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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 12 substantial human relationships and consequently for online community. In sum, as many studies demonstrate, people project personal styles, previous experiences and social norms of interpersonal interaction and group dynamic into electronic conversations. New communication styles and rules emerge for participants in CMC especially as time passes. Online community In the previous chapter, the properties and capability of CMC are reviewed to assess the potential of CMC to build interpersonal and social relationship, and eventually, online community. The review made it clear that people can create interpersonal relationships through CMC, regardless of its limits and uniqueness. However, community is more than just human interaction. Also maintaining and growing online community may be more challenging than creating it. Many community research have asserted that communal ties, reciprocity, and identification are critical factors that hold community members together and make a community last. This chapter reviews the concepts of community, ties, reciprocity, and identification and examine whether or not online community contains these elements and, if it does, what is the effects of CMC on these elements. Communal Ties Online community differs from “real-life” communities in terms of ties among community members. In real-life settings, people who share the same geographic locations, especially neighborhoods, tend to have similar socioeconomic status. Unlikely, online community members are gathered according to their interests and needs, rather than their age, social class, race, and socioeconomic status. Therefore, online community members are heterogeneous in the social characteristics and

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
12
substantial human relationships and consequently for online community. In sum, as
many studies demonstrate, people project personal styles, previous experiences and
social norms of interpersonal interaction and group dynamic into electronic
conversations. New communication styles and rules emerge for participants in CMC
especially as time passes.
Online community
In the previous chapter, the properties and capability of CMC are reviewed to
assess the potential of CMC to build interpersonal and social relationship, and
eventually, online community. The review made it clear that people can create
interpersonal relationships through CMC, regardless of its limits and uniqueness.
However, community is more than just human interaction. Also maintaining and
growing online community may be more challenging than creating it. Many community
research have asserted that communal ties, reciprocity, and identification are critical
factors that hold community members together and make a community last. This
chapter reviews the concepts of community, ties, reciprocity, and identification and
examine whether or not online community contains these elements and, if it does, what
is the effects of CMC on these elements.
Communal Ties
Online community differs from “real-life” communities in terms of ties among
community members. In real-life settings, people who share the same geographic
locations, especially neighborhoods, tend to have similar socioeconomic status.
Unlikely, online community members are gathered according to their interests and
needs, rather than their age, social class, race, and socioeconomic status. Therefore,
online community members are heterogeneous in the social characteristics and


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