Information Navigation and Knowledge Discovery in Virtual Communities

Information Navigation and Knowledge Discovery in Virtual Communities

Wenyuan Li, Kok-Leong Ong
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-563-4.ch052
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Over the past decade, advances in the Internet and media technology have literally brought people closer than ever before. It is interesting to note that traditional sociological definitions of a community have been outmoded, for community has extended far beyond the geographical boundaries that were held by traditional definitions (Wellman & Gulia, 1999). Virtual or online community was defined in such a context to describe various forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Although virtual communities do not necessarily arise from the Internet, the overwhelming popularity of the Internet is one of the main reasons that virtual communities receive so much attention (Rheingold, 1999). The beginning of virtual communities is attributed to scientists who exchanged information and cooperatively conduct research during the 1970s. There are four needs of participants in a virtual community: member interest, social interaction, imagination, and transaction (Hagel & Armstrong, 1997). The first two focus more on the information exchange and knowledge discovery; the imagination is for entertainment; and the transaction is for commerce strategy. In this article, we investigate the function of information exchange and knowledge discovery in virtual communities. There are two important inherent properties embedded in virtual communities (Wellman, 2001):

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