The development of a sense of virtual community
by Hanna-Kaisa Ellonen, Miia Kosonen, Kaisa Henttonen
International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2007

Abstract: The feelings of membership in a virtual community have recently been conceptualised as a Sense of Virtual Community (SOVC). This paper explores its presence and development in one case community, an active virtual community we call Baby and Pregnancy community (BAP). On the basis of our analysis of triangulated qualitative data (narratives, interviews and observation), we suggest a refined SOVC framework that captures its antecedents and processes. We argue that there are three main antecedents of SOVC, namely, needs, similarity with other members, and impersonal trust, and that SOVC develops through the three processes of exchanging support, creating and making identification, and producing interpersonal trust.

Online publication date: Sun, 27-May-2007

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