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Virtual community

For other uses, see Virtual community (disambiguation).

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A virtual community is a social network of individuals who connect through specific social media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. Some of the most pervasive virtual communities are online communities operating under social networking services.

Howard Rheingold discussed virtual communities in his book, The Virtual Community, published in 1993. The book's discussion ranges from Rheingold's adventures on The WELL, computer-mediated communication and social groups and information science. Technologies cited include Usenet, MUDs (Multi-User Dungeon) and their derivatives MUSHes and MOOs, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), chat rooms and electronic mailing lists. Rheingold also points out the potential benefits for personal psychological well-being, as well as for society at large, of belonging to a virtual community.

Virtual communities all encourage interaction, sometimes focusing around a particular interest or just to communicate. Some virtual communities do both. Community members are allowed to interact over a shared passion through various means: message boards, chat rooms, social networking World Wide Web sites, or virtual worlds.

Contents

The traditional definition of a community is of geographically circumscribed entity (neighborhoods, villages, etc.). Virtual communities are usually dispersed geographically, and therefore are not communities under the original definition. Some online communities are linked geographically, and are known as community websites. However, if one considers communities to simply possess boundaries of some sort between their members and non-members, then a virtual community is certainly a community. Virtual communities resemble real life communities in the sense that they both provide support, information, friendship and acceptance between strangers.

Early research into the existence of media-based communities was concerned with the nature of reality, whether communities actually could exist through the media, which could place virtual community research into the social sciences definition of ontology. In the seventeenth century, scholars associated with the Royal Society of London formed a community through the exchange of letters. "Community without propinquity", coined by urban planner Melvin Webber in 1963 and "community liberated", analyzed by Barry Wellman in 1979 began the modern era of thinking about non-local community. As well, Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities in 1983, described how different technologies, such as national newspapers, contributed to the development of national and regional consciousness among early nation-states. Some authors that built their theories on Anderson's Imagined communities have been critical of the concept, claiming that all communities are based on communication and that virtual/real dichotomy is disintegrating, making use of the word "virtual" problematic or even obsolete.

A PLATO V terminal in 1981 displaying RankTrek application

Virtual communities are used for a variety of social and professional groups; interaction between community members vary from personal to purely formal. For example, an email distribution list could serve as a personal means of communicating with family and friends, and also formally to coordinate with coworkers.

User experience testing to determine social codes

User experience is the ultimate goal for the program or software used by an internet community, because user experience will determine the software's success. The software for social media pages or virtual communities is structured around the users’ experience and designed specifically for online use. User experience testing is utilized to reveal something about the personal experience of the human being using a product or system. When it comes to testing user experience in a software interface, three main characteristics are needed: a user who is engaged, a user who is interacting with a product or interface, and defining the users’ experience in ways that are and observable or measurable. User experience metrics are based on a reliability and repeatability, using a consistent set of measurements to result in comparable outcomes. User experience metrics are based on user retention, using a consistent set of measurements to collect data on user experience. The widespread use of the Internet and virtual communities by millions of diverse users for socializing is a phenomenon that raises new issues for researchers and developers. The vast number and diversity of individuals participating in virtual communities worldwide makes it a challenge to test usability across platforms to ensure the best overall user experience. Some well-established measures applied to the usability framework for online communities are speed of learning, productivity, user satisfaction, how much people remember using the software, and how many errors they make. The human computer interactions that are measured during a usability experience test focus on the individuals rather than their social interactions in the online community. The success of online communities depend on the integration of usability and social semiotics. Usability testing metrics can be used to determine social codes by evaluating a user's habits when interacting with a program. Social codes are established and reinforced by the regular repetition of behavioral patterns. People communicate their social identities or culture code through the work they do, the way they talk, the clothes they wear, their eating habits, domestic environments and possessions, and use of leisure time. Usability testing metrics can be used to determine social codes by evaluating a user's habits when interacting with a program.The information provided during a usability test can determine demographic factors and help define the semiotic social code. Dialogue and social interactions, support information design, navigation support, and accessibility are integral components specific to online communities. As virtual communities grow, so do the diversity of their users. However, the technologies are not made to be any more or less intuitive. Usability tests can ensure users are communicating effectively using social and semiotic codes while maintaining their social identities. Efficient communication requires a common set of signs in the minds of those seeking to communicate. As technologies evolve and mature, they tend to be used by an increasingly diverse set of users. This kind of increasing complexity and evolution of technology doesn't necessarily mean that the technologies are becoming easier to use. Usability testing in virtual communities can ensure users are communicating effectively through social and semiotic codes and maintenance of social realities and identities.

On health

Concerns with a virtual community's tendency to promote less socializing include: verbal aggression and inhibitions, promotion of suicide and issues with privacy. However, studies regarding the health effects of these communities did not show any negative effects. There was a high drop-out rate of participants in the study. The health-related effects are not clear because of the lack of thoroughness and the variation in studies done on the subject.

Rather, recent studies have looked into development of health related communities and their impact on those already suffering health issues. These forms of social networks allow for open conversation between individuals who are going through similar experiences, whether themselves or in their family. Such sites have so grown in popularity that now many health care providers form groups for their patients by providing web areas where one may direct questions to doctors. These sites prove especially useful when related to rare medical conditions. People with rare or debilitating disorders may not be able to access support groups in their physical community, thus online communities act as primary means for such support. Online health communities can serve as supportive outlets as they facilitate connecting with others who truly understand the disease, as well as offer more practical support, such as receiving help in adjusting to life with the disease. Involvement in social communities of similar health interests has created a means for patients to develop a better understanding and behavior towards treatment and health practices. Patients increasingly use such outlets, but the extent to which these practices have effects on health are still being studied.

Studies on health networks have mostly been conducted on groups which typically suffer the most from extreme forms of diseases, for example cancer patients, HIV patients, or patients with other life-threatening diseases. It is general knowledge that one participates in online communities to interact with society and develop relationships. Individuals who suffer from rare or severe illnesses are unable to meet physically because of distance or because it could be a risk to their health to leave a secure environment. Thus, they have turned to the internet. A study conducted by Haven B. Battles and Lori S. Wiener on the effects of networks on children suffering from incurable diseases reveal a positive correlation in enhancing children's behaviors and overall moods. Their behavior and mood not only changed, but they were more willing to go to treatment after having these interactions.

In addition to communities which focus strictly on information relating to illness and disease, there are also those which focus on specific health-related conditions such as fertility issues. Some studies have indicated that virtual communities can provide valuable benefits to their users. Online health-focused communities were shown to offer a unique form of emotional support that differed from event-based realities and informational support networks. Growing amounts of presented material show how online communities affect the health of their users. Apparently the creation of health communities has a positive impact on those who are ill or in need of medical information.

On civic participation

New forms of civic engagement and citizenship have emerged from the rise of social networking sites. Networking sites act as a medium for expression and discourse about issues in specific user communities. Online content-sharing sites have made it easy for youth as well as others to not only express themselves and their ideas through digital media, but also connect with large networked communities. Within these spaces, young people are pushing the boundaries of traditional forms of engagement such as voting and joining political organizations and creating their own ways to discuss, connect, and act in their communities.

Civic engagement through online volunteering has shown to have positive effects on personal satisfaction and development. Some 84 percent of online volunteers found that their online volunteering experience had contributed to their personal development and learning.

On communication

In his book The Wealth of Networks from 2006, Yochai Benkler suggests that virtual communities would "come to represent a new form of human communal existence, providing new scope for building a shared experience of human interaction". Although Benkler's prediction has not become entirely true, clearly communications and social relations are extremely complex within a virtual community. The two main effects that can be seen according to Benkler are a "thickening of preexisting relations with friends, family and neighbours" and the beginnings of the "emergence of greater scope for limited-purpose, loose relationships". Despite being acknowledged as "loose" relationships, Benkler argues that they remain meaningful.

Previous concerns about the effects of Internet use on community and family fell into two categories: 1) sustained, intimate human relations "are critical to well-functioning human beings as a matter of psychological need" and 2) people with "social capital" are better off than those who lack it. It leads to better results in terms of political participation. However, Benkler argues that unless Internet connections actually displace direct, unmediated, human contact, there is no basis to think that using the Internet will lead to a decline in those nourishing connections we need psychologically, or in the useful connections we make socially. Benkler continues to suggest that the nature of an individual changes over time, based on social practices and expectations. There is a shift from individuals who depend upon locally embedded, unmediated and stable social relationships to networked individuals who are more dependent upon their own combination of strong and weak ties across boundaries and weave their own fluid relationships. Manuel Castells calls this the 'networked society'.

On Identity

In 1997, MCI Communications released the "Anthem" advertisement, heralding the internet as a utopia without age, race, or gender. Lisa Nakamura argues in chapter 16 of her 2002 book After/image of identity: Gender, Technology, and Identity Politics, that technology gives us iterations of our age, race and gender in virtual spaces, as opposed to them being fully extinguished. Nakamura uses a metaphor of "after-images" to describe the cultural phenomenon of expressing identity on the internet. The idea is that any performance of identity on the internet is simultaneously present and past-tense, "posthuman and projectionary", due to its immortality.

Doctor Sherry Turkle, professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, believes the internet is a place where actions of discrimination are less likely to occur. In her 1995 book Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, she argues that discrimination is easier in reality as it is easier to identify as face value, what is contrary to your norm. The internet allows for a more fluid expression of identity and thus, we become more accepting of inconsistent personae within ourselves and others. For these reasons, Turkle argues users existing in online spaces are less compelled to judge or compare ourselves to our peers, allowing people in virtual settings an opportunity to gain a greater capacity for acknowledging diversity.

Nakamura argues against this view, coining the term Identity Tourism in her 1999 article Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet. Identity tourism, in the context of cyberspace, is a term used to the describe the phenomenon of users donning and doffing other-race and other-gender personae. Nakamura finds that performed behavior from these identity tourists often perpetuate stereotypes.

Gender

The gaming community is extremely vast and accessible to a wide variety of people, However, there are negative effects on the relationships 'gamers' have with the medium when expressing identity of gender. Doctor Adrienne Shaw notes in her 2012 article Do you identify as a gamer? Gender, race, sexuality, and gamer identity, that gender, perhaps subconsciously, plays a large role in identifying oneself as a 'gamer.'

Internet-based

The explosive diffusion of the Internet since the mid-1990s fostered the proliferation of virtual communities in the form of social networking services and online communities. Virtual communities may synthesize Web 2.0 technologies with the community, and therefore have been described as Community 2.0, although strong community bonds have been forged online since the early 1970s on timeshare systems like PLATO and later on Usenet. Online communities depend upon social interaction and exchange between users online. This interaction emphasizes the reciprocity element of the unwritten social contract between community members.

Internet message boards

An Internet forum powered by phpBB

An online message board is a forum where people can discuss thoughts or ideas on various topics or simply express an idea. Users may choose which thread, or board of discussion, they would like to read or contribute to. A user will start a discussion by making a post. Other users who choose to respond can follow the discussion by adding their own posts to that thread at any time. Unlike in spoken conversations, message boards do not usually have instantaneous responses; users actively go to the website to check for responses.

Anyone can register to participate in an online message board. People can choose to participate in the virtual community, even if or when they choose not to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Unlike chat rooms, at least in practice, message boards can accommodate an almost infinite number of users.

Internet users' urges to talk to and reach out to strangers online is unlike those in real-life encounters where people are hesitant and often unwilling to step in to help strangers. Studies have shown that people are more likely to intervene when they are the only one in a situation. With Internet message boards, users at their computers are alone, which might contribute to their willingness to reach out. Another possible explanation is that people can withdraw from a situation much more easily online than off. They can simply click exit or log off, whereas they would have to find a physical exit and deal with the repercussions of trying to leave a situation in real life. The lack of status that is presented with an online identity also might encourage people, because, if one chooses to keep it private, there is no associated label of gender, age, ethnicity or lifestyle.

Online chat rooms

An example of an IRC chat session on Xaric, a text-based client. Shown are two IRC channels and a private conversation.
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Shortly after the rise of interest in message boards and forums, people started to want a way of communicating with their "communities" in real time. The downside to message boards was that people would have to wait until another user replied to their posting, which, with people all around the world in different time frames, could take a while. The development of online chat rooms allowed people to talk to whoever was online at the same time they were. This way, messages were sent and online users could immediately respond.

The original development by CompuServe CB hosted forty channels in which users could talk to one another in real time. The idea of forty different channels led to the idea of chat rooms that were specific to different topics. Users could choose to join an already existent chat room they found interesting, or start a new "room" if they found nothing to their liking. Real-time chatting was also brought into virtual games, where people could play against one another and also talk to one another through text. Now, chat rooms can be found on all sorts of topics, so that people can talk with others who share similar interests. Chat rooms are now provided by Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and other individual websites such as Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.

Chat room users communicate through text-based messaging. Most chat room providers are similar and include an input box, a message window, and a participant list. The input box is where users can type their text-based message to be sent to the providing server. The server will then transmit the message to the computers of anyone in the chat room so that it can be displayed in the message window. The message window allows the conversation to be tracked and usually places a time stamp once the message is posted. There is usually a list of the users who are currently in the room, so that people can see who is in their virtual community.

Users can communicate as if they are speaking to one another in real life. This "simulated reality" attribute makes it easy for users to form a virtual community, because chat rooms allow users to get to know one another as if they were meeting in real life. The individual "room" feature also makes it more likely that the people within a chat room share a similar interest; an interest that allows them to bond with one another and be willing to form a friendship.

Virtual worlds

For broader coverage of this topic, see Virtual world.
A party scene from Second Life set in Hyrule

Virtual worlds are the most interactive of all virtual community forms. In this type of virtual community, people are connected by living as an avatar in a computer-based world. Users create their own avatar character (from choosing the avatar's outfits to designing the avatar's house) and control their character's life and interactions with other characters in the 3-D virtual world. It is similar to a computer game, however there is no objective for the players. A virtual world simply gives users the opportunity to build and operate a fantasy life in the virtual realm. Characters within the world can talk to one another and have almost the same interactions people would have in reality. For example, characters can socialize with one another and hold intimate relationships online.

This type of virtual community allows for people to not only hold conversations with others in real time, but also to engage and interact with others. The avatars that users create are like humans. Users can choose to make avatars like themselves, or take on an entirely different personality than them. When characters interact with other characters, they can get to know one another through text-based talking and virtual experience (such as having avatars go on a date in the virtual world). A virtual community chat room may give real-time conversations, but people can only talk to one another. In a virtual world, characters can do activities together, just like friends could do in reality. Communities in virtual worlds are most similar to real-life communities because the characters are physically in the same place, even if the users who are operating the characters are not. It is close to reality, except that the characters are digital. Second Life is one of the most popular virtual worlds on the Internet. Whyville offers a good alternative for younger audiences where safety and privacy are a concern. In Whyville, you use the virtual world's simulation aspect to experiment and learn about various phenomena.

Another use for virtual worlds has been in business communications. Benefits from virtual world technology such as photo realistic avatars and positional sound create an atmosphere for participants that provides a less fatiguing sense of presence. Enterprise controls that allow the meeting host to dictate the permissions of the attendees such as who can speak, or who can move about allow the host to control the meeting environment. Several companies are creating business based virtual worlds including Second Life. These business based worlds have stricter controls and allow functionality such as muting individual participants, desktop sharing, or access lists to provide a highly interactive and controlled virtual world to a specific business or group. Business based virtual worlds also may provide various enterprise features such as Single Sign on with third party providers, or Content Encryption.

Social network services

Facebook on the Ad-tech 2010

Social networking services are the most prominent type of virtual community. They are either a website or software platform that focuses on creating and maintaining relationships. Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace are all virtual communities. With these sites, one often creates a profile or account, and adds friends or follow friends. This allows people to connect and look for support using the social networking service as a gathering place. These websites often allow for people to keep up to date with their friends and acquaintances' activities without making much of an effort. On Facebook, for example, one can upload photos and videos, chat, make friends, reconnect with old ones, and join groups or causes.

Specialized information communities

Participatory culture plays a large role in online and virtual communities. In participatory culture, users feel that their contributions are important and that by contributing, they are forming meaningful connections with other users. The differences between being a producer of content on the website and being a consumer on the website become blurred and overlap. According to Henry Jenkins, "Members believe their contributions matter and feel some degree of social connection with one another "(Jenkins, et al. 2005). The exchange and consumption of information requires a degree of "digital literacy", such that users are able to "archive, annotate, appropriate, transform and recirculate media content" (Jenkins). Specialized information communities centralizes a specific group of users who are all interested in the same topic. For example, TasteofHome.com, the website of the magazine Taste of Home, is a specialized information community that focuses on baking and cooking. The users contribute consumer information relating to their hobby and additionally participate in further specialized groups and forums. Specialized Information Communities are a place where people with similar interests can discuss and share their experiences and interests.

Howard Rheingold's Virtual Community could be compared with Mark Granovetter's ground-breaking "strength of weak ties" article published twenty years earlier in the American Journal of Sociology. Rheingold translated, practiced and published Granovetter's conjectures about strong and weak ties in the online world. His comment on the first page even illustrates the social networks in the virtual society: "My seven year old daughter knows that her father congregates with a family of invisible friends who seem to gather in his computer. Sometimes he talks to them, even if nobody else can see them. And she knows that these invisible friends sometimes show up in the flesh, materializing from the next block or the other side of the world." (page 1). Indeed, in his revised version of Virtual Community, Rheingold goes so far to say that had he read Barry Wellman's work earlier, he would have called his book "online social networks".

Rheingold's definition contains the terms "social aggregation and personal relationships" (pp3). Lipnack & Stamps (1997) and Mowshowitz (1997) point out how virtual communities can work across space, time and organizational boundaries; Lipnack & Stamps (1997) mention a common purpose; and Lee, Eom, Jung and Kim (2004) introduce "desocialization" which means that there is less frequent interaction with humans in traditional settings, e.g. an increase in virtual socialization. Calhoun (1991) presents a dystopia argument, asserting the impersonality of virtual networks. He argues that IT has a negative influence on offline interaction between individuals because virtual life takes over our lives. He believes that it also creates different personalities in people which can cause frictions in offline and online communities and groups and in personal contacts. (Wellman & Haythornthwaite, 2002). Recently, Mitch Parsell (2008) has suggested that virtual communities, particularly those that leverage Web 2.0 resources, can be pernicious by leading to attitude polarization, increased prejudices and enabling sick individuals to deliberately indulge in their diseases.

Internet communities offer the advantage of instant information exchange that is not possible in a real-life community. This interaction allows people to engage in many activities from their home, such as: shopping, paying bills, and searching for specific information. Users of online communities also have access to thousands of specific discussion groups where they can form specialized relationships and access information in such categories as: politics, technical assistance, social activities, health (see above) and recreational pleasures. Virtual communities provide an ideal medium for these types of relationships because information can easily be posted and response times can be very fast. Another benefit is that these types of communities can give users a feeling of membership and belonging. Users can give and receive support, and it is simple and cheap to use.

Economically, virtual communities can be commercially successful, making money through membership fees, subscriptions, usage fees, and advertising commission. Consumers generally feel very comfortable making transactions online provided that the seller has a good reputation throughout the community. Virtual communities also provide the advantage of disintermediation in commercial transactions, which eliminates vendors and connects buyers directly to suppliers. Disintermediation eliminates pricey mark-ups and allows for a more direct line of contact between the consumer and the manufacturer.

While instant communication means fast access, it also means that information is posted without being reviewed for correctness. It is difficult to choose reliable sources because there is no editor who reviews each post and makes sure it is up to a certain degree of quality.

In theory, online identities can be kept anonymous which enables people to use the virtual community for fantasy role playing as in the case of Second Life's use of avatars. Some professionals urge caution with users who use online communities because predators also frequent these communities looking for victims who are vulnerable to online identity theft or online predators.

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Virtual community
Virtual community Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Virtual communities For other uses see Virtual community disambiguation This article is written like a personal reflection personal essay or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor s personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style March 2011 Learn how and when to remove this template message A virtual community is a social network of individuals who connect through specific social media potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals Some of the most pervasive virtual communities are online communities operating under social networking services Howard Rheingold discussed virtual communities in his book The Virtual Community published in 1993 The book s discussion ranges from Rheingold s adventures on The WELL computer mediated communication and social groups and information science Technologies cited include Usenet MUDs Multi User Dungeon and their derivatives MUSHes and MOOs Internet Relay Chat IRC chat rooms and electronic mailing lists Rheingold also points out the potential benefits for personal psychological well being as well as for society at large of belonging to a virtual community Virtual communities all encourage interaction sometimes focusing around a particular interest or just to communicate Some virtual communities do both Community members are allowed to interact over a shared passion through various means message boards chat rooms social networking World Wide Web sites or virtual worlds 1 Contents 1 Introduction 2 Purpose 2 1 User experience testing to determine social codes 3 Effects 3 1 On health 3 2 On civic participation 3 3 On communication 3 4 On Identity 3 4 1 Gender 4 Types 4 1 Internet based 4 2 Internet message boards 4 3 Online chat rooms 4 4 Virtual worlds 4 5 Social network services 4 6 Specialized information communities 5 Howard Rheingold s study 6 Advantages of Internet communities 7 Disadvantages of Internet communities 8 See also 9 Notes and references 10 BibliographyIntroduction EditThe traditional definition of a community is of geographically circumscribed entity neighborhoods villages etc Virtual communities are usually dispersed geographically and therefore are not communities under the original definition Some online communities are linked geographically and are known as community websites However if one considers communities to simply possess boundaries of some sort between their members and non members then a virtual community is certainly a community 2 Virtual communities resemble real life communities in the sense that they both provide support information friendship and acceptance between strangers 3 Early research into the existence of media based communities was concerned with the nature of reality whether communities actually could exist through the media which could place virtual community research into the social sciences definition of ontology In the seventeenth century scholars associated with the Royal Society of London formed a community through the exchange of letters 2 Community without propinquity coined by urban planner Melvin Webber in 1963 and community liberated analyzed by Barry Wellman in 1979 began the modern era of thinking about non local community 4 As well Benedict Anderson s Imagined Communities in 1983 described how different technologies such as national newspapers contributed to the development of national and regional consciousness among early nation states 5 Some authors that built their theories on Anderson s Imagined communities have been critical of the concept claiming that all communities are based on communication and that virtual real dichotomy is disintegrating making use of the word virtual problematic or even obsolete 6 Purpose Edit A PLATO V terminal in 1981 displaying RankTrek application Virtual communities are used for a variety of social and professional groups interaction between community members vary from personal to purely formal For example an email distribution list could serve as a personal means of communicating with family and friends and also formally to coordinate with coworkers User experience testing to determine social codes Edit User experience is the ultimate goal for the program or software used by an internet community because user experience will determine the software s success 7 The software for social media pages or virtual communities is structured around the users experience and designed specifically for online use User experience testing is utilized to reveal something about the personal experience of the human being using a product or system 8 When it comes to testing user experience in a software interface three main characteristics are needed a user who is engaged a user who is interacting with a product or interface and defining the users experience in ways that are and observable or measurable 8 User experience metrics are based on a reliability and repeatability using a consistent set of measurements to result in comparable outcomes User experience metrics are based on user retention using a consistent set of measurements to collect data on user experience The widespread use of the Internet and virtual communities by millions of diverse users for socializing is a phenomenon that raises new issues for researchers and developers The vast number and diversity of individuals participating in virtual communities worldwide makes it a challenge to test usability across platforms to ensure the best overall user experience Some well established measures applied to the usability framework for online communities are speed of learning productivity user satisfaction how much people remember using the software and how many errors they make 9 The human computer interactions that are measured during a usability experience test focus on the individuals rather than their social interactions in the online community The success of online communities depend on the integration of usability and social semiotics Usability testing metrics can be used to determine social codes by evaluating a user s habits when interacting with a program Social codes are established and reinforced by the regular repetition of behavioral patterns 10 People communicate their social identities or culture code through the work they do the way they talk the clothes they wear their eating habits domestic environments and possessions and use of leisure time Usability testing metrics can be used to determine social codes by evaluating a user s habits when interacting with a program The information provided during a usability test can determine demographic factors and help define the semiotic social code Dialogue and social interactions support information design navigation support and accessibility are integral components specific to online communities As virtual communities grow so do the diversity of their users However the technologies are not made to be any more or less intuitive Usability tests can ensure users are communicating effectively using social and semiotic codes while maintaining their social identities 9 Efficient communication requires a common set of signs in the minds of those seeking to communicate 10 As technologies evolve and mature they tend to be used by an increasingly diverse set of users This kind of increasing complexity and evolution of technology doesn t necessarily mean that the technologies are becoming easier to use 8 Usability testing in virtual communities can ensure users are communicating effectively through social and semiotic codes and maintenance of social realities and identities 10 Effects EditOn health Edit Concerns with a virtual community s tendency to promote less socializing include verbal aggression and inhibitions promotion of suicide and issues with privacy However studies regarding the health effects of these communities did not show any negative effects There was a high drop out rate of participants in the study The health related effects are not clear because of the lack of thoroughness and the variation in studies done on the subject 11 Rather recent studies have looked into development of health related communities and their impact on those already suffering health issues These forms of social networks allow for open conversation between individuals who are going through similar experiences whether themselves or in their family 12 Such sites have so grown in popularity that now many health care providers form groups for their patients by providing web areas where one may direct questions to doctors These sites prove especially useful when related to rare medical conditions People with rare or debilitating disorders may not be able to access support groups in their physical community thus online communities act as primary means for such support Online health communities can serve as supportive outlets as they facilitate connecting with others who truly understand the disease as well as offer more practical support such as receiving help in adjusting to life with the disease 13 Involvement in social communities of similar health interests has created a means for patients to develop a better understanding and behavior towards treatment and health practices 14 15 Patients increasingly use such outlets but the extent to which these practices have effects on health are still being studied Studies on health networks have mostly been conducted on groups which typically suffer the most from extreme forms of diseases for example cancer patients HIV patients or patients with other life threatening diseases It is general knowledge that one participates in online communities to interact with society and develop relationships 16 Individuals who suffer from rare or severe illnesses are unable to meet physically because of distance or because it could be a risk to their health to leave a secure environment Thus they have turned to the internet A study conducted by Haven B Battles and Lori S Wiener on the effects of networks on children suffering from incurable diseases reveal a positive correlation in enhancing children s behaviors and overall moods 17 Their behavior and mood not only changed but they were more willing to go to treatment after having these interactions 18 In addition to communities which focus strictly on information relating to illness and disease there are also those which focus on specific health related conditions such as fertility issues Some studies have indicated that virtual communities can provide valuable benefits to their users Online health focused communities were shown to offer a unique form of emotional support that differed from event based realities and informational support networks Growing amounts of presented material show how online communities affect the health of their users Apparently the creation of health communities has a positive impact on those who are ill or in need of medical information 19 On civic participation Edit New forms of civic engagement and citizenship have emerged from the rise of social networking sites Networking sites act as a medium for expression and discourse about issues in specific user communities Online content sharing sites have made it easy for youth as well as others to not only express themselves and their ideas through digital media but also connect with large networked communities Within these spaces young people are pushing the boundaries of traditional forms of engagement such as voting and joining political organizations and creating their own ways to discuss connect and act in their communities 20 Civic engagement through online volunteering has shown to have positive effects on personal satisfaction and development Some 84 percent of online volunteers found that their online volunteering experience had contributed to their personal development and learning 21 On communication Edit In his book The Wealth of Networks from 2006 Yochai Benkler suggests that virtual communities would come to represent a new form of human communal existence providing new scope for building a shared experience of human interaction 22 Although Benkler s prediction has not become entirely true clearly communications and social relations are extremely complex within a virtual community The two main effects that can be seen according to Benkler are a thickening of preexisting relations with friends family and neighbours and the beginnings of the emergence of greater scope for limited purpose loose relationships 22 Despite being acknowledged as loose relationships Benkler argues that they remain meaningful Previous concerns about the effects of Internet use on community and family fell into two categories 1 sustained intimate human relations are critical to well functioning human beings as a matter of psychological need and 2 people with social capital are better off than those who lack it It leads to better results in terms of political participation 22 However Benkler argues that unless Internet connections actually displace direct unmediated human contact there is no basis to think that using the Internet will lead to a decline in those nourishing connections we need psychologically or in the useful connections we make socially Benkler continues to suggest that the nature of an individual changes over time based on social practices and expectations There is a shift from individuals who depend upon locally embedded unmediated and stable social relationships to networked individuals who are more dependent upon their own combination of strong and weak ties across boundaries and weave their own fluid relationships Manuel Castells calls this the networked society 22 On Identity Edit In 1997 MCI Communications released the Anthem advertisement heralding the internet as a utopia without age race or gender Lisa Nakamura argues in chapter 16 of her 2002 book After image of identity Gender Technology and Identity Politics that technology gives us iterations of our age race and gender in virtual spaces as opposed to them being fully extinguished Nakamura uses a metaphor of after images to describe the cultural phenomenon of expressing identity on the internet The idea is that any performance of identity on the internet is simultaneously present and past tense posthuman and projectionary due to its immortality 23 Doctor Sherry Turkle professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT believes the internet is a place where actions of discrimination are less likely to occur In her 1995 book Life on the Screen Identity in the Age of the Internet she argues that discrimination is easier in reality as it is easier to identify as face value what is contrary to your norm The internet allows for a more fluid expression of identity and thus we become more accepting of inconsistent personae within ourselves and others For these reasons Turkle argues users existing in online spaces are less compelled to judge or compare ourselves to our peers allowing people in virtual settings an opportunity to gain a greater capacity for acknowledging diversity 24 Nakamura argues against this view coining the term Identity Tourism in her 1999 article Race In For Cyberspace Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet Identity tourism in the context of cyberspace is a term used to the describe the phenomenon of users donning and doffing other race and other gender personae Nakamura finds that performed behavior from these identity tourists often perpetuate stereotypes 25 Gender Edit The gaming community is extremely vast and accessible to a wide variety of people However there are negative effects on the relationships gamers have with the medium when expressing identity of gender Doctor Adrienne Shaw notes in her 2012 article Do you identify as a gamer Gender race sexuality and gamer identity that gender perhaps subconsciously plays a large role in identifying oneself as a gamer 26 Types EditInternet based Edit The explosive diffusion 27 of the Internet since the mid 1990s fostered the proliferation of virtual communities in the form of social networking services and online communities Virtual communities may synthesize Web 2 0 technologies with the community and therefore have been described as Community 2 0 although strong community bonds have been forged online since the early 1970s on timeshare systems like PLATO and later on Usenet Online communities depend upon social interaction and exchange between users online This interaction emphasizes the reciprocity element of the unwritten social contract between community members Internet message boards Edit An Internet forum powered by phpBB An online message board is a forum where people can discuss thoughts or ideas on various topics or simply express an idea Users may choose which thread or board of discussion they would like to read or contribute to A user will start a discussion by making a post 28 Other users who choose to respond can follow the discussion by adding their own posts to that thread at any time Unlike in spoken conversations message boards do not usually have instantaneous responses users actively go to the website to check for responses Anyone can register to participate in an online message board People can choose to participate in the virtual community even if or when they choose not to contribute their thoughts and ideas Unlike chat rooms at least in practice message boards can accommodate an almost infinite number of users Internet users urges to talk to and reach out to strangers online is unlike those in real life encounters where people are hesitant and often unwilling to step in to help strangers Studies have shown that people are more likely to intervene when they are the only one in a situation With Internet message boards users at their computers are alone which might contribute to their willingness to reach out Another possible explanation is that people can withdraw from a situation much more easily online than off They can simply click exit or log off whereas they would have to find a physical exit and deal with the repercussions of trying to leave a situation in real life The lack of status that is presented with an online identity also might encourage people because if one chooses to keep it private there is no associated label of gender age ethnicity or lifestyle 29 Online chat rooms Edit An example of an IRC chat session on Xaric a text based client Shown are two IRC channels and a private conversation This section possibly contains original research Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations Statements consisting only of original research should be removed January 2016 Learn how and when to remove this template message Shortly after the rise of interest in message boards and forums people started to want a way of communicating with their communities in real time The downside to message boards was that people would have to wait until another user replied to their posting which with people all around the world in different time frames could take a while The development of online chat rooms allowed people to talk to whoever was online at the same time they were This way messages were sent and online users could immediately respond The original development by CompuServe CB hosted forty channels in which users could talk to one another in real time The idea of forty different channels led to the idea of chat rooms that were specific to different topics Users could choose to join an already existent chat room they found interesting or start a new room if they found nothing to their liking Real time chatting was also brought into virtual games where people could play against one another and also talk to one another through text Now chat rooms can be found on all sorts of topics so that people can talk with others who share similar interests Chat rooms are now provided by Internet Relay Chat IRC and other individual websites such as Yahoo MSN and AOL Chat room users communicate through text based messaging Most chat room providers are similar and include an input box a message window and a participant list The input box is where users can type their text based message to be sent to the providing server The server will then transmit the message to the computers of anyone in the chat room so that it can be displayed in the message window The message window allows the conversation to be tracked and usually places a time stamp once the message is posted There is usually a list of the users who are currently in the room so that people can see who is in their virtual community Users can communicate as if they are speaking to one another in real life This simulated reality attribute makes it easy for users to form a virtual community because chat rooms allow users to get to know one another as if they were meeting in real life The individual room feature also makes it more likely that the people within a chat room share a similar interest an interest that allows them to bond with one another and be willing to form a friendship 30 31 Virtual worlds Edit For broader coverage of this topic see Virtual world A party scene from Second Life set in Hyrule Virtual worlds are the most interactive of all virtual community forms In this type of virtual community people are connected by living as an avatar in a computer based world Users create their own avatar character from choosing the avatar s outfits to designing the avatar s house and control their character s life and interactions with other characters in the 3 D virtual world It is similar to a computer game however there is no objective for the players A virtual world simply gives users the opportunity to build and operate a fantasy life in the virtual realm Characters within the world can talk to one another and have almost the same interactions people would have in reality For example characters can socialize with one another and hold intimate relationships online This type of virtual community allows for people to not only hold conversations with others in real time but also to engage and interact with others The avatars that users create are like humans Users can choose to make avatars like themselves or take on an entirely different personality than them When characters interact with other characters they can get to know one another through text based talking and virtual experience such as having avatars go on a date in the virtual world A virtual community chat room may give real time conversations but people can only talk to one another In a virtual world characters can do activities together just like friends could do in reality Communities in virtual worlds are most similar to real life communities because the characters are physically in the same place even if the users who are operating the characters are not It is close to reality except that the characters are digital 32 Second Life is one of the most popular virtual worlds on the Internet Whyville offers a good alternative for younger audiences where safety and privacy are a concern In Whyville you use the virtual world s simulation aspect to experiment and learn about various phenomena Another use for virtual worlds has been in business communications Benefits from virtual world technology such as photo realistic avatars and positional sound create an atmosphere for participants that provides a less fatiguing sense of presence Enterprise controls that allow the meeting host to dictate the permissions of the attendees such as who can speak or who can move about allow the host to control the meeting environment Several companies are creating business based virtual worlds including Second Life These business based worlds have stricter controls and allow functionality such as muting individual participants desktop sharing or access lists to provide a highly interactive and controlled virtual world to a specific business or group Business based virtual worlds also may provide various enterprise features such as Single Sign on with third party providers or Content Encryption Social network services Edit Facebook on the Ad tech 2010 Social networking services are the most prominent type of virtual community They are either a website or software platform that focuses on creating and maintaining relationships Facebook Twitter and Myspace are all virtual communities With these sites one often creates a profile or account and adds friends or follow friends This allows people to connect and look for support using the social networking service as a gathering place These websites often allow for people to keep up to date with their friends and acquaintances activities without making much of an effort 33 On Facebook for example one can upload photos and videos chat make friends reconnect with old ones and join groups or causes 34 Specialized information communities Edit Participatory culture plays a large role in online and virtual communities In participatory culture users feel that their contributions are important and that by contributing they are forming meaningful connections with other users The differences between being a producer of content on the website and being a consumer on the website become blurred and overlap According to Henry Jenkins Members believe their contributions matter and feel some degree of social connection with one another Jenkins et al 2005 The exchange and consumption of information requires a degree of digital literacy such that users are able to archive annotate appropriate transform and recirculate media content Jenkins Specialized information communities centralizes a specific group of users who are all interested in the same topic For example TasteofHome com the website of the magazine Taste of Home is a specialized information community that focuses on baking and cooking The users contribute consumer information relating to their hobby and additionally participate in further specialized groups and forums Specialized Information Communities are a place where people with similar interests can discuss and share their experiences and interests Howard Rheingold s study EditHoward Rheingold s Virtual Community could be compared with Mark Granovetter s ground breaking strength of weak ties article published twenty years earlier in the American Journal of Sociology Rheingold translated practiced and published Granovetter s conjectures about strong and weak ties in the online world His comment on the first page even illustrates the social networks in the virtual society My seven year old daughter knows that her father congregates with a family of invisible friends who seem to gather in his computer Sometimes he talks to them even if nobody else can see them And she knows that these invisible friends sometimes show up in the flesh materializing from the next block or the other side of the world page 1 Indeed in his revised version of Virtual Community Rheingold goes so far to say that had he read Barry Wellman s work earlier he would have called his book online social networks Rheingold s definition contains the terms social aggregation and personal relationships pp3 Lipnack amp Stamps 1997 35 and Mowshowitz 1997 point out how virtual communities can work across space time and organizational boundaries Lipnack amp Stamps 1997 35 mention a common purpose and Lee Eom Jung and Kim 2004 introduce desocialization which means that there is less frequent interaction with humans in traditional settings e g an increase in virtual socialization Calhoun 1991 presents a dystopia argument asserting the impersonality of virtual networks He argues that IT has a negative influence on offline interaction between individuals because virtual life takes over our lives He believes that it also creates different personalities in people which can cause frictions in offline and online communities and groups and in personal contacts Wellman amp Haythornthwaite 2002 Recently Mitch Parsell 2008 has suggested that virtual communities particularly those that leverage Web 2 0 resources can be pernicious by leading to attitude polarization increased prejudices and enabling sick individuals to deliberately indulge in their diseases 36 Advantages of Internet communities EditInternet communities offer the advantage of instant information exchange that is not possible in a real life community This interaction allows people to engage in many activities from their home such as shopping paying bills and searching for specific information Users of online communities also have access to thousands of specific discussion groups where they can form specialized relationships and access information in such categories as politics technical assistance social activities health see above and recreational pleasures Virtual communities provide an ideal medium for these types of relationships because information can easily be posted and response times can be very fast Another benefit is that these types of communities can give users a feeling of membership and belonging Users can give and receive support and it is simple and cheap to use 37 Economically virtual communities can be commercially successful making money through membership fees subscriptions usage fees and advertising commission Consumers generally feel very comfortable making transactions online provided that the seller has a good reputation throughout the community Virtual communities also provide the advantage of disintermediation in commercial transactions which eliminates vendors and connects buyers directly to suppliers Disintermediation eliminates pricey mark ups and allows for a more direct line of contact between the consumer and the manufacturer 38 Disadvantages of Internet communities EditWhile instant communication means fast access it also means that information is posted without being reviewed for correctness It is difficult to choose reliable sources because there is no editor who reviews each post and makes sure it is up to a certain degree of quality 39 In theory online identities can be kept anonymous which enables people to use the virtual community for fantasy role playing as in the case of Second Life s use of avatars Some professionals urge caution with users who use online communities because predators also frequent these communities looking for victims who are vulnerable to online identity theft or online predators 40 See also EditClan computer gaming Commons based peer production Community of practice Comparison of online dating websites Cybersectarianism Dating search engine Digital altruism Dunbar s number Global village Human based genetic algorithm Immersion virtual reality Internet activism Internet influences on communities Internet think tanks Learner generated context List of social networking websites List of virtual communities Mass collaboration Motivations of Wikipedia contributors Music community Network of practice Online community Online community manager Online deliberation Online ethnography Online research community Online volunteering People s Voice Media Personal network Professional network service Social media Social web Support groups The Virtual Community Tribe internet Video game culture Virtual airline hobby Virtual community of practice Web of trustNotes and references Edit Hof R D Browder S Elstrom P 5 May 1997 Internet Communities Business Week a b Pears Iain 1998 An Instance of the Fingerpost London Jonathan Cape Wellman B 1999 Networks in the global village life in contemporary communities ISBN 9780813368214 Webber Melvin 1963 Order in Diversity Community without Propinquity Pp 23 54 in Cities and Space The Future Use of Urban Land edited by J Lowdon Wingo Baltimore Johns Hopkins Press Wellman Barry The Community Question The Intimate Networks of East Yorkers American Journal of Sociology 84 March 1979 1201 31 Anderson Benedict 1991 Imagined Communities Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism London Verso Prodnik Jernej 2012 Post Fordist Communities and Cyberspace In H Breslow and A Mousoutzanis eds Cybercultures Mediations of Community Culture Politics Rodopi Amsterdam New York pp 75 100 Sieckenius de Souza Clarisse Preece Jenny June 2004 A framework for analyzing and understanding online communities Interacting with Computers 19 3 579 610 a b c Tullis Thomas Albert William 2016 Measuring the User Experience Collecting Analyzing and Presenting Usability Metrics Amsterdam Morgan Kaufmann ISBN 978 0 12 415781 1 a b Preece Jenny 2001 Socialility and Usability in Online Communities Determining and Measuring Success Behaviour amp Information Technology 20 5 347 356 doi 10 1080 01449290110084683 S2CID 14120302 a b c Chandler Daniel 2007 Semiotics The Basics 3 ed Abingdon Oxon Routledge Eysenbach G 2004 Health related virtual communities and electronic support groups systematic review of the effects of online peer to peer interactions BMJ 328 7449 1166 doi 10 1136 bmj 328 7449 1166 PMC 411092 PMID 15142921 Eysenbach G 2008 The Impact of the Internet on Cancer Outcomes A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 53 6 356 371 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 53 6 356 371 CiteSeerX 10 1 1 526 4309 doi 10 3322 canjclin 53 6 356 PMID 15224975 S2CID 10192148 Web Communities Help Patients With Rare Diseases NPR Retrieved 10 July 2012 Neal L Lindgagarrd G Oakley K Hansen D Kogan S Leimeister J M Selker T 2006 Online Health Communities CHI 444 447 PDF Cocciolo A Mineo C Meier E Using Online Social Networks to Build Healthy Communities A Design based Research Investigation 1 10 PDF Cocciolo A Mineo C Meier E Using Online Social Networks to Build Healthy Communities A Design based Research Investigation 1 10 PDF Battles B Wiener L 2002 STARBRIGHT World Effects of an Electronic Network on the Social Environment of Children With Life Threatening Illnesses Children s Health Care 31 47 68 doi 10 1207 S15326888CHC3101 4 S2CID 145732192 Battles B Wiener L 2002 STARBRIGHT World Effects of an Electronic Network on the Social Environment of Children With Life Threatening Illnesses Children s Health Care 31 47 68 doi 10 1207 S15326888CHC3101 4 S2CID 145732192 Welbourne Jennifer L Blanchard Anita L Boughton Marla D 2009 Supportive communication sense of virtual community and health outcomes in online infertility groups Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies C amp T 09 New York ACM pp 31 40 CiteSeerX 10 1 1 589 9656 doi 10 1145 1556460 1556466 ISBN 9781605587134 S2CID 8243700 Carvin A 1 December 2006 Understanding the impact of online communities on civic engagement UNV Annual Report 2014 Innovation and Knowledge a b c d Benkler Yochai 2006 The Wealth of Networks How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom PDF Nakamura Lisa 2002 After Images of Identity Gender Technology and Identity Politics Cambridge MA MIT Press pp 121 131 Turkle Sherry 1995 Life on the Screen Identity in the Age of the Internet New York Simon and Schuster Nakamura Lisa 1999 Race In For Cyberspace Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet New York Allyn and Bacon Shaw Adrienne 2012 Do you identify as a gamer Gender race sexuality and gamer identity New Media amp Society 14 1 28 44 doi 10 1177 1461444811410394 S2CID 206727217 Porter Constance Elise 1 November 2004 A Typology of Virtual Communities a Multi Disciplinary Foundation for Future Research Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 10 1 00 doi 10 1111 j 1083 6101 2004 tb00228 x Marone Vittorio 2015 Keep in mind that I will be improving The opening post as a request for absolution PDF Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies 5 1 136 158 doi 10 29333 ojcmt 2499 Archived from the original PDF on 18 October 2017 Retrieved 3 February 2017 Wellman B 1999 Networks in the global village life in contemporary communities ISBN 9780813368214 Phelps Alan 11 July 2010 How Chat Rooms Work PDF Smartcomputing com Roos Dave 11 July 2010 HowStuffWorks How Chat Rooms Work Retrieved 23 August 2010 Turkle Sherry 11 July 2010 Virtuality and Its Discontents The American Prospect Archived from the original on 26 July 2010 Quan Hasse A Young A L 2010 Uses and Gratifications of Social Media A Comparison of Facebook and Instant Messaging Bulletin of Science Technology amp Society30 350 361 Waisanen D 2010 Facebook Diasporic Virtual Publics and Networked Argumentation Conference Proceedings National Communication Association American Forensic Association Alta Conference on Argumentation 550 557 a b Jessica Lipnack 1997 Virtual teams reaching across space time and organizations with technology Stamps Jeffrey New York Wiley ISBN 978 0471165538 OCLC 36138326 Parsell M 2008 2008 Pernicious virtual communities Identity polarisation and the Web 2 0 Ethics and Information Technology 10 Volume 10 Number 1 41 56 doi 10 1007 s10676 008 9153 y S2CID 33207414 Blanchard A L Markus M L 2002 Sense of virtual community maintaining the experience of belonging Proceedings of the 35th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences CiteSeerX 10 1 1 11 9800 Cite journal requires journal help Rothaermel F T Sugiyama S 2001 Virtual internet communities and commercial success individual and community level theory grounded in the atypical case of timezone com Journal of Management 27 3 297 312 doi 10 1177 014920630102700305 S2CID 220594818 Smith M A Kollock P 1999 Communities in cyberspace New York New York Routledge Foster D 18 December 2000 Community and identity in the electronic village Archived from the original on 17 January 2011 Retrieved 15 October 2010 Bibliography EditAnderson Benedict R O G 1983 Imagined communities reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism London Verso ISBN 978 0 86091 546 1 OCLC 239999655 Barzilai G 2003 Communities and Law Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities Ann Arbor The University of Michigan Press Else Liz amp Turkle Sherry Living online I ll have to ask my friends New Scientist issue 2569 20 September 2006 interview Ebner W Leimeister J M Krcmar H 2009 2009 Community Engineering for Innovations The Ideas Competition as a method to nurture a Virtual Community for Innovations PDF R amp D Management 39 4 342 356 doi 10 1111 j 1467 9310 2009 00564 x S2CID 16316321 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Farmer F R 1993 Social Dimensions of Habitat s Citizenry Virtual Realities An Anthology of Industry and Culture C Loeffler ed Gijutsu Hyoron Sha Tokyo Japan Gouvea Mario de Paula Leite 18 21 July 2000 The Challenges of Building an International Virtual Community Using Internet Technologies Internet Society INET 2000 conference proceedings Hafner K 2001 The WELL A Story of Love Death and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community Carroll amp Graf Publishers ISBN 0 7867 0846 8 Hagel J amp Armstrong A 1997 Net Gain Expanding Markets through Virtual Communities Boston Harvard Business School Press ISBN 0 87584 759 5 Jones G Ravid Rafaeli S 2004 Information Overload and the Message Dynamics of Online Interaction Spaces A Theoretical Model and Empirical Exploration Information Systems Research 15 2 194 210 CiteSeerX 10 1 1 127 6976 doi 10 1287 isre 1040 0023 S2CID 207227328 Kim A J 2000 Community Building on the Web Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities London Addison Wesley ISBN 0 201 87484 9 Kim A J 2004 24 January 2004 Emergent Purpose Musings of a Social Architect Retrieved 4 April 2006 Kollock Peter 1999 The Economies of Online Cooperation Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace in Communities in Cyberspace Marc Smith and Peter Kollock editors London Routledge The author has made available an Online working draft Kosorukoff A amp Goldberg D E 2002 Genetic algorithm as a form of organization Proceedings of Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference GECCO 2002 pp 965 972 Leimeister J M Ebner W Krcmar H 2005 Design Implementation and Evaluation of Trust supporting Components in Virtual Communities for Patients Journal of Management Information Systems JMIS p 21 4 pp 101 136 Archived from the original on 23 June 2011 Retrieved 23 August 2010 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Leimeister J M Sidiras P Krcmar H 2006 Exploring Success Factors of Virtual Communities The Perspectives of Members and Operators Journal of Organizational Computing amp Electronic Commerce JoCEC 16 3 amp 4 277 298 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Morningstar C and F R Farmer 1990 The Lessons of Lucasfilm s Habitat The First International Conference on Cyberspace Austin TX USA Naone Erica Who Owns Your Friends Social networking sites are fighting over control of users personal information MIT Technology Review July August 2008 Neus A 2001 Managing Information Quality in Virtual Communities of Practice Lessons learned from a decade s experience with exploding internet communication PDF IQ 2001 The 6th International Conference on Information Quality at MIT Archived from the original PDF on 16 August 2010 Retrieved 23 August 2010 Parsell Mitch 2008 Pernicious virtual communities Identity polarisation and the Web 2 0 Ethics and Information Technology 10 41 56 doi 10 1007 s10676 008 9153 y S2CID 33207414 Preece J 2000 Online Communities Supporting Sociability Designing Usability Chichester John Wiley amp Sons Ltd ISBN 0 471 80599 8 Prodnik Jernej 2012 Post Fordist Communities and Cyberspace A Critical Approach In H Breslow and A Mousoutzanis eds Cybercultures Mediations of Community Culture Politics Rodopi Amsterdam New York pp 75 100 Retrieved 2 February 2013 Rheingold H 2000 The Virtual Community Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier London MIT Press ISBN 0 262 68121 8 The author has made available an online copy Rosenkranz C Feddersen C 2010 14 December 2017 Managing viable virtual communities an exploratory case study and explanatory model International Journal of Web Based Communities p Volume 6 Number 1 5 14 Archived from the original on 3 January 2013 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Seabrook J 1997 Deeper My Two Year Odyssey in Cyberspace Simon amp Schuster ISBN 0 684 80175 2 Smith M Voices from the WELL The Logic of the Virtual Commons UCLA Department of Sociology Sudweeks F McLaughlin M L amp Rafaeli S 1998 Network and Netplay Virtual Groups on the Internet MIT Press Portions available online as Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 2 Van der Crabben Jan Performed Intimacy in Virtual Worlds Archived from the original on 31 May 2009 Barry Wellman An Electronic Group is Virtually a Social Network Pp 179 205 in Culture of the Internet edited by Sara Kiesler Mahwah NJ Lawrence Erlbaum 1997 Translated into German as Die elektronische Gruppe als soziales Netzwerk Pp 134 67 in Virtuelle Gruppen edited by Udo Thiedeke Wiesbaden Westdeutscher Verlag 2000 Trier M 2007 Virtual Knowledge Communities IT supported Visualization and Analysis Saarbrucken Germany VDM Verlag Dr Muller ISBN 3 8364 1540 2 Urstadt Bryant Social Networking Is Not a Business Web 2 0 the dream of the user built user centered user run Internet has delivered on just about every promise except profit Will its most prominent example social networking ever make any money MIT Technology Review July August 2008 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Virtual community amp oldid 1047757294, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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