Critical Approaches to Culture + Communications

A Weblog by Ron Burnett (Founded in 1994 and now celebrating 23 Years!!)

This site began as one of the first academic sites in Canada when the World Wide Web was in its early phase of development. I have maintained it through many iterations since 1994.

Social Networks and Virtual Communities

Virtual Communities as social networks

There are some basic characteristics of virtual communities:

* Virtual communities need to know that they can multi-task and stay connected at all times;
* They need to know that they have something in common with each other and that even though identities can be played with and distorted, the foundations of communications are based on common understandings and truth;
* And that commonality has to significantly distinguish them from other groups;
* Virtual communities are about relations of an internal and external nature similar in form and substance to conventional communities;
* They are also about the establishment and maintenance of boundaries;
* Nevertheless, there is tremendous elasticity to the process of boundary creation and maintenance;
* Virtual communities break down conventional social and economic barriers.