Why do you ask this? Using toolbar data to identify common patterns of Q&A users

Giovanni Gardelli, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We use Yahoo! Toolbar data to gain insights into why people use Q&A sites. For this purpose we look at tens of thousands of questions asked on both Yahoo! Answers and on Wiki Answers. We analyze both the pre-question behavior of users as well as their general online behavior. Using an existing approach (Harper et al.), we classify questions into "informational" vs. "conversational". Finally, for a subset of users on Yahoo! Answers we also integrate age and gender into our analysis. Our results indicate that there is a one-dimensional spectrum of users ranging from "social users" to "informational users". In terms of demographics, we found that both younger and female users are more "social" on this scale, with older and male users being more "informational". Concerning the pre-question behavior, users who first issue a question-related query, and especially those who do not click any web results, are more likely to issue informational questions than users who do not search before. Questions asked shortly after the registration of a new user on Yahoo! Answers tend to be social and have a lower probability of being preceded by a web search than other questions. Finally, we observed evidence both for and against topical congruence between a user's questions and his web queries. Copyright is held by the International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW'12 - Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference on World Wide Web Companion
Pages815-822
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event21st Annual Conference on World Wide Web, WWW'12 - Lyon, France
Duration: 16 Apr 201220 Apr 2012

Other

Other21st Annual Conference on World Wide Web, WWW'12
CountryFrance
CityLyon
Period16/4/1220/4/12

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Keywords

  • Community question answering sites
  • Conversational vs. informational
  • Web search
  • Yahoo! Answers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Gardelli, G., & Weber, I. (2012). Why do you ask this? Using toolbar data to identify common patterns of Q&A users. In WWW'12 - Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference on World Wide Web Companion (pp. 815-822) https://doi.org/10.1145/2187980.2188205