Homework Assignment Engaging Customers and Prosumers

Hello everyone

My first article was Co-Creation: Toward a Taxonomy and an Integrated Research Perspective by Vladimir Zwass, throughout the article he examines co-creation inside out. He first starts why current marketing environment is not like as it used to be. He points out that distinction between customers and producers are no longer clear. He divides co-creation into two, sponsored and autonomous co-creation. He defines and separates every aspects of co-creation and classifies them. One of the interesting phenomenon he explained was social capital. Social capital is basically the trust level within the virtual communities and how tightly connected the community is. He believes that higher level of social capital also increases co-creation activities. Most of the things explained in the article is things we already know but what makes this article important that it creates an in debt framework for co-creation. The taxonomy he created helps to analyze the co-creation projects, and provides you the outline.

Second article was Online Social Interactions: A Natural Experiment on eWOM versus Observational Learning by Yubo Chen, Qi Wang, and Jinhong Xie. The article explains the result of the experiment that tests effects of WOM and Observational Learning (OL). I’m just gonna move directly to their results. They wanted to figure out whether OL and WOM individually have effects on sales, whether change in WOM affects OL or other way around, also for each interaction method they wanted to find out negative or positive of them have greater effect on the sales. They used Amazon.com’s data for their experiment. They found out that negative WOM has greater effect on sales than positive. However they also see that negative OL usually does not affect customer decision, at least not as much as positive OL. Their explanation for this was that, according to Cascade theory if there is no much information available we make our own decisions, but if all the people are buying one product, we feel inclined to buy that product as well. However if one product is not popular, sometimes it may not be the reason that the product is bad but it appeals to a niche market or its an advance product. They also see that OL and WOM contribute to each other, if you have both tools on your e-commerce site they will work better than having just one of them available.

My third article was “Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy” by Barbara Giamanco and Kent Gredoire. The review tries to persuade why social media is important for businesses. They advice the managers not to be scared from social media but find ways to use it for their own benefit. One of the very catchy story they used was, people ask a robber why he robs banks, and he replies “its where the money is”.  They say since most of the customers spend most of their time in sites like twitter and Facebook  it is wise for companies to be there too. They also advice managers to encourage their employees to use social media not only marketers or sales people but everyone.

I am posting this table mainly because I believe it might come handy for if your trying to examine a company and you need a framework its good summary to provide decent outline.

Taxonomic Framework  of Factors in Co-Creation
Performers The world Anyone regardless of location and knowledge can contribute
Prequalified Individuals To be able to contribute, the contributor should meet the criteria.
Community Members In some closely bonded communities contributions will be higher
Skilled Contributors In OSS projects, contributors should be skilled in software program writing
Motivation Extrinsic External rewards, and rewards provided by others
Intrinsic Inner motivations of individuals, such as satisfying self-affiliation needs.
Governance Individual Autonomy Uncoordinated correlation
Collective Norms Collective expectations of the communities regarding their behavior to each other or to co-creation
Software Code In OSS, the rules to write the program also shape the creation and the re-use of the software.
Facilitators Found useful in opinion aggregators
Adhocracy Can be seen some successful OSS projects
Bureaucracy early  Wikipedia evolved from this kind of governance
Market mechanism Information markets, (stock market exchange rules)
Hybrid Forms Includes mixed governance models, such as Wikipedia
Task Characteristics Structural complexity The degree of complexity of structure of co-creation projects. High in OSS, really low in blogging.
Intellective Demands What the project want from the contributors? Knowledge, skills, experience, creativity or diversity.
Effort Intensity How much time should the contributors (individuals)  spent for the project being successful?
Time Frame How long it takes to successfully complete a project? For Wikipedia case infinitely many
Principal Mode of Product Aggregation Searchable Corpus Affective search engine to aggregate and classify the content, example; Technorati
Hyperlinking Generally combined with other methods, a native web method to aggregate.
Progressive Refinement Wikipedia, software coding
Statistical Rankings and Ratings Can be used to summarize or convey sentiment
Competitions and Voting Putting content in competition and by users vote deciding which project to invest
Information Markets Select an idea or options from all possible options or ideas.
Bottom-up Taxonomy(folksonomy) Classify and provide access like Flickr
Moderators, auditors, and facilitators For example Slashdot, they help selecting the business models
Economic Beneficiary The World Everyone is benefited from the project, such as Wikipedia
The Community Benefits usually with the sponsoring company
The Sponsoring Firm Sponsoring co-creation firm
The Aggregator Such as Apple App World with the contributors
The Contributors InnoCentive,  Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

My examples were MMORPG game called Tibia and Apple app World.

this table was my comparison of these two companies.

Comparison criteria of co-creation Apple App World Tibia –MMORPG (CIP)
Autonomous or Sponsored? Sponsored Both, some value creation activities for the VC not supported by the company
Performers Skilled Contributors The World
Motivation Mostly extrinsic Mostly intrinsic
Governance Software Code Hybrid Forms both Collective Norms, Software Code and Bureaucracy
Structural complexity Relatively high Low, and in some cases high –such highly complex contests
Intellective Demands creativity and diversity Knowledge, skills, experience, creativity, and  diversity –depending on the project
Effort Intensity High Vide ranged –depending on the contest or contribution
Time Frame Varies from application to application Varies from contest to contest but usually less than 1 month
Economic Beneficiary Both sponsor and contributor only CIP


Zwass, V. 2010. Co-Creation: Toward a Taxonomy and an Integrated Research Perspective. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 15(1) 11-48.

Chen, Y., Wang, Q., and Xie, J. 2011. Online Social Interactions: A Natural Experiment on eWOM versus Observational Learning. Journal of Marketing Research 48(2) 238-254.

Giamanco, B., and Gregoire, K. 2012. Tweet me, friend me, make me buy, Harvard Business Review 90(7/8) 88-93.


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