Everyday Favors: A Case Study of a Local Online Gift Exchange System

Emmi Suhonen, Airi Lampinen, Coye Cheshire, Judd Antin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This paper focuses on online gift exchange in a setting where online and offline interactions are tightly intertwined and most of the exchanges require face-to-face interaction to be completed. We present a local online gift exchange system, Kassi, and a seven-month case study of its use. Based on survey material and logs of system usage, we analyze users' motivations to contribute to the system and the community. While most users held favorable attitudes towards the system, many reasons for not using the service were found. We set our findings into perspective by discussing different ways of defining participation, measuring use, and qualifying different types of contributions. We argue that when users try to fit a system into their everyday lives, designers should consider supporting such efforts—even if user behavior does not match expectations. Designers who encourage emergent and unanticipated behaviors can enhance users’ sense of participation and encourage the leap from intention to realized action.
Original languageFinnish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM 2010 international conference on Supporting group work.
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventThe ACM 2010 international conference on Supporting group work - Sanibel Island, Florida, United States
Duration: 1 Jan 1800 → …

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