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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 9 their attention to social dynamics of CMC, addressing possibility/potentials to build substantial relationship among participants. Some research found that, rather than being constrained by limitation of media, people creatively explore the systems features and create new forms of communication, find a way to construct identity (personal or group), build relationships that lasts for considerable period of time, and develop norms and rules, and create communities (Baym, 2001). It is obvious that successful communication is based on shared knowledge and understanding of contexts and objects and therefore the lack of contextual cues in CMC is assumed to negatively affect message understanding (DeSantis & Monge, 1998). However, there has been research showing that the reduction of contextual and non- verbal cues may be helpful improving the message understanding by removing irrelevant stimuli. For example, Marshall and Novick (1995) found that removing visual cues does not significantly affect message understanding. Likewise, Straus, Miles and Levesque (2001) reported that when unwanted cues were removed, evaluation would be free of stereotypes and more valid. These findings suggest that being “lean” medium does not necessarily negatively affect the communication. Admitting that CMC does lack of some degree of information processing capability, other line of CMC research emphasizes on the criticality of time. Walther and Burgoon (1992) reported that the social contexts can be transmitted through CMC with more time allowed. They found that participants’ ratings on one another on social desirability such as composure/relaxation, informality, receptivity/trust, and social/task orientation increased over time. Another research by Walther (1995) made it even clearer that online relationships are socially close, suggesting that groups of people interacting through CMC become more personal and intimate over time. He argues that,

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
9
their attention to social dynamics of CMC, addressing possibility/potentials to build
substantial relationship among participants. Some research found that, rather than being
constrained by limitation of media, people creatively explore the systems features and
create new forms of communication, find a way to construct identity (personal or group),
build relationships that lasts for considerable period of time, and develop norms and
rules, and create communities (Baym, 2001).
It is obvious that successful communication is based on shared knowledge and
understanding of contexts and objects and therefore the lack of contextual cues in CMC
is assumed to negatively affect message understanding (DeSantis & Monge, 1998).
However, there has been research showing that the reduction of contextual and non-
verbal cues may be helpful improving the message understanding by removing
irrelevant stimuli. For example, Marshall and Novick (1995) found that removing visual
cues does not significantly affect message understanding. Likewise, Straus, Miles and
Levesque (2001) reported that when unwanted cues were removed, evaluation would be
free of stereotypes and more valid. These findings suggest that being “lean” medium
does not necessarily negatively affect the communication.
Admitting that CMC does lack of some degree of information processing
capability, other line of CMC research emphasizes on the criticality of time. Walther
and Burgoon (1992) reported that the social contexts can be transmitted through CMC
with more time allowed. They found that participants’ ratings on one another on social
desirability such as composure/relaxation, informality, receptivity/trust, and social/task
orientation increased over time. Another research by Walther (1995) made it even
clearer that online relationships are socially close, suggesting that groups of people
interacting through CMC become more personal and intimate over time. He argues that,


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