A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals. One of the most pervasive types of virtual community include social networking services, which consist of various online communities.
The term virtual community is attributed to the book of the same title by Howard Rheingold, published in 1993. The book, which could be considered a social enquiry, putting the research in the social sciences, discussed his adventures on The WELL and onward into a range of computer-mediated communication and social groups, broadening it to information science. The technologies included Usenet, MUDs (Multi-User Dungeon) and their derivatives MUSHes and MOOs, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), chat rooms and electronic mailing lists; the World Wide Web as we know it today was not yet used by many people. Rheingold pointed out the potential benefits for personal psychological well-being, as well as for society at large, of belonging to such a group.
These virtual communities all encourage interaction, sometimes focusing around a particular interest, or sometimes just to communicate. Quality virtual communities do both. They allow users to interact over a shared passion, whether it be through message boards, chat rooms, social networking sites, or virtual worlds.
This book is your ultimate resource for Virtual Communities. Here you will find the most up-to-date information, analysis, background and everything you need to know.
In easy to read chapters, with extensive references and links to get you to know all there is to know about Virtual Communities right away, covering: Virtual community, List of virtual communities, 360voice, Ability Online, Alexander Street Press, Alt.binaries.boneless, Ameba (website), American Marriage Ministries, Amie Street, Amina ? Chechen Republic Online, Any Good To You, APBRmetrics, Artist-Led Initiatives Support Network, Ashley Madison, AsianAve, Atheist and Agnostic Group, Athlinks, Audimated, Badoo, Batanga.com, BeautifulPeople.com, Bibliophile mailing list, BIGADDA, Biip.no, Bilddagboken, BIOSCI, BIRDZ, BlackPlanet, Blogger (service), Blogster, BlogTV, Bongotones.com, Bookarmy, Bookglutton, BuzzFeed, Buzznet, Caedes, Cambrian House, Canal Contempor?o, Cellufun, Cemetech, Cheek'd, Chinwag, Classical Lounge, Classmates.com, Club Caribe, CONFER (software), Connected Education, Conservapedia, CozyCot, Craigslist, Crazy Blind Date, Cruise Critic, Crypto-society, CrystEngCommunity, DailyStrength, DaruDar, Dead Runners Society, Decayenne, Delhii, Desimartini, DeviantArt, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Diabetic Rockstar Inc, Digital Classicist, Digital public square, Dogster, Dol2day, DontStayIn, DragonRealms, Drama 2.0, Dreamwidth, E-society, EBay, Elftown, Elfwood, Etsy, EverQuest, Experience Project, Ezmo, Faceparty, Faces.com, John Fanning, Shawn Fanning, Fark, Faves.com, FidoNet, FiledBy, Flirtomatic, FlyLady, Fotolog, FreakingNews, The Freecycle Network, Freegle, Friendster, Futaba Channel, Gaia Online, GamerDNA, GemStone IV, GEnie, GeoCities, Gingerbeer (web community), Glee.com, Global village (term), GlobalCampus, Goodreads, Goodwizz, Habitat (video game), HealthBoards, HeiaHeia, Helium.com, Helping Angels, Here Comes Everybody, Hi5, HornFans, Horseland, Hotline Communications, Identity tourism, Idolblog, Ill Bethisad, IMedix, Imeem, Infinite Summer, Inkd, Intel Open Port, Interartcenter, Internet church, Internet Relay Chat, Ipernity, IRC-Galleria, Islamica, Itsmy, IWiW, JediMUD, Jeeran, Jewel of Indra, Jog.fm, Jubii.com, JuiceCaster, Kazaa, Kiwibox, Kloop, Koinup...and much more
This book explains in-depth the real drivers and workings of Virtual Communities. It reduces the risk of your technology, time and resources investment decisions by enabling you to compare your understanding of Virtual Communities with the objectivity of experienced professionals.