START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012 


Developing a Typology of Online Q&A Models and Recommending the Right Model for Each Question Type
Erik Choi, Vanessa Kitzie and Chirag Shah

Monday, 6:30pm


Summary

Although online Q&A services have increased in popularity, the field lacks a comprehensive typology to classify different kinds of services into model types. This poster categorizes online Q&A services into four model types - community-based, collaborative, expert-based, and social. Drawing such a distinction between online Q&A models provides an overview for how these different types of online Q&A models differ from each other and suggests implications for mitigating weaknesses and bolstering strengths of each model based on the types of questions that are addressed within each. To demonstrate differences among these models an appropriate service was selected for each of them. Then, 500 questions were collected and analyzed for each of these services to classify question types into four categories - information-seeking, advice-seeking, opinion-seeking, and non-information seeking. The findings suggest that information-seeking questions appear to be more suitable in either a collaborative Q&A environment or an expert-based Q&A environment, while opinion-seeking questions are more common in community-based Q&A. Social Q&A, on the other hand, provides an active forum for either seeking personal advice or seeking non-information related to either self-expression or self-promotion.