Building Trust in Virtual Communities

Building Trust in Virtual Communities

István Mezgar
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-563-4.ch002
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Information processing and communication technologies are developing so rapidly today that it can said that there is a communication technology explosion. The new technologies widen the world for the individuals to reach other human beings regardless of where they are on the globe. Various groups of people can come together according to their private or business interests, forming a virtual community. In the generation and operation of these communities, cooperation and collaboration have significant role. On the other hand, these technologies deeply modify traditional forms of social connections, communication, and cultural habits as well. These modifications can be observed in particular in hierarchies, social rules, norms, conventions, familiarity, and reputation. A very important element of human contacts is trust. In a networked society, trust is the atmosphere, the medium in which actors are moving (Castelfranchi & Tan, 2001). Trust can bridge cultural, geographical, and organizational distances of members. Trust is the basis of cooperation, the normal behavior of the human being in the society. As the rate of cooperation is increasing in all fields of life, the importance of trust is evolving even faster. In this new communication environment new methods and techniques of trust building have to be developed, as the conventional rules of face-to-face approach cannot be applied. According to different experiments, the level of trust is highly influenced by the way/mode of communication and by the duration of contact.

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