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Inculcating a Sense of Community Among Members of Social Networking Communities

  • Received : 2015.10.01
  • Accepted : 2015.11.15
  • Published : 2015.12.31

Abstract

Social networking communities (SNCs) are media designed to facilitate social interaction using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. SNCs can constitute individuals' their own profiles in the online environment and share texts, images and photos in a variety ways. In other words, one of the other motivators is knowledge sharing. Various sites, such as Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, and Hi5 are categorized as SNCs. SNCs have become increasingly popular in recent years among youths, especially students, who use them to build social networks. This study examines whether this usage of SNCs inculcates a sense of community among their members. Several studies have examined the role of a sense of community through increased usage in the context of virtual communities. Although this result may be true of virtual communities, this paper contends that the opposite relationship prevails in the case of SNCs because members interact to build networks and are not obliged to interact. The results reveal that maintaining long-term interactions in the SNCs is helpful in building a sense of community in SNCs. Although short-term usage may not boost the development of a sense of community in SNCs, it does matter if the premise is for a long-term commitment to SNCs. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea, Yonsei University