Business Applications of Virtual Communities

Business Applications of Virtual Communities

Susan A. Baim
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-563-4.ch004
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In studying the broad spectrum of business-focused virtual communities in operation on the Internet today, there are two categorizations that are readily observed by researchers. First, business-focused virtual communities are directly sponsored and/or managed by a firm or they are privately managed by individuals interested in a specific business topic, product/service line, or industry. Second, business-focused virtual communities involve interactions directly between multiple businesses (B2B), interactions between businesses and individual consumers (B2C), or interactions between individual consumers (C2C) on topics of business interest. Understanding where a given business-focused virtual community fits within both categorizations can identify the purposes (mission and vision) that it seeks to fulfill and the specific target audience that it seeks to draw and serve. While neither categorization is fully accurate or appropriate in all cases, the fact that a broad variety of different permutations of business-focused virtual communities exist serves to underscore the importance of virtual communities as a whole to businesses in today’s global marketplace.

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