Title: Virtual Tourist: knowledge communication in an online travel community

Authors: Jakob Linaa Jensen

Addresses: University of Aarhus, Denmark

Abstract: The exchange of knowledge and experience on the online travel community virtualtourist.com offers a practical example of how knowledge communication functions in web-based communities. This article takes an approach rooted in the emerging field of internet studies, combining quantitative analyses of the top-rated member postings with field research from the author|s experiences as a member of the site and an analysis of the tone, themes, and aesthetic and emotional content in the member postings. The metaphor of a knowledge economy is used for the site to describe the hierarchy among members based on their activities in the community. The Virtual Tourist community can be seen as a truly global knowledge community in the sense that it brings together knowledge, identity, performance and aesthetics to communicate knowledge not only about tourism, but also about living in a global society.

Keywords: knowledge communication; web based communities; culture; online travel; online communities; virtual communities; virtual tourism; e-tourism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2008.019553

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.503 - 522

Published online: 16 Jul 2008 *

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