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Sense of Virtual Community

Sense of Virtual Community
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Author(s): Anita Blanchard (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 14
Source title: Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sigrid Kelsey (Louisiana State University, USA) and Kirk St.Amant (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch025

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Abstract

Sense of virtual community is an important component of successful virtual communities. Defined as members’ feelings of belonging, identity, and attachment with each other in computer-mediated communication, sense of virtual community distinguishes virtual communities from mere virtual groups. Sense of virtual community is believed to come from members’ exchange of social support as well as creating their own identity and learning the identity of others members. It is believed to lead to positive outcomes such as increased satisfaction and communication with the virtual community as well as to greater trust and social capital in the larger face-to-face community or organization. Future research will be able to further develop the theoretical and empirical contributions of sense of virtual community in computer-medication communication research.

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