Websites, Blogs & Reports

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Digital Media Communications- Websites, Blogs & Podcasts

Digital Media Communications- Websites, Blogs & Podcasts

Part A

Virtual Communities

The idea of virtual communities was introduced by Rheingold. He believed that “the socialization process among people often transforms into a web of relationships in the cyberspace (Jervenpa &Staples, 2000, pp. 129). Since then, speculation has grown on the idea of virtual communities. In fact, it is regarded as an “Internet phenomenon” with high commercial turnouts. Electronic commerce professionals and experts have also laid emphasis on the formation of virtual communities. Virtual communities have allowed people to connect with each other on the basis of commonality and interests.

Different forms of social exchange are a vital feature of virtual communities. Members in a virtual group are often required to participate in activities; and are often segregated on the basis of a particular subject (Kanawattanachai & Yoo, 2002, pp. 187). Members are required to seek knowledge on a particular subject. Participation in virtual communities could be considered as a platform for knowledge and information exchange.

Applications of Virtual Communities

The primary feature of virtual communities is that it allows an interaction space to people so they can decide upon the tools, procedures and resources o f its structure (what tools to use, how to apply them), and what resources (time, information, and expertise) you will need to support and facilitate it (White, 2002, pp. 1). The main purpose of these virtual communities is to provide a platform of communication for a variety of professional and social groups but it does not refer that there is a strong bond between all the members. A list of email distribution may comprise of hundreds of communities and members and the communication that takes place between them may be information based, but the members involved may remain strangers and the rate of membership turnover could be high (Kisielnicki, 2002, pp.341-345).

The effective involvement of virtual community in everyday life experiences and its influence and refection on the communication patterns and practices of identity development turns out an online community as an enormous research enterprise that needs constant theorizing and investigation (Dasgupta, 2006, pp.214)

Motivation to Join Virtual Communities

Clark (2010) presented a list of reasons for joining virtual communities (Clark, 2010, pp.10):

Some of the reasons why people engage in virtual communities are as follows:

Synergy- for those people who like to share interests in causes and issues, virtual communities seem to be very significant for them as it encourages groups for interacting with people discussing the causes and treatment of specific diseases, discussions on politics, or people doing combine studies, all can be done form a basis for an virtual community (Denrell, 2008, pp.47).

Synergy (Geographic- Vicinity Based) - the groups of community include school groups, soccer teams, and some others who use virtual communities in order to provide forums for discussion and information and bring those groups close to each other. Synergy (Commercial) - online community is used by distributed work groups within companies in order to establish their team ...
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