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Bridging Offline and Online Community: Toward A Networked Community Communication Model
Unformatted Document Text:  Bridging Offline and Online Community G Z Bridging Offline and Online Community: Toward A Networked Community Communication Model Problematic Concerns about community studies have expanded with the advent of new communication technologies, in particular, the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW). Community research has developed from studying the ‘physical realm,’ in which people communicate with each other in face to face situations and which considers community as an imagined one in mass media mediated communication, to a ‘virtual arena,’ where people interact through computer-mediated communication (hereafter CMC). By primarily focusing on the technological characteristics of CMC, many scholars and researchers have examined new patterns of social interaction arising from CMC, and the possibilities for new communities to address the breakdown of community under face to face and mass media mediated communications (e.g., Jones, 1995; 1998). Community studies in CMC, however, pay little attention to the community in physical space because many researchers assume that communities formulated by CMC are sharply distinguished in this way from communities in face to face and mass media mediated communication environments. This problem is also reflected in various terms referring to these new communities such as “virtual community” (Rheingold, 1993), “networlds” (Harasim, 1993), “nonplace community” (Frederick, 1993), which stress the discontinuity from traditional and modern communities. 1 Given that community in virtual space is also based on the community in physical space, and the two types of community are closely related to each other, we need to review the existing community studies comprehensively in order to 1 Apart from these terms, there are many terms used to reference the new community. For example, “cybercommunity,” “Internet community,” “computermediated community”, “online community,” “electronic community,” and the like. Here, I prefer to use “online community” in order to stress the nature of continuity between communities instead of “cyber,” or “virtual” term which accentuate the cleavage between the physical space and cyber or virtual space.

Authors: Nah, Seungahn.
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Bridging Offline and Online Community
G
Z
Bridging Offline and Online Community:
Toward A Networked Community Communication Model
Problematic
Concerns about community studies have expanded with the advent of new
communication technologies, in particular, the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW).
Community research has developed from studying the ‘physical realm,’ in which people
communicate with each other in face to face situations and which considers community as an
imagined one in mass media mediated communication, to a ‘virtual arena,’ where people
interact through computer-mediated communication (hereafter CMC). By primarily focusing
on the technological characteristics of CMC, many scholars and researchers have examined
new patterns of social interaction arising from CMC, and the possibilities for new communities
to address the breakdown of community under face to face and mass media mediated
communications (e.g., Jones, 1995; 1998).
Community studies in CMC, however, pay little attention to the community in physical
space because many researchers assume that communities formulated by CMC are sharply
distinguished in this way from communities in face to face and mass media mediated
communication environments. This problem is also reflected in various terms referring to
these new communities such as “virtual community” (Rheingold, 1993), “networlds” (Harasim,
1993), “nonplace community” (Frederick, 1993), which stress the discontinuity from
traditional and modern communities.
1
Given that community in virtual space is also based on
the community in physical space, and the two types of community are closely related to each
other, we need to review the existing community studies comprehensively in order to
1
Apart from these terms, there are many terms used to reference the new community. For
example, “cybercommunity,” “Internet community,” “computermediated community”, “online
community,” “electronic community,” and the like. Here, I prefer to use “online community” in order
to stress the nature of continuity between communities instead of “cyber,” or “virtual” term which
accentuate the cleavage between the physical space and cyber or virtual space.


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