A strong sense of community (SOC) is considered to be desirable because it fosters pro-social behavior of community members and helps deal with external challenges/threats (cf. Sense of community in virtual communities). So every community manager should be highly interested in assessing the SOC of her/his community. But measuring the SOC and interpreting the result is by no means easy.
Mittwoch, 15. Oktober 2014
Dienstag, 19. August 2014
The empirical study of Koh & Kim (2003)  on the sense of community is interesting in three respects: Firstly, the authors offer an alternative conceptualization, secondly, they try to identify antecedents, and thirdly, this study reveals the importance of offline activities for the SOC in virtual communtities.
Dienstag, 22. Juli 2014
Two studies offer very interesting insights into the social networking behavior of players of fantasy massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG or MMOG). In a longitudinal analysis Shen et al.  analyzed the driving factors of social relationships in EverQuest II and Ang et al.  had a closer look at the players in a guild in World of Warcraft. At second glance, many results can be generalized to communities of practice.
Freitag, 30. Mai 2014
Theoretically, the question whether political online participation differs from offline participation can be answered in two ways :
Dienstag, 6. Mai 2014
In three papers, Obst et al. [1, 2, 3] published the results of their investigation about the sense of community (SOC). They had asked 359 members of SF fandom attending Aussiecon 3, the 1999 World Science Fiction Convention about the way they feel about the fandom community (a - relational - community of interest with membership from all over the world) and about their neighbourhood (a geographical community). The main research interest was to find out whether McMillan and Chavis' four dimensions of SOC played a role in both community types (relational and geographic) and whether there is a separate fifth factor - conscious ingroup identification. Both assumptions were confirmed by the results.
Donnerstag, 1. Mai 2014
The feedback of other community members is considered to be an important corrective factor in moderating community discussions. Liking a post, voting on a comment, rating are the most common feedback mechanisms. Theoretically, feedback would lead users to behave in ways that benefit the community.
Montag, 28. April 2014
Browsing the Internet, I stumbled across these three interesting articles about the successful management of online health communities. Here are the (slightly modified) abstracts:
Montag, 14. April 2014
Since the early 90s, Jean Lave's and Etienne Wenger's concept of communities of practice  has produced a huge amount of scholarly and more popular literature, first as a theory of learning and later in the field of knowledge management. In the advent of the digital era, communities of practice are not just organized as face-to-face communities but as virtual communities as well and so Wenger et al.  re-conceptualized communities of practice for digital environments.
Donnerstag, 6. Februar 2014
Intuitively, one would say that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are like two poles on the same continuum. But that is not necessarily so. In the context of job satisfaction and job performance Herzberg developed his two factors theory and showed that there is a set of factors that causes satisfaction (motivators) and another one that causes dissatisfaction (hygiene factors) when absent. . The practical implication is that to improve job attitudes and productivity, administrators must recognize and attend to both sets. The question is whether this theory can be applied to satisfaction with an online community and participation in community life as well.
Donnerstag, 23. Januar 2014
The need for information is one of the reasons why people participate in communities and information exchange (like giving and receiving support) is a social phenomenon. But very often, seekers of information are seen as individuals and the focus in many studies lies on individual information behaviour - omitting socials aspect. Reddy & Jansen , on the other hand, argue that more emphasis should be put on these social aspects in information behaviour, that is why they investigate the driving forces that lie behind social information