Understanding Knowledge Bases and Building Membership in Virtual Communities

Understanding Knowledge Bases and Building Membership in Virtual Communities

Susan A. Baim (Miami University Middletown, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-563-4.ch090
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Abstract

With the exception of virtual communities that exist solely for purposes of social interaction, members of a virtual community are generally interested in the transfer of knowledge. Readily transferable knowledge provides a basis for member interaction and a reason for members to return frequently to visit a virtual community. Multiple revisits over a short period of time indicate that members of a virtual community are finding value in the interactions that they share with other members. For many members, these virtual interactions cannot be duplicated elsewhere. In sponsored virtual communities, a high frequency of revisits translates into multiple opportunities for a sponsor to expose members to a firm’s products and/or services. Sponsors are able to learn more about what a virtual community’s members are thinking about a firm’s current/future offerings and they can probe members with respect to unmet consumer needs and wants. Regardless of sponsorship or non-sponsorship status, a high frequency of revisits to a virtual community is an excellent indicator of a vibrant, enthusiastic membership.

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