Virtual Communities and the New Economy
A ‘virtual community’ is a new form of social grouping where its members meet and interact using computer-mediated communication. As seen in using computers and communicating through the Internet, such communities exist even without the establishment of formal procedural and institutional authority. The chapter focuses on whether virtual communities have more to offer for organisational innovation and change other than technological novelty. This chapter attempts to answer the following questions: Do virtual communities influence the outcomes in voluntary association? Do these outcomes entail a ethos or a new principle of human association? Is the basis for the existence of virtual communities sustainable? And Do the factors influencing the competition in different types of virtual communities indicate a collapse in their variety?
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