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Web Site Interactivity & Gratifications Expectations among Users: 

Web Site Interactivity andamp; Gratifications Expectations among Users Presented at the AoIR5 Conference University of Sussex, U.K 20, September 2004 Yaron Ariel University of Haifa

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Outline Uses and Gratifications a relevancy approach Uandamp;G basic assumptions andamp; criticisms Defining Gratification Expectancy Interactivity Web sites’ Interactivity Expectations towards Web sites’ interactivity Some research evidence Some implications

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Uses and Gratifications - Relevancy Dominant in Users/Audience studies Human centered approach Re-mentioned when new media develops Electronic Bulletin Board, Pager, Interactive TV, Cellular phone, ICQ New media andamp; its various uses Enables comparison Traditional Media Vs New Media

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Uandamp;G Assumptions andamp; Criticisms Individuals are active andamp; rational players Using the media in order to obtain gratifications (Katz, Blumler andamp; Gurevitch, 1974) Main Criticisms: Assumption of rationality Or maybe Habitual, Ritual, Normative? Humanistic Approach Goal oriented towards fulfillments and growth? Functionalism Oriented Categorization as status quo Introspective Capabilities Can they really tell us?

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Expectations towards traditional media Genres conventions (Content, Style andamp; Form) Expectations towards Web Sites Functionalities Expectancy Differentiate Sought andamp; Obtained gratification (Palmgreen andamp; Rayburn, 1982) Emphasizing Expectancy Towards what?

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Gratification Expectancy A persons' belief that using a web site can fulfill specific voids in his/her life

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Interactivity Various definitions of Interactivity Rafaeli’s Definitions of Interactivity (Rafaeli, 1988) characteristic of communication settings not the medium emphasizing the interaction between users Considering levels of interactivity Interactivity - A functionality that facilitates users' expectations? Defining Web sites interactivity

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Interactivity operationalized Three identical news-portal ‘look-alike’ web-sites Except - Declarative Interactivity No feature of message transmission. Reactive Interactivity Includes an Electronic Forum within. Full Interactivity Includes a Synchronic chat.

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Hypothesis Does andamp; to what extent the interactivity that Web Sites enabled their users is relating to their expectations gratifications? H1 Positive correlation between the level of Web Sites' interactivity andamp; the level of EG’s H2 Significant difference between users' experience level within their level of EG’s along levels of interactivity. H3 Positive correlation between any individual EG to others. [Variables: Socio-Demographic, Usages characteristics andamp; attitude towards internet]

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Research Design Sample of 464 participants Non representative Personal codes with web address Web questionnaire Simulation Example of a web site Likert scale statements Semantic differential

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Results High gratifications expectations in all three sites High to low expectancy: Cognitive, Integrative, Escapist andamp; Emotional Advanced users Vs Whole Sample Expectancy ----Web experience Gratifications Expectancies are highly correlated

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More Results Women have higher GE’s as compared to men Income, Martial status, Education -no impact General positive attitude toward the Internet Higher gratification expectancy [Using logistic regression]

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Discussions andamp; Implications Examine Subjective expectations andamp; perception of gratifications. Study Medium functionalities - rather than studying its conventions Web user's usages relate characteristics -rather than other personal factors Expectations gratifications are in the beholders eyes

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Thanks yariel@com.haifa.ac.il Http://com.haifa.ac.il/~yariel Yaron Ariel University of Haifa

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References Ebersole, S. (2000). 'Uses and Gratification of the Web among students'. JCMC. 6(1)

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Heeter, C. (1989). Implications of new interactive technologies for conceptualizing communication. In: J. L. Salvaggio., J. Bryant (Eds.). Media use in the information age: Emerging patterns of adoption and consumer use. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Kang, M.H. (2002). 'Interactivity in television: use and impact of an interactive program guide'. Journal of Broadcasting andamp; Electronic Media. 46(3), 330- 316

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Katz, E., Blumler, J.G., Gurevitch, M. (1973). 'Uses and Gratifications research'. Public Opinion Quarterly. 37(4), 509-523 Kwasnik, H.B., Crowston, K., Nilan, M., Roussinov, D. (2001). 'Identifying document genre to improve Web search effectiveness'. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 27(2)

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Leung, Louis andamp; Wei, R (1998). 'The gratifications of pager use: Sociability, information seeking, entertainment, utility, and fashion and status' Telematics and Infomatics, 15(4): 253-264.

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Leung, L., Wei, R (2000). 'More than just talk on the move: Uses and Gratifications of cellular phone'. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. 77(2): 308-320. Liebes, T. (2003). 'Herzog's 'On borrowed experience': Its place in the debate over the active audience'. In: Katz, E., Peters, D.J., Liebes, T., Orloff, A. (Eds.). Canonic texts in media research: Are there any? Should there be? How about these? Cambridge: Polity Press andamp; Blackwell Publishing

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Lin, A. C. (2002). 'Perceived gratifications of online media service use among potential users'. Telematics and Informatics. 19(1), 3-19 Livaditi, J., Vassilopoulou, K., Lougos, C., Chorianopoulos, K. (2002). 'Needs and Gratifications for interactive TV application: Implications for designers'. Presented at the 36th Hawaii international Conference on System Sciences

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Luo, X. (2002). 'Uses and Gratifications theory and E-consumer behaviors: A structural equation modeling study'. Journal of Interactive Advertising. 2(2) Palmgreen, P., Rayburn, J.D. (1982). 'Gratifications sought and media exposure: an expectancy model'. Communication research. 9(4), 561-580

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Rafaeli, S. (1988).'Interactivity: From new media to communication'. In: Sage Annual Review of Communication Research: Advancing Communication Science, Vol. 16. R. P. Hawkins, J. M. Wiemann., S. Pingree. (Eds). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Rafaeli, S., Sudweeks, F. (1997). 'Networked Interactivity' Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. 2(4)

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Ruggiero, E. T. (2000). 'Uses and gratification theory in the 21st century'. Mass Communication andamp; Society. 3(1), 3-37 Schultz, T. (2000). 'Mass Media and the concept of interactivity: An exploratory study of online Forums and reader E-Mail'. Media, Culture andamp; Society. 22 (2), 205-221

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Sherry, J., Lucas, K., Rechtsteiner, S., Brooks, C., Wilson, B. (2001). 'Video Game uses and gratifications as predictors of use and game preference'. Paper presented at the ICA convention May 2001

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