Virtual Communities and Collaborations


User generated content is being recognized as part of the value proposition of e-commerce organizations. To make availablefresh content on topics with existing contributions and first-time content on topics with little or no existing content, one needsto understand why individuals contribute early or late. Drawing upon the cognitive model of helping, this study develops andtests three hypotheses based on a survey and archival data of 235 contributors of reviews at Results of an SEManalysis using LISREL indicate that self-perceived competence is positively associated with early contributions whereas anindividual’s social adjustive motive toward others in general leads to late contributions. In contrast, people for whom thesocial adjustive motive toward specific others is salient are neither likely to contribute consistently early nor late. Thesefindings suggest ways for site administrators to ensure a balanced coverage across topics by addressing these individualfactors.