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Title: Personal content in online sports communities: motivations to capture and share personal exercise data

Authors: Jarno Ojala

Addresses: Tampere University of Technology, Korkeakoulunkatu 1, 33720 Tampere, Finland

Abstract: Web services that support exercise have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. This paper describes a qualitative case study that includes a trial use and interviews with 20 users of three different online sporting communities. These services enable users to add the training content from their personal tracking devices. In the interviews, data was gathered on the users' experiences and their opinions on the social needs and motivation to share content in online sports communities. The answers from the interviews were categorised into three main classes: social needs in sports communities, motivation for sharing content, and motivation for adding personal content to the services. As a result, users were motivated to create a personal exercise diary and content inventory online and also to share it with others in order to gain important information on exercising as well as peer support. Though the primary need for most users was a personal training diary, they also saw major advantages in sharing their data with the other members of the community.

Keywords: online communities; social features; social interaction; health; virtual communities; web based communities; social media; personal content; personal inventories; design; online sports communities; motivation; data capture; data sharing; personal exercise data; user experiences.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSHC.2013.053267

International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing, 2013 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.68 - 85

Available online: 12 Apr 2013

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