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    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.



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