Mobile Internet and Handheld Devices for Virtual Communities

Mobile Internet and Handheld Devices for Virtual Communities

Wen-Chen Hu (University of North Dakota, USA), Hung-Jen Yang (National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan) and Jyh-haw Yeh (Boise State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-563-4.ch059
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Abstract

With the introduction of the Internet, virtual communities have revolutionized traditional communities and boosted sharing and exchanges of information, and common interests, ideas, and feelings. Recently, the emergence of wireless and mobile networks has made possible the admission of the Internet accessed by desktop or notebook computers to the mobile Internet accessed by handheld devices, which has brought great impact on virtual communities. Figure 1 shows the growth in demand for handheld computing devices (not including smart cellular phones) through 2007, as predicted by the research firm In-Stat/MDR (PalmInfocenter.com, 2003). The mobile Internet has introduced new virtual communities and has the existing communities reach new members or topics because it allows the community members to communicate with each other from anywhere and at anytime. This article discusses the mobile technologies, especially the mobile Internet and handheld devices, for virtual communities and their influence on the communities. Three themes of this discussion are as follows:

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