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The Origins and Potential Futures of Online Communities

  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2011 05:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 33 
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  1. Introduction 3

  2. What is Online Community?               4-6

  3. The Origins of Online Communities               7-9

  4. The Future of Online Communities             10-12

  5. Conclusion           13-14

  6.Bibliography 15

1. Introduction

  The Internet is a relatively new technology; it is unique in the way that it allows the communication of information on a global scale in an almost instantaneous way. This technology has almost completely transformed the way in which people communicate and has done so at a rapid rate and already appears to surpass the usage of other well established communicative mediums such as radio, television and the written letter.

  The widespread use and adoption of the internet technology has given rise to many new phenomena, one of the most notable of these phenomena is that of the Online Community, a term which has been used interchangeably with Virtual Community. It is the aim of this report to investigate and determine the characteristics and impacts of online communities since their first emergence, in order to make a judgement on the potential future of the technology and its current and forecasted impacts on society.

  In order to describe and investigate such a community it will be important to clarify the meaning of community and discuss whether any non physical group can really be described as a community of people. Through looking at the change in society since the mass adoption of the internet as a communicative or informational medium (a time which many professionals describe as the information age) we aim to gain an understanding of whether the phenomenon’s popularity is destined to continue to increase exponentially in the future or whether it is a phase which will level out and reduce in popularity with time.

  1. What is an Online Community?

The Oxford English Dictionary define ‘the community’ as a group of people ‘considered...


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