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Title: The 'WeTube' in YouTube – creating an online community through video sharing

Authors: Dana Rotman, Jennifer Preece

Addresses: College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, 4120B Hornbake Bldg., South Wing, College Park, MD 20742, USA. ' College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, 4105E Hornbake Bldg., South Wing, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Abstract: Video sharing has become a growing social practice, with YouTube being the predominant online video sharing site. Most of the research concerning YouTube|s social impact has been focused on quantitative evaluation of the social interaction facilitated by the tools embedded in the site. This study aims to explore the growth of the YouTube online community through the eyes of YouTube users who author video-blogs, and to ascertain whether a community is actually created, or does YouTube remain an online broadcasting platform. Building upon users| perspectives and thoughts, and using grounded theory approach, the foundations of an online community – people, interaction, shared purpose and culture – are analysed to understand how users view YouTube. A new important characteristic of the YouTube online community, face-to-face mediated interaction, will be presented and its role in differentiating the visually enhanced YouTube community from textual communities will be assessed.

Keywords: online communities; virtual communities; web based communities; social media; social networking; YouTube; face-to-face interaction; mediated interaction; visual recognition; video sharing; social impact; video blogs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2010.033755

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2010 Vol.6 No.3, pp.317 - 333

Available online: 30 Jun 2010 *

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