When Is a Duck Not a Duck? When It Is a Euro! Trust-Based Marketing Communications in Virtual Communities

When Is a Duck Not a Duck? When It Is a Euro! Trust-Based Marketing Communications in Virtual Communities

Gianluigi Guido (University of Salento (Lecce), Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-495-8.ch013
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Abstract

This chapter tries to evaluate the effects of the propagation of a trust-based marketing message through selected below-the-web technologies, which are those particular types of information technologies different from websites – such as e-mails, discussion lists, BBSs, Newsgroups, Forums, Peer-to-Peer, IRCs, MUDs and MOOs – that allow for the creation of virtual communities. A preliminary experiment on informal marketing communications, carried out over 12,000 accesses to below-the-web communities and regarding the proposal to use the term “Ducks” for “Euros”, in view of its similarity with the term “Bucks” for Dollars, showed that below-the-web technologies can be an appropriate tool for building trust amongst participants when four conditions for the existence of virtual communities are met: 1) a minimum level of interactivity; 2) a variety of communicators; 3) a virtual-common-public space; and 4) a minimum level of sustained membership.

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