The success of the collaboratively created encyclopaedia Wikipedia has already questioned the model of strict separation between professional content authors and readers. Distributed content creation using digital media promises faster updates, more opinions and expertise and large amounts of information produced at virtually no cost. But virtual communities on the Internet have long been offering an additional benefit: information in discussion spaces is tailored to a specific information need. However, there is a lack of empirical data about information quality provided by virtual communities. We present a design to assess information completeness of two media using independent evaluators. The design is applied to compare guidebooks with virtual communities about travelling. The results show that information completeness of virtual communities is up to popular guidebooks.
Prestipino, Marco; Aschoff, Felix-Robinson; and Schwabe, Gerhard, "What’s the Use of Guidebooks in the Age of Collaborative Media? Empirical Evaluation of Free and Commercial Travel Information" (2006). BLED 2006 Proceedings. 11.