Title: Exploring the antecedents of trust from the perspectives of uncertainty and media richness in virtual community

Authors: Ruey-Ming Chao; Chen-Chi Chang; Wen-Yu Chang

Addresses: Institute of Information and Society, National United University at No.1, Lienda, Miaoli 36003, Taiwan ' Institute of Information and Society, National United University at No.1, Lienda, Miaoli 36003, Taiwan ' Institute of Information and Society, National United University at No.1, Lienda, Miaoli 36003, Taiwan

Abstract: With the popularisation of the internet, virtual community offers a new way to social interaction. The services allow users to discuss, communicate, and share their video, photos and files. Recent years have seen increased attention being paid to virtual community, and it has achieved a growing importance in related researches. According to the previous researches, intention to participate is the main driver of the development of a virtual community. Therefore, participate intention is a key factor in the diffusion of a virtual community. Several studies indicate that media richness plays an important role in the traditional media, including television and radio. The most important constructs of media richness are instant feedback, non-verbal cue, language variety and personal focus, as we discuss participate intention. Therefore, this study investigated Facebook user behaviour in relation to media richness. As virtual community users participate in these activities, they will encounter several uncertainties. These uncertainties include marketing uncertainty, product uncertainty, competitor uncertainty, consumer uncertainty and service uncertainty. In light of these uncertainties, this study proposes that trust will be the critical factor regarding Facebook participation. This study uses structural equation modelling (SEM) as the analysis method. The research result shows that both media richness and uncertainty plays an important role to influence the participate intention within a virtual community.

Keywords: media richness; uncertainty; trust antecedents; intention to participate; Facebook user behaviour; virtual communities; online communities; web based communities; structural equation modelling; SEM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2014.060354

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2014 Vol.10 No.2, pp.176 - 187

Available online: 11 Apr 2014 *

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