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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 11 has little prior personal knowledge, subtle social context or personality cues within a CMC message may take on particularly important values. CMC partners may make more meaning out of relatively insignificant information such as spellings errors, use of punctuation, or word choice, and thus develop stereotypical impressions of the other. These attributions, depending on whether or not participants believe that they are in some form of group relationship, can either be positive or negative. Other research findings and evidence show that identities are actively and collaboratively created by participants through processes of naming, signing signatures, role creation, and self-disclosure (Baym, 2001). The aforementioned research by Walther and Burgoon (1992) reports that people developed nicknames and used embellished signatures which create self-identity and counteracts uncertainty associated with anonymity created by CMC. Some researchers also found that people not only create nicknames and id’s but also tend to adhere to their nicknames and thus maintaining their identities created through CMC. For example, a study on identity of computer hackers reported that there is a reluctance among computer hackers to change their nicknames even at times with high risks of being caught because of their status (or technical expertise) associated with their nicknames, implying people’s desires/needs to be identified (Meyer, 1987). A study on trust on eBay (Boyd, 2002) also found that individually created nicknames are collectively maintained among sellers and buyers through various system features such as feedback rating and numbers of transactions. In summary, it is not the intention of this paper to deny the distinctive properties of CMC and to claim that communication patterns and outcomes are the same as those of face-to-face interactions. Rather, the main purpose of this chapter, as mentioned earlier, is to explore the social aspects of CMC that have implication for more

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
11
has little prior personal knowledge, subtle social context or personality cues within a
CMC message may take on particularly important values. CMC partners may make
more meaning out of relatively insignificant information such as spellings errors, use of
punctuation, or word choice, and thus develop stereotypical impressions of the other.
These attributions, depending on whether or not participants believe that they are in
some form of group relationship, can either be positive or negative.
Other research findings and evidence show that identities are actively and
collaboratively created by participants through processes of naming, signing signatures,
role creation, and self-disclosure (Baym, 2001). The aforementioned research by
Walther and Burgoon (1992) reports that people developed nicknames and used
embellished signatures which create self-identity and counteracts uncertainty associated
with anonymity created by CMC. Some researchers also found that people not only
create nicknames and id’s but also tend to adhere to their nicknames and thus
maintaining their identities created through CMC. For example, a study on identity of
computer hackers reported that there is a reluctance among computer hackers to change
their nicknames even at times with high risks of being caught because of their status (or
technical expertise) associated with their nicknames, implying people’s desires/needs to
be identified (Meyer, 1987). A study on trust on eBay (Boyd, 2002) also found that
individually created nicknames are collectively maintained among sellers and buyers
through various system features such as feedback rating and numbers of transactions.
In summary, it is not the intention of this paper to deny the distinctive properties
of CMC and to claim that communication patterns and outcomes are the same as those
of face-to-face interactions. Rather, the main purpose of this chapter, as mentioned
earlier, is to explore the social aspects of CMC that have implication for more


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