 2 The illness subcategory lists 131 different illnesses. About three-fourths of the 10,333 groups are members-only. Nobody can read or post a message if they are not registered to the OSSC. The remaining one-fourth is open to the public. They are 2,678 in total. Anyone can access the 2,678 communities’ message boards in order to read or post a message without registration. The present study includes only these public communities. There were 2,236 physical illness communities, and 442 mental illness communities. Using a stratified disproportionate random sampling technique, the researchers randomly selected 150 communities for each illness type, and excluded communities with no or one adopter because such communities were not considered as interactive. Then, 94 physical and 98 2 There were 8,913 illness communities in May 2002. In September 2002, Yahoo housed 10,333 illness communities when the sampling was performed. For the last five months, 1,420 new illness communities were born on Yahoo. This growth proves the increasing popularity of OSSCs.

Authors: Yun, Haejin., Park, Songyi. and Kim, Hee-Jung.
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Running Head: Invisible Leverage in Adoption of Online Social Support Community
15
how long the major contributor has stayed in the OSSC. It is measured by dividing the duration
of the major contributor by the average duration of adopters excluding the major contributor.
The present study also hypothesizes a curvilinear relationship between the participation
of the major contributor and adoption. The major contributor’s participation is crucial for an
OSSC to take off. If the major contributor dominates the communication too much, however,
potential participants may perceive that the community exists for the major contributor only.
H4: There will be a curvilinear relationship between the participation of the major
contributor and adoption.
H4-1: There will be a curvilinear relationship between the major contributor’s frequency
activity and each measure of adoption.
H4-2: There will be a curvilinear relationship between the major contributor’s duration
activity and each measure of adoption.
Methods
A content analysis was executed on the posting lists of 190 OSSCs to measure each
OSSC’s network size, level of adoption, and the major contributor’s level of participation.
Sampling
The study population list comes from Yahoo’s newsgroup list. Yahoo provides a list of
10, 333 online discussion groups housed in the illness subcategory.
2
The illness subcategory lists
131 different illnesses. About three-fourths of the 10,333 groups are members-only. Nobody
can read or post a message if they are not registered to the OSSC. The remaining one-fourth is
open to the public. They are 2,678 in total. Anyone can access the 2,678 communities’ message
boards in order to read or post a message without registration. The present study includes only
these public communities. There were 2,236 physical illness communities, and 442 mental
illness communities.
Using a stratified disproportionate random sampling technique, the researchers randomly
selected 150 communities for each illness type, and excluded communities with no or one
adopter because such communities were not considered as interactive. Then, 94 physical and 98
2
There were 8,913 illness communities in May 2002. In September 2002, Yahoo housed 10,333 illness
communities when the sampling was performed. For the last five months, 1,420 new illness communities were born
on Yahoo. This growth proves the increasing popularity of OSSCs.


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