Title: 'Every group carries the flavour of the admins': leadership on Flickr

Authors: Paul Holmes, Andrew M. Cox

Addresses: Horizon Doctoral Training Centre, University of Nottingham, Computer Science Building, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham, NG8 1BB, UK. ' Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Rm 222, Regent Court, 211 Portobello Street, Sheffield, S1 4DP, UK

Abstract: Although leadership in many types of online community has been recognised as important, relatively little has been written about its nature in informal communities, particularly in the context of Web 2.0. This study explores the role played by admins on the photo sharing site Flickr. Semi-structured interviews with six admins investigated roles and motivation in some depth. A content analysis was conducted to explore the character of admins| activities on discussion boards in four types of group. The interviews revealed the dedication that admins gave to the role. They saw their activities as one of the main critical success factors for any group. Groups were heavily shaped by admins. The content analysis revealed that admins play a wide range of roles in groups, with markedly varying emphasis between different group types.

Keywords: Flickr; Web 2.0; online communities; moderation; leadership; virtual communities; web based communities; photo sharing; discussion boards; human coordination; admins; administrators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2011.041205

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2011 Vol.7 No.3, pp.376 - 391

Published online: 13 Jul 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article