Cliff Lampe- "Earn Your Bull$&!*": User Lifecycles in Social Media

Social media sites, or online communities, depend on user participation and contribution in order to be viable. Users contribute comments, articles, pictures and more to flesh out the architectures these sites provide. Some users take on leadership roles in user-generated content communities, becoming mentors and administrators of the sites. There's a debate about whether these contributors are socialized in some way to become valuable participants in the site, or whether they come to the sites already primed for the role they will eventually take. Using data from Everything2.com, a user generated encyclopedia started by the same team that started Slashdot, we'll discuss this debate, and show how motivation and external events can shape this lifecycle of users in these sites.