Title: Cultural influence on online community use: a cross-cultural study on online exercise diary users of three nationalities

Authors: Sanna Malinen; Piia Nurkka

Addresses: Tampere Research Center for Information and Media (TRIM), School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere, 33014 University of Tampere, Finland ' Department of Pervasive Computing, Tampere University of Technology, Korkeakoulunkatu 1, P.O. Box 553, 33101 Tampere, Finland

Abstract: This study investigates the influence of culture on the use of a website intended for tracking exercise activities. The data was collected using an online survey with 258 respondents from three national backgrounds: Germany, the USA and Spain. In the analysis, the focus was on determining whether users' cultural background impacts their use and perception of the site, especially as concerns social networking and the sharing of content. The Spanish were most interested in social networking, collaboration and sharing content with others, whereas the German participants were the least interested in these activities. The applicability of Hofstede's cultural theory in the explanation of differences between national cultures in online community use is discussed.

Keywords: online communities; social networking sites; SNSs; cross-cultural research; health and wellness; cultural influences; web based communities; virtual communities; national culture; Germany; USA; United States; Spain; content sharing; cultural background; collaboration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2015.068539

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2015 Vol.11 No.2, pp.153 - 169

Published online: 21 Mar 2015 *

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