Establishing a point of view toward virtual communities
by Frank Weinreich
It has become popular to look upon users of the Internet as members of a global village or a virtual community. This could also be the main meaning of the term Netizen. This article proposes that the idea of virtual communities is wrong. I point out that communities rely on interaction on a face-to-face basis, and that one can't get to know one another when people are limited to mediated contacts. These assumptions are backed up by empirical findings in recent studies of CMC. This article leads to the conclusion that the meaning of Netizenship cannot be defined by being a part of the Net but by showing a certain attitude towards CMC.
Frank Weinreich (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance author and Ph.D. student of philosphy and communication sciences at the University of Vechta, Germany.
Copyright © 1997 by Frank Weinreich. All Rights Reserved.