Abstract: We examine the role of network externalities on the use of blogs in an organization. Prior research has considered social influences such as peer pressure, but there is little prior work on how the extent of others’ actual usage can influence an individual’s use of technology. We also examine how technology usage is influenced by positive feedback from others. Finally, we look at how the relation between technology usage and network effects is moderated by demographic variables such as age and gender. The results of the study show that usage of blogs within an individual’s network is associated with an increase in one’s own usage. We also show that network effects are stronger for younger generations and that this relation is nonmonotonic with age. This is interesting considering that prior research suggests that social influences are stronger for older employees. Our results also show that network effects are stronger for women than for men. Further, we show that the impact of age on blog usage in not linear. We also find that feedback or appreciation from others is associated with higher blog usage by an individual. Finally, we subdivide the network effects into various subtypes and find that network effects are strongest for relational networks, and that use of blogs by an employee’s managers is associated with higher usage by the employee.
Key words and phrases: corporate blogs , network externalities , social computing , social networks , technology usage