The nature of virtual communities

Memmi, Daniel (2006). « The nature of virtual communities ». AI and Society, 20(3).

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The impressive development of electronic communication techniques has given rise to virtual communities. The nature of these computer-mediated communities has been the subject of much recent debate. Are they ordinary social groups in electronic form, or are they fundamentally different from traditional communities? Understanding virtual communities seems a prerequisite for the design of better communication systems. To clarify this debate, we will resort to the classical sociological distinction between small traditional communities (based on personal relations) and modern social groups (bound by looser, more impersonal links). We will argue that the discussion about virtual communities is often vitiated by a simplistic assimilation to traditional communities, whereas they may be in fact quite different and much more impersonal. Virtual communities are often bound by reference to common objects or goals, and not by personal relations. In this respect, virtual communities are just another example of a long-term evolution of modern society toward more abstract social relationships.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Mots-clés ou Sujets: virtual communities, community, Gemeinschaft, Gesellschaft, cyberspace, groupware, collaborative software, social networks
Unité d'appartenance: Faculté des sciences > Département d'informatique
Déposé par: Daniel Memmi
Date de dépôt: 23 sept. 2013 15:08
Dernière modification: 01 nov. 2014 02:25
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