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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 13 homogeneous in their interests and attitudes (Wellman & Gulia, 1999). These characteristics of member composition of online community have an implication for structure of communal ties and for information exchange. A theory of “the strength of weak ties” proposed by Granovetter (1973) suggests that people are more likely to get new information they want from rather strangers than from families and friends or people who are close. Granovetter (1973) defines relationships that are intimate and close as strong ties and relationships that are absent of infrequent contact as weak ties. Since people tend to associate themselves with other people whom they view similar to themselves, they are likely to know similar things. However, when it comes to new information, it would be hard to get it through strong ties. Rather, people may find it through weak ties. Weak ties serves as information bridges connecting people in different ‘cliques’, or social groups in networks, and offering access to information and resources that are new to them. Communal ties among members of online community are truly weak ties because of their heterogeneity in their social characteristics. Anonymity and less evident social cues enable more people to participate and contribute to online community than to real world community. While their homogeneity in their needs and interests may function as motivation for joining the community, their heterogeneity in their social characteristics facilitates exchanges of information and resources that are new or dissimilar to them. Some scholars argue that the credibility of the information through weak ties is doubtable and strong ties are very important (Krackhardt, 1992). Constant, Sproull & Kiesler (1996) found that advice from more diverse ties are more useful than advice from less diverse ties. The argument here is not to deny the hazard associated with low quality information through weak ties, but to stress the wide range of diverse

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
13
homogeneous in their interests and attitudes (Wellman & Gulia, 1999). These
characteristics of member composition of online community have an implication for
structure of communal ties and for information exchange.
A theory of “the strength of weak ties” proposed by Granovetter (1973) suggests
that people are more likely to get new information they want from rather strangers than
from families and friends or people who are close. Granovetter (1973) defines
relationships that are intimate and close as strong ties and relationships that are absent
of infrequent contact as weak ties. Since people tend to associate themselves with other
people whom they view similar to themselves, they are likely to know similar things.
However, when it comes to new information, it would be hard to get it through strong
ties. Rather, people may find it through weak ties. Weak ties serves as information
bridges connecting people in different ‘cliques’, or social groups in networks, and
offering access to information and resources that are new to them.
Communal ties among members of online community are truly weak ties
because of their heterogeneity in their social characteristics. Anonymity and less evident
social cues enable more people to participate and contribute to online community than
to real world community. While their homogeneity in their needs and interests may
function as motivation for joining the community, their heterogeneity in their social
characteristics facilitates exchanges of information and resources that are new or
dissimilar to them. Some scholars argue that the credibility of the information through
weak ties is doubtable and strong ties are very important (Krackhardt, 1992). Constant,
Sproull & Kiesler (1996) found that advice from more diverse ties are more useful than
advice from less diverse ties. The argument here is not to deny the hazard associated
with low quality information through weak ties, but to stress the wide range of diverse


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