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An online community is a group of people with a common interest, issue, or situation who gather through computer-mediated communication for a number of purposes, including to share information, to socialize, to provide emotional support, to educate and to learn, to advocate, and to organize. Online communities, also referred to as virtual communities, can be found on social networking sites, online discussion boards, e-mail groups or list serves, wikis, blogs, and other online forums.

Unlike a community in the physical world, an online community is not constrained by geography, time, or space, but is based instead on relationships among the community members and how those members communicate with each other. An important parameter for measuring community is the extent the gathering of people is perceived and ...

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