Definition, Antecedents, and Outcomes of Successful Virtual Communities

Definition, Antecedents, and Outcomes of Successful Virtual Communities

Anita L. Blanchard (University of North Carolina - Charlotte, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch413

Abstract

Howard Rheingold’s (1993) book The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier was the first to bring virtual communities to the attention of researchers and practitioners. Although virtual groups have been examined previously, Rheingold’s descriptions of participating in the WELL, an Internet-based bulletin board, vividly portrayed the potential of online social groupings. Rheingold told stories of people who had never met face-to-face providing socio-emotional and even financial support to each other through times of crisis and celebration.

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